SHRM's Essentials® of HR provides you with a solid overview of the key aspects of HR. It gives you practical tools you can use immediately in your organization. The knowledge you gain will help you reduce potential lawsuits and handle challenging issues effectively.
You'll learn about six key human resource management subjects:
This course awards 12 hours of professional development credit for retention of certain HR-related certifications. This course is not a preparation for the HR certification exam.
Who should take this program?
|$800||SHRM member, NIU alumni||Instructor-led, in person at NIU Naperville||Course materials and online resources included||12 hours of professional development credit available|
If you want to work in human resources management (HRM), HR may seem like the obvious degree choice—but it’s not the only one. Because HR has so many branches, from talent acquisition and training to total rewards and analytics, you can leverage the skills and knowledge gained across many educational backgrounds and experiences in your human resources career.
“HR has something for everyone,” said Deborah Guenther-Alexiou, MSHR, SHRM-SCP, a Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) adjunct instructor of business. “If you are interested in the more analytical side, you can focus on people analytics or payroll; whereas, if you like the people side of the job, there is recruiting, succession planning and employee relations—to name a few.”
With such expansive pathways, you can choose the degree program that interests you and gain skills that can be applied to multiple fields, including HR.
You’ll likely need at least a bachelor’s degree if you want to land an entry-level job in human resources. “In most companies I have worked for, a 4-year degree is required to get a starting HR position—and then additional (education) to grow to senior levels,” said Rhett W. Beyer, a director (of) training and an SNHU Master of Business Administration (MBA) adjunct instructor. "My recommendation is to find what you enjoy most about the field of HR and then tailor the rest of your education to support that.”
You might also decide to earn an HR certificate before a degree if you want an introduction to the field without committing to a degree program. Through the experience, you may realize you enjoy taking HR courses, or it might lead you to a different program that still allows you to build the pertinent skills HR professionals need.
To show employers you’re serious about taking your career to a senior level, you could also consider a master’s degree. Recruiters for management positions may prefer or even require job candidates to have that graduate credential.
If you want an HR-specific education, your best bet is to earn an HR degree. If you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, you might earn a bachelor’s in HR management. Or, if you’re already at the graduate level, you could consider a master’s in HR management. These two degrees will introduce you to the different roles and responsibilities of a human resources department, giving you a look into the career possibilities out there and helping you hone the skills needed to succeed as an HR professional in the changing workforce.
You could also choose to earn a business administration degree with a concentration in human resources. If you take that route, you can expect to study the foundations of business while also taking several classes specific to human resources. Like the HR-specific programs, you can also earn a business degree at an associate, bachelor's or master's degree level.
Some schools include credentials focused on important industry knowledge and skills built into their course assignments, allowing you to earn more than a degree as you navigate HR classes. At SNHU, for instance, you can earn credentials developed by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), including:
“More recently, universities like SNHU are offering specialized and modern degrees in HRM at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and these can be a great stepping stone into several HRM positions,” said Dr. Ranjit Nair, the CEO of an organization focused on empowering others to navigate business challenges and an SNHU human resources management adjunct instructor.
Some HR programs align their coursework and outcomes with certifications offered by the HRCI and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). This approach to learning can help prepare students to sit for certification exams, such as:
While certification preferences vary by employer, Beyer, who holds an SHRM-SCP® certification, believes the experience of achieving and maintaining certification is worthwhile.
Explore what you can do with an HR degree.
It’s okay if you're eyeing or working on a program other than HR. HR professionals hail from a variety of backgrounds. Nair, for example, earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in Information Systems. His career began in technology and finance, but he transitioned to HR management, where he now has more than 25 years of experience in areas such as talent acquisition, total rewards, talent management, and learning and development. “The technical skills I acquired through my undergraduate and graduate degree helped me to become that well-rounded professional,” Nair said.
Here are some non-HR degree programs that can pair especially well with a human resources career:
As you work on your degree, you’ll want to determine how the skills and knowledge you’re gaining can translate to the field of human resources.
