1. 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.

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2. 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.

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3. 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.

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4. 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.

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5. 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.

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best human resources skills and certifications