Human Resources can be a complicated industry, and many students are left wondering “What exactly does an HR professional do?” Essentially, the Human Resources department manages an organization’s employees, and is responsible for compensation, benefits, training and development, staffing, and other functions that help shape the corporate culture. HR is also responsible for making sure employees are working in a safe and comfortable environment while recruiting new, likeminded employees to help achieve organizational goals.
Typically, there are two career paths that are taken: generalist or specialist. The HR generalist has a wide range of responsibilities such as attracting and retaining employees, training, managing the workforce, and planning ways to meet human resources needs. Generalist roles are usually found in smaller companies or in management roles. HR specialists typically require deep knowledge and complete ownership of a particular HR program, such as employee and labor relations, compensation, benefits, conducting interviews or administering pre-employment tests.
Most entry-level positions in human resources require past HR experience – usually through internships. As an HR intern, you will have the opportunity to apply your academic curriculum to real-world situations. Tasks for an HR intern range from preparing new hire paperwork, advertising open job positions, advising employees on safety issues, and more. In order to advance in the field, you will likely need to join a professional organization such as the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) or obtain an MBA, a master of human resources management or a human resources certificate.
Ready to get your career started? Search through our Human Resources internships below.