In today's knowledge-driven global economy, having top-tier talent can be critical to success. As a result, senior management teams are making room for smart, strategic HR leaders who can guide them in developing and implementing strategies to efficiently attract, retain, and manage their employees.
Still, moving from a role in HR administration to strategic HR management can be tricky. As you work to enhance your HR career, here are four steps—suggested by faculty from our Human Resources Management program—to help you to establish yourself as a respected HR leader.
1. Join HR Organizations
With 289,000 members in more than 165 countries, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest professional HR society. SHRM provides members with a vast and useful assortment of resources, including sample employee handbooks, HR forms, policies, employee engagement surveys, how-to guides, job descriptions, interview questions, and more. SHRM also offers in-person and virtual events that support professional growth and offer a chance to network with influential HR leaders in your region and beyond. Whether at an event or online, connecting with other SHRM members can lead to exciting career opportunities.
For students, SHRM offers discounted membership and event rates, as well as student-focused events and scholarships.
2. Commit to Lifelong Learning
Earning a master’s degree in human resources management can equip you with new skills, and, according to the BLS, help you with your job prospects . After completing your graduate studies, HR certification is another way for you to gain and demonstrate expertise. The most well-known HR certifications include SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, PHR, and SPHR.
Following and engaging with industry news, research, and analysis shared by HR organizations can also help you earn industry respect and credibility. Legal changes, in particular, often require organizational changes, so understanding potential laws and regulations as well as their impact on the business can make you a valuable asset in your company. You can also find many courses and trainings available to help you sharpen your skills and stay up-to-date in key HR areas like training and development, payroll, health and safety, recruitment, or succession planning. Beyond that, it’s also smart to build additional generalized skills (from practicing public speaking to learning another language) that could benefit your career.
3. Align Yourself to Organizational Needs
If you’re looking to advance in your organization or have your eye on moving to a specific company, identify any skills you need to develop and demonstrate to help them solve their HR challenges and achieve their goals. Beyond that, consider whether your current activities demonstrate your alignment to their mission. Even if your past performance shows that you’re smart and talented, companies want employees who share their values and passion. Find ways to get more involved with their industry or support their mission in the community. Doing so will show initiative and that you’re well matched with the company.
4. Learn to Utilize the Power of Technology
As it has nearly everywhere, technology has revolutionized the HR field. HR professionals need to understand how to evaluate, use, and manage intranet systems, internal university e-learning software, employee benefit self service options, online recruiting tools, and more. HR metric and information systems can even allow you to easily track and share the critical value you and your department provides. When used properly, HR technology becomes a tool that helps you more efficiently and effectively identify and solve problems—and sometimes find and stop potential issues before they ever occur.
If you work in HR, learn more today about how South University’s Master of Science in Human Resources Management can help prepare you for a spot at the senior strategic leadership team of your organization.
See http://ge.southuniversity.edu/programoffering/5535 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, alumni success, and other important info.
South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.