“A professional with a bachelor's degree in a field other than HR can position themselves for an HR career by highlighting transferable skills in their resume, utilizing volunteer opportunities to build transferable skills, seeking an HR certificate or certification and completing projects in their current jobs that align with the day-to-day operations of HR professionals,” said Lisa Jammer, an HR adjunct instructor at SNHU.
Depending on the number of credits you already have and the program you decide to pursue, you may find you have free electives. Free electives allow you to explore additional subjects and subjects that interest you. While you could choose these classes at random, you might also think about the skills and knowledge you'll need as an HR professional and take classes that can help you get where you want to be.
“For example, a student interested in pursuing an HR analytics role may want to take electives that build their knowledge of data analysis and analytics,” Jammer said.
If you have a non-HR major, you might consider using some of your electives to explore HR-specific topics. Guenther-Alexiou suggests classes involving:
Accounting, business, communication and information technology courses can also be helpful, according to Guenther-Alexiou. “Skills in those areas can help you work with different individuals and departments organization-wide,” she said.
You can also use your free electives to add an academic minor to your program. Your academic advisor can help you match your interests and existing credits to a minor that aligns with the skills you hope to develop.
Learn more about what minors are and how you can use them to your benefit.
Breaking into any field can feel intimidating, but there’s good news when it comes to HR: You probably already have relevant professional or academic experience that you can point to in job interviews. This makes HR a solid field for career changers to consider.
“HR is not necessarily a difficult field to break into because, many times, individuals will have had previous work experience that involves the people element or management,” Guenther-Alexiou said. Even if you don’t have professional experiences relating to human resources, she said you can join HR organizations and associations to help you network and make connections.
When you are ready to start applying for entry-level HR jobs, Guenther-Alexiou recommends seeking out HR coordinator or assistant positions and working your way up. That’s what she did: While working at a resort, she took an interest in human resources.
“When an HR coordinator position opened up in the company, I threw caution to the wind and applied for the position,” she said. “To my surprise, the HR director hired me.” Now, with the help of a master’s degree and HR certifications, Guenther-Alexiou is an HR director herself.
Jammer is also a career changer who came to HR after working in accounts receivables and treasury roles. “To successfully transition, I located a mentor, completed (informational) interviews, accepted volunteer opportunities to expand my transferable skills and pursued HR courses,” she said. “After 18 months, I was able to transfer into the HR profession, and it's been extremely rewarding.”
To ensure you're a competitive candidate for HR positions, Jammer suggests:
“So long as the desire to work in HRM is there, and you have certain skills and competencies, making the career transition to HRM can be quite seamless,” Nair said.
That entirely depends on what you want to do in human resources, but certain soft skills can be helpful no matter where you end up.
Written and verbal communication skills, for example, are what Jammer believes to be the most important. “HR professionals are required to draft policies, communications, training, strategic plans, etc.,” she said. “Additionally, they verbally strategize with leaders, communicate change, facilitate resolution and much more.”
Some other interpersonal skills that can be helpful, according to the SNHU adjuncts and HR professionals, are:
Some additional subjects the adjuncts recommend you familiarize yourself with for success in HR include:
Ultimately, you’ll want to have a well-rounded skill set relating to business and people. "One of the key differentiators I have seen between successful HR professionals and non-successful HR professionals is the ability to become a business partner,” Beyer said. “It doesn’t mean you have to specialize in every area of a business, but it does mean you need to understand the business well enough to understand how decisions made in HR will affect business overall.”
As you narrow in on your human resources interests, read through job descriptions to identify what types of skills would be essential to develop.
If you discover you love human resources, you may aspire to become an HR manager one day. Your years of experience may be enough to unlock the position, Nair said, but earning a master’s degree can signal how serious you are about climbing the ladder. “Having a relevant graduate degree tells your employer that you are intentional about moving into more senior roles,” he said.
While your bachelor’s degree can be in a variety of fields if you want to enter human resources, focusing on an HR-specific degree can be worth it if you’re eyeing a management position. “I’d recommend one with (an) HR focus, or, at a minimum, a strong business focus,” Beyer said. “Both will help you better understand some of the higher-level requirements that come with working in HR.”
Two of your best options include the Master of Science (MS) in HR Management or an MBA program. The one you choose depends on whether you’d like to narrow in on HR in your classes or gain a greater holistic understanding of business in general. Either way, you can expect to work toward important learning outcomes.
