So you just hire and fire people, right?

Yes and no. We do much more in between.

A graphic explaining the areas of HR, as described in the text below HR Specialists can be responsible for:

  • communication & connection to the mission

  • employee engagement, team morale & motivation

  • workplace design & wellness

  • hiring & onboarding

  • growth & development

  • customer experience

HR specialists act as an important link between the organization and the employee. Although they are trained in all areas of human resources, they tend to specialize in one.

So What Do They Actually Do?

Depending on their area, they may:

  • phone candidates, schedule and conduct interviews

  • organize and host new employee orientation

  • develop training materials and deliver training sessions

  • guide employees through HR procedures

  • administer compensation and benefits

  • sometimes fire employees

A meme explaining the different perceptions people have of the job

How much will I be paid?

This will depend on where you live and the organizations you work for.

beaver - representing canada Photo by Miguel Teirlinck on Unsplash


Median wage is $36 per hour and average salary is $74,880 (CAD).

bald eagle representing usa Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash


Average salary is $61,920 and median wage is $29.77 (USD).

Where Do Human Resources Specialists Work?

A group of workers typing on computers under the text, HR professionals can be found in any organization. The largest employers are:

  • Employment services - 15%

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services - 13%

  • Government - 11%

  • Healthcare and social assistance - 11%

  • Manufacturing - 8%

How Can I Get Into HR?

A man grabbing a fence, saying

Usually, you need a university degree or a college diploma in human resources management or a related field.


It's highly recommended to get the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation .


Many associations exist to enhance skills of members and are offering certification programs. E.g. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and HR Certification Institute .


Sally wants to get into HR. What courses should she take?


You will enjoy this role if you:

  • have great communication and interpersonal skills

  • can think critically and have good analytical abilities

  • love to solve problems

    Trevor Noah saying,

What If I Prefer To Work Alone?

A woman saying,

You should probably consider something else.

Working in HR means that you deal with people in some capacity such as in recruitment or in an advising role.

If this sounds painful to you, you might want to look for a job that deals more with facts and numbers and less with people and their problems.

Take Action

Want to know more?

  • Take a look at the job outlook and other info on Job Bank (if you're in Canada) and U.S Bureau of Labor Statics (if in USA).

  • Research Human Resources programs near you.

  • Find others in the field via LinkedIn or through your network. Do informational interviews with them to learn more about the ins and outs of the role!

    RuPaul saying,


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