The HR Profession

Why would anyone want a career in human resources (HR)? Many believe that HR professionals' major purpose is to deal with a lot of administrative work and deal with resolving employee conflicts – how boring and stressful. That may have been the sentiment five or ten years ago, may be partly true for some roles – but not all.

Some people, current HR professionals or others who witness the work of HR professional may still ask the question today. However, the majority of human resources professionals will tell you that, like any career, you have challenging responsibilities and you have the "necessary" responsibilities. The idea is to do the "necessary" responsibilities effectively and efficiently to allow focus and energy on those challenging projects and responsibilities.

I believe that the purpose of the Human Resources profession is to help companies achieve their objectives through the management of their most important assets, the people who work for them. This is implemented primarily through talent management (hiring, developing and retaining).

Because of this purpose, the field of Human Resources has been rated as one of the most rewarding and fastest growing professions in the United States. Recently MONEY Magazine and Salary.com reviewed hundreds of jobs, considering their growth, pay, stress-levels and other factors, and Human Resources Manager was rated as number 20 of the top 50 jobs with a 13% 10-year growth rate. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2009/full_list/index.html

While I was completing my graduate degree (MS, Human Resources Design) at Claremont Graduate University's School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, I wrote the following as part of an organizational development team paper. "… the profession has been tasked to take on greater roles and responsibilities within organizations as organizations are faced with constant change – change such as globalization of markets, off-shoring, constant changes in employment law and regulations, changing customer demands and increasing competition. To assist companies in their strategic goals, the need for well-educated, competent Human Resources professionals continues to grow. " I wrote this almost three years ago and the comments are even more pertinent given our current economic climate. Whether you are currently seeking your first position in the field or are looking for your next job, keep in mind that you bring a unique perspective to organizations, be proud and seize the opportunities – as they are many. Strive to be that unique business professional that brings the HR perspective to the table, aligning the business strategy with people implications.