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Career: Human Resource Manager

Angela deFreitas

Contributor
What would a business or organisation be without its human resources? The right human resources, carefully selected, with the correct mix and balance of skills, training and qualifications, can lead a business or organisation to great success. A company's human resources are, literally, its workers.

WHO IS A HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER?
A human resource manager is tasked with the responsibility of finding workers with the right set of skills, talents and abilities to match positions in a way which will enhance and develop a business. Human resource managers are an essential component of the management team and their role has changed in recent times from just being responsible for payroll, and hiring and firing, to that of finding the best talent available to move the business forward.

Sometimes considered to be the same as personnel management, the debate continues as to whether these two things are one and the same.

WHAT THE WORK INVOLVES
At some time during the workday, a human resource manager may:
Oversee advertising for available positions, interview, select and hire for a company or organisation.
Handle employment issues such as employee benefits, vacation leave, sick leave.
Plan and coordinate an organisation's workforce to best use employees' talents.
Serve as a link between an organisation's management and its employees.
Advise other managers on human resource issues such employees' annual appraisals, promotions, transfers, gender equality and sexual harassment.
Mediate disputes and implement corrective measures.

Depending on the size of the organisation, an HR manager may supervise other staff in the department in carrying out these functions.
Human resource managers will find work in all industries and in companies of varying sizes and means. Their work is generally nine to five, but extra hours may sometimes be required.

WHO IS THIS CAREER FOR?
Human resource managers must have good interpersonal skills, as the work involves dealing with people from varying backgrounds and with different levels of qualifications and education. Success in this career requires good decision-making, leadership and organisational skills to deal with many different job tasks, problems and issues, sometimes at the same time. Good speaking skills will be required in communicating information to staff and also for making presentations. They must be well organised as a lot of documentation is needed in relation to individual members of staff.

WHAT CAN I EARN?
You will earn a medium- to high-level remuneration, depending on the size and means of the company for which you work.

HOW DO I QUALIFY AND WHO OFFERS TRAINING IN JAMAICA?
Many tertiary institutions offer human resource management training programmes with qualifications ranging from certificates and diplomas to degrees. Amongst them are:
The Mona School of Business at UWI
The University of Technology (UTech)
The Management Institute for National Development (MIND)
Northern Caribbean University (NCU)
The University College of the Caribbean (UCC)
The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica (HRMAJ), guides human resource professionals in Jamaica. The association offers short training programmes from time to time and can help to guide you in your career path.

Angela deFreitas is general manager of CHOICES Career & Education Advice -
Email: info@choicesonlinejm.com
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