“These competencies include being a change champion, a relationship builder, a technology integrator, an innovative thinker and a credible activist to drive the engagement of employees in the workplace,” Nair said.
Discover more about SNHU's bachelor's in HR management: Find out what courses you'll take, skills you'll learn and how to request information about the program.
Rebecca LeBoeuf ’18 is a writer at Southern New Hampshire University. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
HR Strategies and Solutions one-day seminars will help you become a strategic business partner and contribute to the success of your organization. You'll gain tools and resources you can use in the workplace, as well as receive opportunities to network and share best practices. And you'll earn 6.5 hours of professional development credit to maintain your credentials.
|$575||SHRM member, NIU alumni||Instructor-led, in person||Course materials included||6.5 hours of professional development credit available|
Comprehensive guidebook empowers HR professionals, business leaders and managers to better address employee health and wellness
HONG KONG, Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Alea has published a free handbook on employee health benefits, the top employee benefit requested by staff in Hong Kong. The Ultimate HR Guide to Employee Health Benefits in Hong Kong uses accessible language, clear steps and expert tips to help HR professionals, business leaders and managers better understand their options. The guide is available as an interactive webpage and ebook in both English and Chinese, and includes free downloadable checklists and templates.
As talent acquisition and retention bring considerable challenges for businesses, and with Hong Kong's private healthcare system the second most expensive in the world, medical insurance has become the most in-demand employee benefit. "This handbook is the first of its kind in Hong Kong: a comprehensive guide that will be invaluable for HR teams and decision-makers," says Alea co-founder Julien Mathieu.
"Between cheaper, mass-market insurance options and lesser-known but higher-quality plans, choosing the right insurance plan can be daunting, and industry jargon is usually confusing. Plus, how do you know if you have the right plan or if you're getting the best value, year-after-year? We saw a real information gap in the market, so we created this unique guide. We want to empower HR professionals with the knowledge and confidence to better take care of their employees' wellbeing. After all, happy, healthy employees make successful organizations," he adds.
With almost a decade of specialist experience advising startups, SMEs and MNCs, Alea has deep knowledge of the Hong Kong insurance and healthcare landscapes. The guide covers subjects such as evaluating an organization's insurance needs, selecting the right insurance provider, pitching executive management, signing an insurance contract, managing the plan, and handling renewal.
Additionally, readers will get free access to the following materials:
The release of the handbook will be followed by an exclusive webinar for HR professionals, to be held on 21 October, during which Alea experts will share their insights on how to select and manage a group medical plan and answer questions from attendees.
To learn more about the upcoming webinar (Cantonese only), visit:
To view the The Ultimate HR Guide to Employee Health Benefits in Hong Kong, visit:
You can also obtain ebook straight to your device through https://file-alea.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/HR_Guide_c57292f054.pdf
*Alea brokerage services are operated by Alea Insurance Ltd., Insurance Broker Company Licence No FB1417.
Alea (formerly AD MediLink) is reinventing the health and life insurance experience for families and companies with choice, unbiased advice, simplicity and a focus on wellbeing.
Since 2013, Alea has helped thousands of clients compare personalized insurance options from over 25 well-known insurance providers, including AXA, April, Bupa, Cigna, FWD and more. Alea differentiates itself by combining deep healthcare knowledge with award-winning customer care.
With a mission to help others take control of their health so they can lead better, longer lives, Alea provides expert advice on life insurance, health insurance and employee benefits to a wide range of local and international companies.
For more information about Alea, visit https://alea.care/
For further details, please contact:
Alea Marketing and PR Department
Tel: +852 2606 2668
As your startup or small business grows and hires more employees, you may need help managing your team and navigating labor laws. When that time comes, should you simply use a co-employment model like a professional employer organization (PEO), or would your company benefit more from an internal human resources department? Both options have advantages and drawbacks, so we spoke with human resources experts to learn the primary pros and cons of having an in-house HR department.
