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Human Resources Specialist

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Career Overview

Are you personable? Great at interacting with different personality types? If this sounds like you, you should check out a career as a human resources specialist.This is a very hands-on job with many meetings and opportunities to meet countless people. As a human resources specialist, you are an important face of the company you work at. You will recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. Collaborating with your coworkers to help them describe the candidate they are looking for will help you to find a person with the correct work experience and fitting personality type to join their team.For example, they may tell you they are seeking someone who is a hard worker with a sense of humor. This will help you to filter through the candidates you have phone interviews with. When you call an applicant, you could ask them how they interact with their coworkers - "do they enjoy joking around or are they very serious at all times? Their response can help you determine if they will be a good fit or not. A candidate could have excellent work experience, but if you find that their personality isn't going to mesh well with a particular team, they might not be the right person for the job.In addition to interviewing candidates, you will often handle payroll and benefits, as well as training. This is a crucial part of your job since payroll and benefits have strict regulations. Luckily, you will work on a team to complete these tasks so you won't have to panic about finishing paperwork for the entire company entirely on your own.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

2013 Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs in 2013
Projected Growth Rate
National
$60,350
553,950
7.1 %
Virginia
$70,840
19,900
 

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelor's Degree in Business, Human Resources, or a related field

If you want to become a human resources specialist, you will need to earn your bachelor's degree in business, human resources, or a related field. You can expect to take courses in business, professional writing, human resource management, and accounting.Some employers will want you to have previous work experience. Not sure where to start? Working as a human resources assistant or customer service associate will help you to gain important experience. Demonstrating your abilities to work well with customers will impress potential employers.

 
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Valued Traits & Abilities

Communication Skills
Detail Oriented
Decision-Making Skills

Career Opportunities

There are several types of human resources specialists. If becoming a general human resources specialist doesn't interest you, not to worry. There are other paths you could take in your career if you're looking for something different. Depending on what you would like to do, you can choose to work as a placement specialist, recruitment specialist, and more.

Placement Specialists

As the name suggests, these professionals work with qualified jobseekers to help place them with employers. If you choose to become one, you will search for candidates who have the skills, education, and work experience needed for jobs, and then try to place these candidates with employers. If an employer is interested in a candidate you have presented to them, you will help set up an interview.

Recruitment Specialist

These experts, also known as personnel recruiters, find, screen, and interview applicants for job openings in an organization. If you decide to become a recruiter, you will post job listings and attend job fairs. You will also test applicants and contact references. This can be a rather exciting job, since you get to be the person who shares the happy news when an applicant is offered a position.

Work Environment

This is a full-time Monday through Friday 9-5 job. You can choose to work at an employment placement agency, temporary help services, or a professional employer organization, among other companies. This can be an exciting job for you if you like variety. Depending on where you work, you may often travel extensively to attend job fairs, visit college campuses, and meet with applicants.

* Source: BLS Data - 2013