Career Paths in HRM

Career Paths in HRM

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the term used to describe tasks which are used to effectively manage company’s human resources (“Careers in…, n.d). It includes

compensation, benefits, training and development, staffing, strategic HR management and other functions. HR practitioners have a challenging task at hand to structure

staffing programs to recruit and retain best talent and continuously maintain the attractiveness of company to employees so that they remain working with the company.

In today’s competitive environment, HRM is vital for any organization to remain viable.
There can be two career paths in the field of HRM. These are those of Generalist and Specialist.
Generalist: HR generalists have a broad range of responsibilities. They manage the workforce, do staffing, training, maintain compensation program, and develop

policies and procedures alongside ensuring that internal policies conform to all laws that affect the workplace. Generalist positions can be Personal Assistant, HR

Business Partner, HR Generalist, HR Department or Branch Manager, Chief HR Officer, People Services Specialist or Manager.
Specialist: Specialists are personnel with technical knowledge and skills pertaining to specific areas of human resource management. There are five most common areas

of specialization:
1. Workforce planning – Responsibilities are interviewing applicants, assisting with conducting background checks, and processing transfers, terminations and

2. HR Development – The position has responsibilities of conducting training sessions, administering on-the-job training programs, evaluating training programs and

maintaining necessary records of employee participation in all training and development programs (Career path…, n.d). Some of the job titles in this area are Trainer,

Employee Development Manager, Leadership Development Specialist, and Organizational Development (OD) Specialist.
3. Total Rewards – Positions in this area are Salary Administrators, Compensation Analysts and Benefits Administrators. Responsibilities are analyzing jobs, performing

job evaluations, conducting and analyzing compensation surveys.
4. Employee and Labor Relations – Include positions of labor Relations Assistant and Employee Relations Specialist. They interpret contracts, engage in collective

bargaining and resolve grievances.
5. Risk management – Developing and administering health and safety programs, conducting safety inspections, maintaining records of mishaps in organization and prepare

government reports in order to maintain compliance obligations under the law. Examples of titles are Safety Officer, Risk management specialist, and OSHA manager.
A good strategic plan provides guidance to the HRM function. In most organizations overall strategic plan is referred to before developing the HRM strategic plan. Once

strategic intent and priorities have been finalized, the HRM plan is ready to be developed. By developing and implementing HRM plans, organizations ensure that they

have right processes to meet the needs of ever changing organization. There are six parts of HRM plan. These are:
•    Determining human resource needs
•    Determining recruitment strategy
•    Selecting employees
•    Developing training
•    Determining compensation
•    Appraising performance
Once the plan is implemented it is constantly monitored to identify any gap between actual and expectations.
The success of HRM plan lies in its capability to meet the needs of organization. Hence, HRM plan is measured against specific goals.
1. Careers in human resource management. (n.d). SHRM. Retrieved from
2. The value of planning. (n.d). Retrieved from
3. Sobery, A. (2011). The link between strategic planning and human resource planning. Retrieved from



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