A human resources department is the part of an organization that manages and organizes all aspects of staff and human capital. It is responsible for administrative tasks, operational functions, employee growth and culture, and legal compliance with federal, state and industry regulations. Although very small businesses might forgo an HR department, a general rule of thumb is to hire roughly 1.4 HR employees for every 100 workers.
Editor’s note: Looking for the right professional employer organization (PEO) for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
An HR department has a lot of responsibilities, with the primary goal of helping employees accomplish companywide and individual objectives.
“The HR department sources, recruits, onboards, trains, promotes, deploys and rewards the talent needed to reach the organization’s objectives,” Doug Coffey, HR expert and assistant teaching professor at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, told business.com. “And HR staff can’t do it single-handedly. HR must partner with the organization’s leadership team and other staff to make it happen.”
In addition to hiring, training, and terminating employees, an HR department is responsible for performing administrative tasks, creating a company culture, writing an employee handbook, facilitating employee benefits, managing payroll and taxes, and maintaining legal risk and compliance measures with federal, state and industry regulations.
FYI: Maintaining compliance with labor and employment laws can be tough to do on your own, but a good HR department can help you successfully navigate common HR compliance challenges.
We consulted HR experts to learn the biggest benefits of having an HR department. Here are the top three advantages they cited.
An internal HR department can create rapport and Strengthen employee engagement through face-to-face conversations. Since your HR department will know your workforce on a personal level, your staff is likely to feel more comfortable bringing up any workplace issues they are experiencing. An HR team member can then address and resolve those issues, boosting employee satisfaction and morale.
“[An internal HR department] generally helps employees to resolve their issues, especially when it’s related to work, teammates or managers,” said Shradha Kumari, head of human resources at SurveySensum.
An internal HR department can also nurture company culture by hosting effective team discussions and engaging events based on team members’ personal needs and interests.
When you have an internal HR department, you are keeping your intellectual property and organization practices internal as well. This can help you to secure confidential information, monitor your employees’ productivity, control your organization and reduce unethical practices within the organization. Additionally, Kumari said that an internal team can help you to understand the reasons behind attrition and retain your best talent.
When you have an in-house HR department, you and your team have access to reliable, in-person assistance. Because they know and understand your business, they can quickly help resolve internal issues and keep your organization on track. Kumari said that an HR department can lighten a tense situation between employees and support them throughout the process of resolving their issues.
“An internal HR department helps to ensure continuity of HR staff and consistency of service and policy administration,” Coffey added. “For most line managers, having an HR professional who knows you and your business’s needs is the basis of proactive, successful collaboration before problems blossom.”
With an internal HR department, you have full control over your HR functions. This means you can create and enforce policies that match your organization. You also have the luxury of speed: Since an internal HR department is often onsite, you can quickly modify policies as needed and relay them to the entire company.
Although the organizational structure of your HR team may vary, it often includes a knowledgeable team of experts. These HR professionals can help you comply with labor and employment laws and evolve your business’s practices as those laws change. This can be incredibly difficult for a business owner or a single HR professional to do on their own.
Recruiting and hiring employees can be a difficult and time-consuming task. If it’s done improperly, you are left with bad hires and high employee turnover. However, an HR department can dedicate time to strategically staffing your organization with top talent. They understand how to recruit and onboard employees, and they know what to look for when determining culture fit.
Managing HR responsibilities is a lot of work, and sometimes an internal HR staff is not enough to fulfill your needs. There are a few challenges to hiring an internal HR specialist, primarily concerning cost and effectiveness.
An in-house HR department can be more expensive than outsourcing because you will be hiring at least one full-time employee, and the pay rate for an experienced HR manager isn’t cheap. Also, when you have an HR team member onsite, employees may feel more comfortable making requests that can cost your company money.
Another challenge of hiring an in-house HR department is finding someone who is the right fit for your organization and can fulfill all of your HR needs. If you do not have the right department members in place, your company will suffer, but finding someone who is the right fit and can subsequently hire more right fits can be difficult. It is not uncommon for an internal HR department to have limits on their time as well as expertise.
“As an HR professional, I often felt the need to reach out to external sources who were subject-matter experts in areas where I was lacking or where I wanted fresh advice,” Coffey said. “Sometimes an internal HR department devotes so much attention to the day-to-day activities needed to keep the organization running that cutting-edge skills development suffers. These skills are what HR professionals need to add the most value.”
