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A Look At 5 In-Demand HR Specialties

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Responsibilities of human resources departments have broadened over recent years in response to changes in laws on healthcare insurance, equal opportunity employment, workplace safety and information technology. The profession has expanded to include roles that focus on these and other specialty areas.

Full-scale HR departments in large organizations need expertise in these specialty roles to fulfill their function’s strategic business role and to continue providing a great “employee experience” for their end users. Smaller organizations also need help in these specialty areas and often depend on the services of HR specialty consultants to meet their needs.

Some of the specialties, including one identified below, prefer or require a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. If you think you may want to pursue an MBA, consider the online Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources Management from the University of West Florida. The program offers the flexibility of online learning and the combination of advanced business and HR-focused education you need for the HR specialties described below.

High Demand for 5 Human Resources Specialty Skills

While there are many HR specialty areas, the need is especially fast-growing for professionals in the following five specialties, as reported by Monster.

Employee Assistance Plan Manager: This role goes by several other titles including employee welfare manager, work and family programs manager, or work-life manager. Regardless of the title, this role may oversee programs such as:

  • Counseling services
  • Child-care and elder-care programs
  • Flex-time programs
  • Occupational safety and health standards and practices
  • Health and physical-fitness plans
  • Food service and recreational activities
  • Medical examinations

Education: A bachelor’s degree and frequently a master’s degree in human resources management.

Experience: At least five years of HR experience.

Employment, Recruitment and Placement Specialist: Recruiter is another name for this role. Responsibilities include:

  • Recruiting and placing workers
  • Attending job fairs and visiting college campuses to scout promising job applicants
  • Screening, interviewing and testing applicants
  • Checking references
  • Extending job offers

Education: A bachelor’s degree in psychology or business management.

Training and Development Specialist: Two specialized HR positions, such as training and development manager and organizational development consultant, often take the place of this role. A person in the combined role facilitates and supervises employee training and development programs. Generally, a training and development specialist works with training managers and staff supervisors to define performance improvement measures, facilitate orientation sessions and arrange training to help workers enhance job skills.

Education: A bachelor’s degree in business administration or business management, with some employers requiring a Master of Business Administration degree as well.

Experience: More than five years of HR-related experience.

Human Resources Information System (HRIS) Analyst: This role coordinates, communicates and implements changes to HR information systems.

Education: A bachelor’s degree in information systems or a related field.

Compensation and Benefits Manager: This role designs, implements and oversees an organization’s programs, policies and procedures relevant to salaries, benefits, rewards, and sometimes healthcare, other insurance coverage, pensions and retirement plans.

Education: A bachelor’s degree in human resources management, with some employers preferring a master’s degree in management or human resources.

Experience: At least five years in the field or a related area.

Learn more about UWF’s online MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources Management.


Employment Law Handbook: New Laws and Regulations for 2019

Business News Daily: 5 Big Regulatory Changes That Could Affect Your Business The Importance of Modern Communication in HR

Monster: Five Growing Human Resources Specialties

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