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Earning a degree (bachelor’s or master’s) in human resources means you’re going to be working extensively with people. In essence, you’ll be in partnership with the company you work for and with the company’s employees. Your knowledge and skills will be very valuable to them and that is obvious from the many responsibilities you will hold.
No matter where you work—non-profit or a hospital— you’ll be involved with managing the workforce, labor relations, and the safety of every employee on the job. If, for instance, you are working in a hospital, you’ll concern yourself with general risks that could harm employees including common pathogens that may infect employees, dealing with hazardous materials correctly, and maintaining an overall safe environment.
After graduating, you’ll put every skill and piece of information you learned to use in your new position. You’ll provide information on retirement savings plans, employee insurance, and track paid leave so that employees can take time off as needed.
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What is a Hospital Human Resources Administrator or Manager?
A human resources administrator or manager is responsible for planning and coordinating administrative functions within a company or organization that specifically affect employees. If this is you, then you’ll recruit, interview, and hire new staffers. You may also plan trainings in order to keep staff up to date on new techniques, software, or best practices. In this position, you are a liaison between every employee and the administration of the company.
When you decide you want a human resources career, you need to be sure that you’re up to the significant responsibility of safe keeping the most confidential information of the company and every employee. You may want to get an idea of exactly what you’ll be responsible for. Being prepared for the enormity of this responsibility is vital.
You’ll need to have or acquire certain skills pertinent to human resources if you want to succeed in this position. The easiest way to do so is through a thorough education. These include facilitating employee relations, understanding worker’s compensation, onboarding new employees, project and performance management, customer service, teamwork and collaboration, and scheduling. Being conversant with human resources information software can lighten your workload considerably and may be a requirement depending on where you find work.
You may be referred to as a personnel manager, human resources representative or specialist, or as a human resources administrator.
Some of your daily tasks may include:
- Supervise, recruit, interview, select, hire, and train new employees
- Plan and oversee company’s employee benefits plans
- Mediate any disputes between employees
- Direct any disciplinary procedures arising from employee misconduct or mediation
- Meet with department heads to discuss staffing and training requirements
- Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements such as FMLA, ADA, EEO, and FLSA
- Supervise HR specialists and other employees
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What is the Difference Between a Hospital Human Resources Administrator and Manager?
The human resources administrator may rank directly below or above the HR manager in a managerial chart for a company. The lower level position is most concerned with completing strategic and administrative responsibilities.
They may work on benefits administration and compensation, recruit new talent to the organization and spend much of their time on compliance with state and federal regulations, or they may carry out job interviews and process payroll, answer employee questions, and administer benefit plans. Their title may instead be that of HR specialist or generalist.
The higher level position, whether that is manager or administrator in a specific organization, oversees the entire HR department, works closely with managers in strategic planning, maintains policies and procedures, and reduce legal risk by keeping those policies current. The HR manager may also deal with disciplinary issues when staff misuse their positions. They compare vendors of benefits and insurance packages and may also make performance evaluations for vendors of product used within the hospital. They also compare HR information systems so that the company continues to be competitive in employee care and compensation. The HR leader also looks up new strategies for attracting and retaining employees who are qualified.
Hospital Human Resources Administration or Management Educational Requirements
At a minimum, you should have a bachelor of healthcare administration, preferably with a concentration in human resources management, before you try to apply for this type of position. This degree equips you with the knowledge you need to work as a specialist or administrator in HR. An important area of learning concerns ethics in human resources, as well as developing problem solving in business.
A human resources administration certificate could give you additional, valuable education for an entry-level position in a hospital, non-profit, or for-profit setting. This certificate covers how employment law interacts with business, handling a growing global business environment, and the use of proper business communications.
Bachelor’s degrees are usually four-year programs, with around 120 credits required in order to graduate. Though many students are able to attend full-time and graduate within this time frame, it is becoming more common across the country to take longer than the expected four years to earn a bachelor’s degree. If you take your courses part-time, it could take you 2-4 extra years to complete all the required courses.
