today's best human resources jobs.

What are the best human resources jobs today? What kind of experience, certifications and skills do each of them require? Here's what you need to know about HR jobs in 2021.

what you need to know

We saw some seismic shifts in the past year due to the global pandemic. In 2021 the focus is going to be on getting back to work. And while the details — where, how and when we each return to work, for example — won't be the same for everyone, figuring out those details to support a smooth transition will be consistently the responsibility of human resources teams. There's no doubt about it: HR professionals are in for a very, very busy year. Here are five HR roles that will have more on their plates than ever before.

best human resources jobs in 2021

benefits manager

It's all about the benefits — so having this one on our list of best jobs for 2021 was a no-brainer. After all, when companies struggle to hire or retain top-notch benefits managers, it can have a ripple effect throughout the organization. Randstad’s research recently showed that the majority of employees (58%) would rather negotiate a stronger benefits package than a higher salary. This means skilled benefits managers are going to be even more critical to organizational success going forward.

director of learning and development

The director of learning and development role has emerged from COVID-19 with great significance — and a broader scope of responsibilities — than ever before. By consolidating learning and development programs into all-digital delivery models, these senior-level leaders can increase organizational efficiency and expand access to training opportunities for their workforces at large. No wonder they've qualified for a spot on our list of the best jobs in human resources for 2021.
 

HR manager

HR managers are expected to embody the true ethos, values and culture of an organization. How exactly that's going to play out in the context of all-remote work remains to be seen, of course, but one thing is for sure: Highly skilled HR managers are increasingly hard to come by. As employer branding continues to play an ever-greater role in driving talent outcomes, experienced pros should have no shortage of opportunities to grow in 2021.

HRIS generalist

HR information systems (HRIS) can transform the way companies manage and engage with human capital — but there's a twist. That is, these systems turn out to be only as effective or valuable as the savvy, forward-thinking HRIS generalists who are on hand to manage them. This kind of high-tech, high-touch approach, combining the insights of data with the intelligence and judgement of humans, is exactly what HRIS generalists do best. It's also why they're on our list of the best human resources jobs for 2021.
 

recruiter

Take a look at the numbers to get a sense of the demand: All told, more than 130,000 jobs specifically targeting recruiters were posted in the past 12 months alone. That's an awe-inspiring figure, particularly when you consider the road ahead for most companies: restructuring and rebuilding after the global pandemic. With business leaders en masse turning to recruiters to secure the talent they need, all signs point to a very busy year ahead.
 

benefits manager

It's all about the benefits — so having this one on our list of best jobs for 2021 was a no-brainer. After all, when companies struggle to hire or retain top-notch benefits managers, it can have a ripple effect throughout the organization. Randstad’s research recently showed that the majority of employees (58%) would rather negotiate a stronger benefits package than a higher salary. This means skilled benefits managers are going to be even more critical to organizational success going forward.

director of learning and development

The director of learning and development role has emerged from COVID-19 with great significance — and a broader scope of responsibilities — than ever before. By consolidating learning and development programs into all-digital delivery models, these senior-level leaders can increase organizational efficiency and expand access to training opportunities for their workforces at large. No wonder they've qualified for a spot on our list of the best jobs in human resources for 2021.

HR manager

HR managers are expected to embody the true ethos, values and culture of an organization. How exactly that's going to play out in the context of all-remote work remains to be seen, of course, but one thing is for sure: Highly skilled HR managers are increasingly hard to come by. As employer branding continues to play an ever-greater role in driving talent outcomes, experienced pros should have no shortage of opportunities to grow in 2021.

HRIS generalist

HR information systems (HRIS) can transform the way that companies manage and engage with human capital — but there's a twist. That is, these systems turn out to be only as effective or valuable as the savvy, forward-thinking HRIS generalists who are on hand to manage them. This kind of high-tech, high-touch approach, combining the insights of data with the intelligence and judgement of humans, is exactly what HRIS generalists do best. It's also why they're on our list of the best human resources jobs for 2021.

recruiter

Take a look at the numbers to get a sense of the demand: All told, more than 130,000 jobs specifically targeting recruiters were posted in the past 12 months alone. That's an awe-inspiring figure, particularly when you consider the road ahead for most companies: restructuring and rebuilding after the global pandemic. With business leaders en masse turning to recruiters to secure the talent they need, all signs point to a very busy year ahead.

best human resources skills and certifications

accounting

Certain accounting skills are needed by HR professionals specializing in fields like payroll and benefits administration, where selecting retirement plans and handling invoices is part of the job. Additionally, sound financial fundamentals help HR pros in other areas, too, like assessing staffing levels and determining sustainable salaries and pay rates.

compliance

Employment laws and regulations are always in flux, so HR professionals who can thoroughly understand and stay on top of the latest changes will always be highly prized by organizations looking to keep their operations compliant. Strong policy-development skills are also a must to ensure laws get translated into actionable company-wide programs.

HRIS

Short for human resource information system, HRIS is a type of HR software that facilitates the management of a variety of key HR functions, like employee data management, benefits administration, scheduling and performance management. As technology continues to integrate itself into the HR professional’s workflow, mastery of these systems will be key to improving employment opportunities for HR pros going forward.

networking

Strong communication and relationship-building skills are still the bread and butter of the professional networker’s tool kit, but being able to take that candidate-search process online is now necessary. Beyond just contacting potential recruits on professional platforms like LinkedIn, social media recruiting has grown in prominence, enabling recruiters to tap into underutilized talent pools and engage passive candidates.

onboarding

Think of onboarding as a new employee's first impression of your organization: Get it wrong, and you could sour their experience at your organization for good. The onboarding skill set involves being able to effectively design orientation programs to communicate necessary information and ease new hires gradually into their roles.

payroll

Compensation is king when it comes to retaining today’s top talent, and payroll professionals are the ones ensuring payments get made accurately and on time. The payroll skill set involves being able to handle and organize large amounts of financial data and a knowledge of relevant employment tax laws and regulations.

recruiting

The recruiting skill set involves being an expert judge of talent and potential combined with excellent communication and networking skills. As you may have guessed, the role involves more technology than it used to, with many recruiters now using tools like advanced sourcing technologies and social media to discover and vet potential candidates.

SHRM

Developed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the SHRM certification — which includes the SHRM Certified Professional and SHRM Senior Certified Professional credentials, are designed for HR professionals looking to take the next step in their careers. While not required for all positions, acquiring a certification can help boost employment opportunities for HR pros as certain employers may require it.

training programs

As digital transformation continues to reshape occupations all across the workforce, continual training and development has never been more important. HR pros who are able to assess skills gaps, project future needs and develop effective training programs to address them will be needed even more going forward.

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