Since an internal HR department is onsite, they will engage with organization members daily, which is both good and bad. While it can facilitate a positive company culture, it may also be difficult for them to remain unbiased in their duties if your HR staff becomes too submissive or friendly with colleagues or management.
As your business gets bigger, your HR functions may become too much for one person to handle. An HR department may be necessary when your business reaches a tipping point and matters need to be handled internally. Once an organization reaches a certain size – more than 50 employees – it’s often necessary to hire an HR department.
Growing businesses that simply want to hold on to their company culture may also want to consider hiring an HR professional or HR department. The in-house HR staff can steer the culture in the desired direction and keep it on track.
Bottom line: In-house HR departments are best for businesses with 50 or more employees, as well as growing organizations that want to keep their HR in-house.
The strategy you use for creating your department can vary. You can hire a person or team to handle all your functions in-house, or you can create a hybrid model by pairing your HR department with a top PEO service or a highly rated HR outsourcing (HRO) service.
You can hire an HR department gradually or all at once, depending on your budget and needs. Consider your options and determine which one will be most cost-effective and valuable for your organization. If the need for an internal HR department is not clear, consider an interim solution, like contracting staff or outsourcing HR services, until a permanent in-house HR department is necessary.
Try to hire HR professionals who understand your company’s vision and mission, as they will largely steer your company culture.
“Although decisions may be reversible, a small business owner needs to carefully evaluate when it makes sense to invest in building an HR department,” Coffey said. “Most of this investment consists of committed fixed costs or long-term costs that are hard to undo if the need is no longer there.”
Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
Lilit Davtyan is the CEO of Phonexa, an all-in-one marketing solution for calls, leads, clicks, email, SMS, accounting and more.
Elevating the infrastructure of human resources should be at the top of mind for all businesses as a way for your company to gain a competitive advantage over competitors, especially in today’s ultra-competitive job market. But building and maintaining an efficient HR infrastructure requires a strategic, forward-thinking approach.
I have firsthand experience in identifying and resolving issues that hinder the efficiency of an HR infrastructure, and based on this experience, I see how there are often not enough protocols and controls in place as a company grows. They frequently use antiquated tools or systems for everyday procedures, and, in some cases, do not even have the appropriate HR staff or protocols in place.
Here are some tips to consider when evaluating your current HR infrastructure to pinpoint areas for improvement.
Assess what kind of HR infrastructure your company needs.
Not having an HR department can quickly prove to be a problem for startups. It sounds impractical to have an HR protocol when you have one or two employees, but it can be worth the investment of time and doesn’t necessarily require a significant financial investment.
Even with just one employee, the research that you conduct to ensure your organization is following the proper HR protocols will prove to be invaluable. Expanding the number of employees without these protocols in place will inevitably result in disorder. Furthermore, hiring more employees without proper HR protocols makes it harder to get those same employees to change when building an HR infrastructure.
Leaders should implement HR protocols from the day they hire their first employee. A company with just one or two employees doesn't have to hire an HR professional, but they should definitely have accurate protocols and processes from the beginning.
Take actionable steps to evolve as your company grows.
Business leaders must have a clear understanding of what they hired an HR department to do for their business versus what they hired them to do for their employees; it cannot be geared toward either the business or the employees.
There has to be a balance, which means you have to find the right HR professional who has the employees’ best interests at heart while also keeping the best interests of the company in mind. Employees should always feel comfortable when going to an HR professional for assistance, and HR should feel comfortable recommending an infrastructure to implement on behalf of the employees as well.
An organization’s culture and mission will inevitably change as the company grows. As such, your HR department has to be dynamic enough to recognize those patterns. If the company’s goal is to diversify, HR protocols must change in order to bring in more diverse employees. If your company's goal is to market to talent with technical expertise, the HR department has to strategize ways to bring those people into the organization.
Employ tools to simplify procedures.
Technology is ever-evolving, and companies can leverage new technology to simplify their HR infrastructure.