This degree, with a focus on business administration and perhaps a certificate or concentration in human resources, will give you a foundation in everything you need to know in order to work at a high level in a human resources department. However, you probably won’t be able to move directly into a management position unless you have very little competition for the job.
Most companies want to hire human resources administrators who know how to engage with future and current employees. It’s a major part of your role to find the best employees, hire them, and train them so that they are as productive and capable as possible.
A master’s degree is a graduate-level degree that usually takes around two years to complete and consists of 60 credit hours. These degrees are meant for those who are already working, so you should be able to work or care for your family and still complete this degree within two years. However, if you can only attend part-time, it may take another 1-2 years to finish every course you require.
Once you have your healthcare administration master’s degree, you can expect to gain higher levels of employment, including management positions, and better salary offers than you would with only a bachelor’s. This is no surprise. As positions become more and more technical and expanded, those leading need to have a higher level of expertise if they expect to be able to handle management positions.
Your degree program increases your understanding of staffing. You’ll also learn about the necessary qualities that make an employee effective. Healthcare human resources degree programs offers many specializations that allow you to create a program that best fits your personality and goals in HR.
And when you know how to manage the HR department, you can relax, knowing that the rest of the organization will function as it should.
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Possible/Similar Roles in Hospital Human Resources
As you begin your HR studies, you should know that some of the job titles may sound similar. Even the responsibilities will look alike across titles and facilities. Some, such as HR manager or HR administrator sound like they may be the same thing—but their roles are usually at least slightly different.
- HR Specialist/Generalist:
A generalist works with almost any function within a human resources department. They may help to prescreen job applicants, file documentation and keep track of paperwork, maintain personnel records for all or most of the organization’s employees, be responsible for new hire orientation, make changes to employee benefits, and explain existing and new company policies and rules to both applicants and staff.
The HR specialist focuses on just a few of the functions that a generalist does. They may be responsible for maintaining personnel records and processing employee benefit changes specifically, but not deal with training or tracking new government regulations.
- HR Manager:
The manager oversees the HR departmental staff. They are responsible for carrying out the higher-level human resources activities that senior-level staff are usually given - creating policies and carrying out negotiations with vendors, for instance.
If they are working for a small hospital, they may also assume the responsibilities that a human resources director would be responsible for - ensuring that HR policies are being carried out, for instance. The HR manager in a smaller office may also report directly to the organization’s CEO. While they aren’t in the C-suite, they rub elbows regularly with the executives who do work in that area.
- Chief HR Officer:
This role is more common in mid-sized and larger offices. In the HR field, it’s a top-level HR position. The CHRO works closely with others in the C-suite, developing and planning policies for the HR office that will eventually impact the whole organization. The CHRO, along with other executives, makes those decisions.
While the CHRO’s focus is human resources, they are responsible for discussing and creating policies and procedures that impact the entire company. They will also be responsible for ensuring compliance with state and federal employment law throughout the facility.
- Chief People Officer:
The chief people officer is a relatively new role - the CPO has to be able to see the organization from the viewpoint of the first- and second-line staff. In addition, they have to be able to communicate these views and understandings with senior leadership and those in the C-suites. This unique ability enables the organization can develop the culture they want. The role of the CPO has come about as organizations are rethinking the HR department and focusing more on the people within the company.
- Chief Talent Officer:
As the name of this executive’s role suggests, the CTO seeks out new talent by advertising opportunities for new staff or even executives who will work in the C-suites. The focus on new talent revolves around mostly executives, team leaders, and managers, though, in a hospital setting, it may also be needed in situations in which you need a specialist in a new or growing department or one with knowledge of brand new medical techniques.
The biggest part of a CTO’s day is spent planning new strategies aimed at talent acquisition as well as understanding the specific needs within departments. They may also develop talent pipelines that streamline the hiring processes in the future. Their main responsibilities are ensuring the workplace is productive and healthy, attracting new leadership and recruiting specific individuals, and evaluating performance and developing training sessions when necessary.
