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Human Resources Career in Canada

By: Maria Bychkova

Published On: February 19, 2020

An HR profession is likely one of the most enticing career options for those who like to work with people, prefer corporate setup and enjoy diverse responsibilities. Human resources specialists are always in demand and they have almost endless opportunities for career growth and development. If you are wondering what having a human resources career in Canada implies and how to become successful in it, read this blog.

Education and Accreditation in Human Resources

Although some people claim that it’s possible to work in human resources without professional training, this can only be true for entry-level positions. If you’re planning a long and successful career in this field and want to achieve significant results you should take your education seriously. You can start with getting a human resources diploma in Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia or in any other province or territory in Canada to obtain profound knowledge of the field.

The standard curriculum of a certificate or diploma program will include workforce planning, human resources development, compensation and benefits, labour relations and occupational health and safety. This will enable you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the key responsibilities of a human resources professional and determine whether you have an interest in any specific area you’d like to focus on.

Another aspect of why formal education in human resources is important is the following. While taking, for example, a human resources diploma in Alberta or other parts of Canada, you will be required to familiarize yourself with local by-laws and regulations that govern employment relations. Even if you have prior experience in human resources management abroad, understanding of Canadian and provincial or territorial laws is essential for your career.

Once you complete your basic human resources diploma in Manitoba or other part of Canada and gain several years of experience you can look at upgrading your educational credentials with pursuing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree or seeking a professional designation. A designation, such as a Charted Professional in Human Resources, can serve proof that you meet national standards in the field and can help you advance your career.

Obtaining CPHR designation in addition to your human resources diploma in Alberta or any other province or territory will add validity to your credentials and will give you access to new resources, job openings, professional connections, career and development opportunities. An important fact to remember about working in HR is that this occupation involves constant learning and development.

Diverse Career Opportunities

Human resources management consists of various functions that can be performed by specialists or even whole teams dedicated to them. Alternatively, human resources generalists can execute duties related to a combination of all of these functions. It depends on what area you’re most inclined to or what responsibilities your employer needs you to undertake.

HR planning. Planning how to utilize human resources properly to achieve the business goals of an organization is one of the main tasks performed by HR. They need to forecast labour demand, analyze present labour supply and predict shortages. They need to determine how the organization needs to build the HR strategy.

Recruitment. HR professionals need to make sure that they create job positions, seek a pool of qualified candidates, select the ones best matching the job profile, interview them and test their skills to ensure whether they can become a good fit for the organization or the particular team.

Training and development. None profession or industry is stagnant, and it’s the job of a human resources specialist to make sure that the personnel processes the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their work duties. HR needs to plan and arrange proper training if needed or conduct their own workshops to enhance employees’ soft skills development and increase their performance.

Performance management. The fundamental goal of performance management is to raise employees’ effectiveness. HR develops tools and techniques to help establish standards, set goals, assess employees’ performance and identify areas for improvement and ways to do it.

Compensation and benefits. HR determines the ways of direct and indirect incentives for employees. This can include salary, bonuses, commissions and other monetary compensation, as well as flextime, free meals or transportation, health and life insurance and other measures to retain employees.

Employee relations. HR should develop policies and practices to govern relationships between the management and the subordinates, between different departments and teams and between employees individually. Maintaining a healthy and positive work environment is one of the most complicated HR tasks.

Workplace health and safety. Designing policies and procedures of how to create hazard-free work environment and informing employees about risks and proper safety measures is the crucial function of human resources.

The most common titles in HR are Human Resources Generalist, Specialist, Coordinator, Advisor, Business Partner with the next increments of Manager, Director, Vice-President. If you are working in a large organization and specialize in one of the above-mentioned fields your title may sound like Recruiter, Benefits Specialist, Labour Relations Advisor, Payroll Administrator, Policy Analyst, etc.

Essential Skills for Human Resources Professionals

While studying a human resources diploma in Manitoba or other part of Canada, you will learn about the major skills and abilities required to become successful in this career field. Some of them include the so-called hard skills which mean knowledge of HR practices, understanding of business principles, ability to create strategic plans and budgets, computer literacy and competency in using specific HR software.

In addition, it’s essential to possess a certain combination of soft skills to achieve career success in the human resources field. Such skills include excellent oral and written communication, presentation and facilitation, analytical, organizational, leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, time management and others.

Since you will be dealing with a lot of sensitive information as an HR specialist integrity and discretion become mandatory. It’s also important be able to earn and maintain employees' trust, to establish good relationships with your coworkers, be empathetic. However, at the same time, you need to keep in mind the best interest of the organization and make sure its goals are reached.


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