For example, companies can elevate their HR infrastructure by employing an efficient payroll system—one that preferably has the components to make employees’ lives easier. For example, if an employee has a change in their household, will they have access to log into the payroll system to make those changes in a confidential manner or will they have to email HR? Both options are fine, but employees shouldn’t have to ask other employees for advice when searching for answers.
Employees should always have the option to go directly to HR or utilize the technology provided to get the answers they need. An access management system can also simplify daily HR procedures. This system ensures that HR knows what access employees have so that when an employee changes positions or leaves the company, access is properly managed.
Performance review systems are just as important for building a better HR infrastructure, although companies have to make sure these systems align with their business model. For instance, if you want employee feedback as well as supervisor feedback, then you have to find the right system to facilitate that process. If you want employees to request salary increases electronically during their performance reviews, then that is another system to find.
There is a multitude of systems available to streamline HR processes, but not all will align with your business. Companies must do their due diligence before putting planful actions in place to Strengthen their HR infrastructure.
Evaluate your current infrastructure to assess where changes need to be made. In addition to implementing HR protocols and tech tools, employing seasoned HR professionals and creating training programs for employees will go a long way in evolving your HR infrastructure and, in turn, enhancing your company culture.
Your company will ultimately benefit from taking actionable steps toward elevating your HR infrastructure, so plan accordingly.
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New Jersey, United States, Sept. 26, 2022 /DigitalJournal/ Adopting HR professional services allows retailers to focus on their core business while implementing improved HRM techniques. Additionally, the rapid growth of the retail industry has resulted in the large-scale hiring of employees, which creates employee retention issues.
Growing preference for automation of HR processes and integration of big data analytics and mobile technology in professional services is driving the market. There is a growing need to manage additional HR activities such as making strategic decisions and aligning an organizations goals, vision and mission with HR functions. In order to devote more time to decision-making and analysis, organizations prefer to opt for HR professional services for regular HR administrative functions.
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The Human Resource (HR) Professional Services Market research report provides all the information related to the industry. It gives the markets outlook by giving authentic data to its client which helps to make essential decisions. It gives an overview of the market which includes its definition, applications and developments, and technology. This Human Resource (HR) Professional Services market research report tracks all the latest developments and innovations in the market. It gives the data regarding the obstacles while establishing the business and guides to overcome the upcoming challenges and obstacles.
This Human Resource (HR) Professional Services research report throws light on the major market players thriving in the market; it tracks their business strategies, financial status, and upcoming products.
Some of the Top companies Influencing this Market include:SAP SE, ADP, Inc, Oracle Corporation, Ultimate Software, IBM Corporation, Cornerstone On Demand, Inc, Skillsoft, Workday, Inc, Kronos, Inc,
Firstly, this Human Resource (HR) Professional Services research report introduces the market by providing an overview that includes definitions, applications, product launches, developments, challenges, and regions. The market is forecasted to reveal strong development by driven consumption in various markets. An analysis of the current market designs and other basic characteristics is provided in the Human Resource (HR) Professional Services report.
The region-wise coverage of the market is mentioned in the report, mainly focusing on the regions:
Segmentation Analysis of the market
The market is segmented based on the type, product, end users, raw materials, etc. the segmentation helps to deliver a precise explanation of the market
Market Segmentation: By Type
Employee Collaboration & Engagement
Workforce Planning & Analytics
Market Segmentation: By Application
IT & Telecom
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An assessment of the market attractiveness about the competition that new players and products are likely to present to older ones has been provided in the publication. The research report also mentions the innovations, new developments, marketing strategies, branding techniques, and products of the key participants in the global Human Resource (HR) Professional Services market. To present a clear vision of the market the competitive landscape has been thoroughly analyzed utilizing the value chain analysis. The opportunities and threats present in the future for the key market players have also been emphasized in the publication.
