HR Leads Business

Apr 28, 2017 | Barry Lawrence, MBA, HRCI Staff Writer

HR Job Outlook Remains Robust

The outlook is robust for human resource management job opportunities. The HR profession continues to grow in importance to oversee the talent management and productivity strategies that ultimately impact every organization’s bottom line.

The improving economy has contributed to job growth in the HR field. The unemployment rate for HR professionals is about half of the national unemployment rate, hovering around 4.5 percent. Employment of HR managers (median annual pay about $107,000) is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average of all occupations. Various forecasts predict that about 50,000 HR hires are made each year.

"Competition for the best jobs can be tough, especially in cities with limited availability," notes Randstad, an HR service provider. "However, job volume is high in most larger markets where bigger organizations are headquartered or have offices."

Hot HR jobs in 2017, based on Randstad data collected from recruiters, include:

  • HR Generalist/Business Partner. Going "beyond the traditional expectations," Randstad says, organizations "are looking for professionals who can not only assist with talent management, but who can offer valuable insights to help an organization achieve its business objectives."
  • HR Manager/Director. Although in demand, there is also much competition for HR team leaders.
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager. Expect "high demand in 2017 due to the improving economy."

HR Specialists on the Rise

As with other essential business functions, specialty HR roles also continue to increase in demand. Randstad also lists Learning and Development Specialist and Recruitment Specialist as 2017’s hottest HR jobs. HR Specialist is also rated as a top career pick in the U.S. News and World Report “Best Business Jobs” rankings.

While the top 10 percent of HR Specialists earn six figures, HR specialty roles are often a great way to start an HR career, with a median salary of over $58,000, U.S. News notes.

"Job prospects are best for those with a bachelor's degree in training and development, education, human resources, computer science or instrumental design," the report advises. To provide HR newbies with an additional career edge, HRCI recently added the Associate Professional in Human Resources™ (aPHR™) to its suite of credentials. The aPHR is the first-ever HR certification to allow unexperienced career seekers to demonstrate passion and foundational knowledge of HR practices.

HRCI Credentials Viewed Essential

When embarking on a career in HR, keep in mind that certification provides an important added advantage. Payscale.com, for example, found that HR practitioners with a Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) or Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR®) earn more than their non-credentialed counterparts.

A Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) study found that organizations also benefit from HRCI credentials. Based on the responses of organizational leaders who were surveyed, HR professionals with HRCI certifications provide organizations with greater expertise, better performers and more strategic direction.

The advantages of certification continue to grow and are likely to be amplified as an HR practitioner moves up the HR career ladder to take on more senior HR and business partner roles. It is no wonder, based on the yearly analysis conducted by HRCI, that more than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have HR leaders with certifications from HRCI.

The future is, indeed, bright for HR professionals – whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out.