If you are considering PHR certification, you likely have explored some of the human resource career options that certification can open up for you. You may already know that at some point you’ll need to decide if you would be happier as a human resources specialist or generalist. An HR specialist does just that – specializes. If you love recruiting, have been told you are a natural trainer, or if you thrive when managing multiple projects, you would probably be happier as a specialist.
Once you’ve decided if specializing or generalizing is the real you, the HR career options suitable to your style will be easier to consider. If you like to delve deeply into an issue, problem, or potential solution, and have decided specializing will be the best way to use your talents, you will most likely work in a larger company or in a firm that specializes in consulting. Five specialties have been defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Focusing on employment and recruiting will mean helping your company develop standards that ideal candidates would fit. You will also work with headhunters and keep current with online job boards searching for potential employees for specific jobs.
Another HR career option you might choose is to specialize in labor and employee relations.
You’ll link employees and administrators, negotiate contracts, and help both sides meet in the middle in the event of grievances.
You’ll also be responsible for health programs for employees.
Training and development is a third option, and involves new employee orientations, implementing staff continuing education, and create presentation materials.
A fourth career option is in the area of job analysis, where you’ll rank the importance of various work-related tasks, document the various duties each position involves, consider job descriptions, and apply data in the creation of training materials.
Finally, you may specialize in benefits and compensation, where you will create salary/benefits packages, work with performance reviews, construct bonus and incentive plans, and be responsible for salary levels.
Perhaps you would be happier as a generalist. You will most likely work in a smaller company and have to wear many different hats. By definition, a generalist’s work depends upon the company’s immediate and changing needs. At some point you may find yourself fine-tuning benefit packages or recruiting new hires. The following month you might go nose to nose with unions, negotiating a win-win for everyone. There’s nothing a generalist will not, at some point, be asked to do.
Whether you are a specialist or generalist at heart, choosing the right human resource career option is a matter of choosing the best fit for your style.