This report aims to provide:
Table of Contents
Global Human Resource (HR) Professional Services Market Research Report 2022 – 2029
Chapter 1 Human Resource (HR) Professional Services Market Overview
Chapter 2 Global Economic Impact on Industry
Chapter 3 Global Market Competition by Manufacturers
Chapter 4 Global Production, Revenue (Value) by Region
Chapter 5 Global Supply (Production), Consumption, Export, Import by Regions
Chapter 6 Global Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type
Chapter 7 Global Market Analysis by Application
Chapter 8 Manufacturing Cost Analysis
Chapter 9 Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers
Chapter 10 Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders
Chapter 11 Market Effect Factors Analysis
Chapter 12 Global Human Resource (HR) Professional Services Market Forecast
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After steering environmental services company WM through the pandemic as its chief people officer, Tamla Oates-Forney left to serve as EVP and CHRO at USAA, beginning that new role Aug. 8.
It’s an exciting time to be in human resources, she told HR Dive; the profession is finally getting its due, but HR pros must be ready to contribute to business strategy.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
TAMLA OATES-FORNEY: The industry is different obviously: environmental services to financial services. So are the ages of the companies. I’ve left a 54-year-old company for a 100-year-old company. And then I’m going from a public company to a private one. But at the heart of them both are the importance of our people and the role that they play in moving the company forward.
When I came to WM after 20 years at GE, CEO Jim Fish made a public declaration he wanted the company to transition from profit first to people first. That’s people first not in lieu of profitability, but people first for the sake of profitability. They never had a true “HR professional” — their words, not mine — to make that happen. It was a challenge but a challenge I was really excited about because I understand the power of people in terms of progressing a company.
I also knew I had an obligation and role to play in terms of people viewing environmental services as an employer of choice. In 2021, we implemented a program called “Your Tomorrow” where we provided educational benefits not only for the employees but also their dependents including spouse and children. It was game changing for industry.
My father and one of my brothers are veterans, and another brother is now in a second branch of service. I have strong military roots, so coming to a company that’s been around for 100 years, and that is very purpose- and mission-driven, was a great opportunity. It allowed me to also exercise my muscles from an HR perspective in a different industry.
When I was entertaining this option, I talked to my boss at WM about it. We had that kind of relationship and transparency. He told me he, too, was a 26-year member of USAA, and said “I don’t want to lose you but opportunities like this don’t come along often.” When I told my dad, you would have thought I won the lottery.
We have 39,000 employees, primarily in eight different regional offices and headquartered in San Antonio. We have a primarily professional workforce with a large contingency of member services representatives. We’re constantly engaged in providing our members with exceptional quality and services.
Our benefit offerings are — honestly speaking — unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We provide for our workforce comprehensively because we really believe in providing for the entire wellness of the employees so they can in turn take care of our members.
If employees feel like they have a voice, and employers listen to them, they have no reason to go anywhere else.
We recently announced a third inflationary bonus payment for our employees. We also just launched development hours, giving employees 32 hours a year to focus on themselves. That came directly from listening to employees. One of the things they told us is that we have great learning opportunities, but they don’t have time. So we carved out time. If employees feel like they have a voice, and employers listen to them, they have no reason to go anywhere else.
One of the things you have to do is truly and effectively articulate your company’s employee value proposition in context of why your organization should be an employer of choice. It has to be more than just a paycheck. For most people today, “purpose” is differentiation. A paycheck is just one of the table stakes. Also, think about creating a career trajectory for employees and showing evidence of that being the case. That is a part of our EVP and should be part of any company’s EVP.
We’re very fortunate we have a strong brand that has staying power, that’s been around for a long time and that is mission-driven. This mission is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It’s more than just words on a sheet of paper or imprinted on a mural. It is something that is pervasive throughout the company and embedded in everything that we do.
It’s important for you to really understand your "why.” Oftentimes when I ask college students why they want to go into HR, the answer I often receive is that they like people. Not everybody’s going to like you in this role. It’s not a party-planning job.
HR is also evolving. You should be engaged in the strategy of the company.
Prior to COVID-19, some HR professionals didn’t have a seat at the table. You didn’t have a lot of CHROs in the boardroom. Now, every single company understands that unless you get the people equation right, your ability to win as a company is going to be suboptimized. The value of our position has been elevated, and we have to show up differently than before — as business leaders who happen to be leading HR.
It’s a phenomenal profession and we are finally getting our just due in terms of people understanding the value that we bring. It’s an exciting time to be in this profession.
