Future Jobs: Human Resources

With the ever-increasing abundance of employment opportunities, human resources specialists play a crucial role in helping companies attract the best talent and provide a nurturing environment for the success of employees. But which qualities will set apart a good HR specialist? In this article we will cover hard skills and employment and learning opportunities to pave the way for the upcoming HR professionals in the industry.

According to the World Economic Forum report on the jobs of tomorrow, People and Culture is one of the seven distinct professional clusters that show the biggest growth in job opportunities in 2020-2022. In this series we discuss ways you can enter the job market in the field of your interest with the help of internships, scholarships, and gaining new skills through online courses.


Who Are HR Specialists?

Human resources specialists are those people who stand behind smooth recruiting processes that include screening applications, interviewing candidates, and evaluating whether they are a good fit for the team. HR specialists are a link between workers and company management. Since HR covers a broad spectrum of responsibilities, HR professionals tend to go deep into a single area, be it employee training or recruiting. Alternatively, there are also so-called HR generalists who tend to have a wider range of tasks.

Succesful interview HR and the job applicant
Succesful interview HR and the job applicant

Some of the hard skills that HR specialists should obtain in order to manage the hiring process productively are the following:

  • Recruiting
  • Human Resources
  • Digital Literacy
  • Project Management
  • People Management
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Foreign Languages

These skills help HR specialists to execute a number of tasks including interviewing applicants, performing background checks based on candidates’ resumes, evaluating the strengths of the employees’ talents as well as resolving issues in the chain of command. To have a better understanding of the requirements and job conditions you will need to consider, let’s have a look at some of the job openings in the field of cloud computing.


Emerging Human Resources Jobs

Emerging specializations in Human Resources are those that have experienced the most growth over the previous five years. To arrive at these conclusions, LinkedIn and Burning Glass Technologies track the number of job openings posted in digital job boards and the number of professionals who are hired into new opportunities. Here are a few openings in this field:

Additional experience that you gain throughout your studies will demonstrate your work readiness to potential employers. To do that, consider applying for an internship or taking part in an industry-specific competition. Here are a couple of examples of competitions that you may want look into:


GLOBAL CBS Case Competition

GLOBAL is an international case competition and is CBS Case Competition’s response to an increasingly digitized world.  The competition is open for all students globally as anyone can compete in the initial round as well as the semi-finals that are held online. The top three teams are invited to Copenhagen on an all-expenses covered trip to compete in the grand finale.

Teams have to consist of 4 students from any university and any country. Teams can also be formed across universities and countries. There is no fee for participating. As a finalist, all expenses, including flight tickets, accommodation, and meals, are covered by CBS Case Competition.


McGill Management International Case Competition

The McGill Management International Case Competition is a world-class undergraduate competition with a focus on globalization, innovation, and multi-disciplinary thinking. It is one of McGill University’s most prestigious events and the largest student-run event at the Desautels Faculty of Management.

The schedule of the competition typically includes three days of social activities and three days of competition. Teams have 32 hours to work through a business scenario, identifying key priorities and weighing benefits before drafting a strategic plan.  This is a multidisciplinary contest that covers finance, policy, leadership, marketing, HR, and more.


People and Culture Additional Learning Priorities

Human resources concept
Human resources concept

Data scientists at Coursera have looked at the learning activities of individuals employed in emerging professions and have created a list of distinctive priorities for upskilling in those fields. Here are the five top courses to take as a supplement for anyone who wishes to be employed in human resources:

Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization

This course provides an introduction to the key principles of human resource management. It covers alternative approaches to managing human resources, provides a background to the U.S. legal context in which employees are hired, fired, rewarded, and managed, and outlines the different reasons that people are motivated to work. Additional learning areas include principles of hiring employees, evaluating their performance, and rewarding them.

Introduction to People Analytics

People analytics is a data-driven approach to managing people at work. In this brand new course, three of Wharton’s top professors, all pioneers in the field of people analytics, will explore the state-of-the-art techniques used to recruit and retain great people, and demonstrate how these techniques are used at cutting-edge companies. They’ll explain how data and sophisticated analysis are brought to bear on people-related issues such as recruiting, performance evaluation, leadership, hiring and promotion, job design, compensation, and collaboration.

Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding Employees

This course is an introduction into the topic of recruitment, selection, and onboarding.  At the outset of the course you will explore the importance of linking recruitment goals with overall company strategy. Throughout the course, students will examine current issues in talent acquisition, such as how companies are now leveraging social media and hiring analytics to ensure better quality hires.

Managing Employee Compensation

This course is designed to explain how to align your organization’s objectives, its pay philosophy, and ultimately the way it designs and implements its salary structure, short-term incentives, long-term incentives, and benefits. Upon completion, you will have a better understanding of the most important technical skills: compliance with pay regulations, understanding stock options, shopping for health insurance and pension providers, and designing incentive plans. Lastly, you’ll discuss non-monetary methods of motivating employees.

Preparing to Manage Human Resources

This course provides a foundation for developing your own approach to skillfully managing employees by illustrating alternative human resource management (HRM) strategies, introducing the importance of the legal context, and thinking about what motivates employees. This will then give you the factual and conceptual basis for developing specific, critical HRM skills for hiring employees, managing performance, and rewarding employees once they are on board.

Human resources professions require a great deal of human touch, engagement, and a clear understanding of the goals of the company when it comes to hiring new employees. This profession is a great example of a non-tech profession that is high in demand and low in the risk of being automated.

Photos: Shutterstock / Edited by: Martina Advaney

Other articles on Future Skills and Jobs here:

Future Jobs: Green Professions

Future Jobs: Care Professions

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