- Vice President of Human Resources:
The VP of Human Resources takes responsibility for the smooth functioning of an organization’s entire human resources department. They supervise managers and employees, offering consultation to management regarding well thought out staffing. This includes training, development, labor relations, budgeting, benefits, and compensation.
This executive is responsible for reviewing and developing strategies for HR so that operations are efficient. The VP also develops and discusses new ideas that may improve the functioning of the HR department. They may write and discuss briefings with executives and oversee recruitment, interviews, selections, and the hiring of new employees.
Certification and Continuing Education Requirements
Human Resource Management Certificate Program
This certification, sponsored by Rice University, the Society for Human Resource Management, and other human management associations, prepares you to take the Society for Human Resource Management certification study program and exam. The SHRM program offers both peer discussion and expert guidance so that you and your HR peers are able to retain more and learn more quickly.
You will learn the different human resources competencies: ethical practice, leadership, relationship management, business acumen, global and cultural effectiveness, and communication skills.
Because Human Resources is a people-oriented profession, you’ll be focused on learning about employee engagement, talent acquisition and retention, employee relations, and workforce management. You’ll also learn about diversity, inclusion, risk management, employment law and regulations, as well as corporate social responsibility.
The Human Resource Management Certificate exam is a challenging one. The SHRM Certified Professional exam contains 160 questions and the Senior Certified Professional exam contains 180. Both exams contain stand-alone knowledge and situational judgment, while the SCP exam also contains field test questions. You must be able to prove that you have worked in a human resources role for more than 1,000 hours in one calendar year, the equivalent of 1 year of experience.
Certifications are valid for three years and you must rectify every three years via demonstrated professional development or retaking the exam.
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Human Resource Management
SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)
Intended for senior HR professionals, this certification is focused on guiding you in developing strategies and polishing your leadership skills in human resources. The study course includes development of organizational goals as well as performance metrics and analysis.
The exam itself is composed of 150 scored questions. They are knowledge-based and also require you to demonstrate situational judgment.
To be eligible to study for this certification and take the exam, you must have the following:
- If you hold a graduate degree:
- 3 years in an HR role if your degree is in human resources
- 4 years in an HR role if your degree is not in human resources
- If you hold a bachelor’s degree:
- 4 years in an HR role if you have an HR degree
- 5 years in an HR role if you do not have an HR degree
- If you hold less than a bachelor’s degree:
- 6 years in an HR role if you do not have an HR degree
- 4 years in an HR role if your degree is related to HR
You aren’t required to hold an HR title to take the HR exam; the critical factor is your HR-related work. You must show that you have at least 1,000 hours invested in HR-related activities in one calendar year to equal one year of HR related experience.
In most states, human resource professionals aren’t required to be licensed in order to work in this field. Medical centers may be licensed. Instead of licensing, an acceptable substitute for work experience in human resources is a current Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification or a certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), which serves to fulfill the experience requirement for hiring in most cases.
Thirty semester hours of graduate-level experience in a relevant field may be a substitute for up to two years of experience. However, it will likely not be an acceptable substitute for supervisory experience if you are looking to enter a management position right away.
If your state requires that you hold some kind of official recognition of your education and experience, certification is an option to explore. Various credentialing organizations offer certifications for HR professionals at different levels.
Because you’ll be working with employment, payroll requirements, and federal regulations, certification would be visible proof to your employer that you possess the knowledge and experience you need to manage or administer an HR office in a hospital setting.
Human Resources Admin/Manager Salary and Career Outlook
Human resources administrators or managers have a bright employment outlook. Between 2020 and 2030, their employment is expected to grow 32%. This is faster than the projected average of 7% for many other occupations. Around 13,000 job openings are projected to be announced every year between 2020 and 2030.
The performance and growth of existing companies leads to the development of new companies, which will need human resources managers to develop, administer, and monitor their HR programs.
On average, the annual salary of a human resources administrator is $50,000. Their early-career salaries average $38,000 and their mid-career salaries are closer to $70,000.