It is hard to read, watch, or scroll through the news today without recognizing that the U.S. economy is in a state of uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic. While some experts are divided on whether an official recession is in our future, people nationwide are dealing with inflation’s impact on fundamentals. According to latest data, the Consumer Price Index rose 9.1% from a year ago, with some of the biggest price increases in food, rent, and gasoline. On top of this, employers are seeing a significant rise in health care costs and some corporations are facing tightening budgets and layoffs, despite historic lows in unemployment.
While business professionals do plan for future economic white waters, it is critical for HR and benefits professionals to proactively plan for the impact this uncertainty can have on their workforce and company culture. Financial stress can affect employee mental health, productivity, and retention, which can contribute to an overall undesirable environment. Despite these negative indicators, HR leaders have opportunities to engage and support their employees, encourage them to be present and productive, and feel better about their circumstances. Here are three key ways HR leaders can address these issues and Strengthen financial wellbeing among their workforce during times of economic uncertainty, and Strengthen overall wellbeing in the process.
With the addition of Slate's HR Technology Services division, Slate provides client-side implementation support for organizations implementing new human resources technology.
Slate expands its professional staffing services to include client-side implementation support for organizations utilizing new human resources technology.When you work with Slate, you will have partners, advocates, and subject matter experts (SMEs) working on your project using only proven best practices tailored to fit the needs of your organization.” — Andrea Coberly, vice president of HR Technology Services
FREEHOLD, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2022 / / -- Professional Resources today announced the launch of its new HR Technology division, which will focus on providing HR technology experts to assist organizations with the launch of their new HR technology systems, including human resources information systems (HRIS), human resources management systems (HRMS), and human capital management systems (HCM).
Slate's new HR Technology division will bring in a team of experts to assist organizations through each phase of the project; from the initial RFP stage, to testing and change management, through post implementation support.
“Software implementations are complex and can be very difficult for companies to navigate alone – many companies struggle to implement new HR technology systems for their organizations,” said Andrea Coberly, vice president of HR Technology Services at Slate.“Our experts provide step-by-step guidance throughout the entire implementation process. This helps our clients to feel empowered to make informed decisions.”
Slate provides each client with a seasoned team of HR technology experts and a proven, comprehensive HR Technology implementation plan. This positions Slate's clients for a successful HR technology integration, saving their clients time and money.
“When you work with us, you will have partners, advocates, and subject matter experts (SMEs) working on your project using only proven best practices tailored to fit the needs of your organization,” said Andrea Coberly.“And because we are not affiliated with any software companies, we are able to provide an unbiased, honest approach without pushing a vendor's agenda. Our experts partner with our clients throughout their software integration journeys and truly advocate for them.”
Slate works with a team of subject matter experts (SME) to streamline the implementation process and relieve the stress that a software implementation can bring to an organization.
Andrea Coberly adds,“Because Slate provides a team of supportive, knowledgeable SMEs, your team members will be less overwhelmed because they will be fully supported by a strong team of HR technology system experts. Slate's team strives to ensure their clients will have the client-side support they need to get to go-live and beyond.”
The SMEs Slate works with to provide clients with a positive implementation experience and successful launch include:
•Certified Change Management Experts
•Certified Project Managers
•BI Reporting Consultants
•Time and Attendance Consultants
Slate's team of SMEs can help their clients with the following modules:
•Time and Attendance
Slate also has experts available to assist with Reporting, Integrations and Change Management.
Slate's HR technology team partners with their clients as they take on the difficult tasks related to software integration, simplifying and streamlining the implementation process. This allows their clients to meet their goals, save time and money, ease the workload of a client's existing team, and ensure an excellent HR technology system rollout experience.
About Slate Professional Resources
Slate Professional Resources has been an established leader in professional recruiting and consulting since 2009. Slate identifies top talent for both contract and permanent roles to meet our clients' long- and short-term needs. Slate specializes in for a diverse range of industries, including Financial Technology (FinTech), Financial Services, Information Technology (IT), and Accounting. With the addition of Slate's HR Technology Services division, Slate provides client-side implementation support for organizations implementing new .
Chris Novick, SVP, Business Development
Slate Professional Resources
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