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From a corporate standpoint, all employees are recognized as assets. This is why businesses engage in a plethora of strategies to capitalize on its select labor force.
The role of a human resources specialist involves recruiting, interviewing, placing and training workers. They also handle payroll, benefits and internal conflict. Human resources professionals are positioned in nearly every industry, with employment figures expected to soar by as much as 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“I believe most progressive companies realize that the human factor is the best way to secure a sustainable competitive edge versus just technology which can be short-lived and more easily commoditized,” said Sal Sangi, a human resources consultant who teaches at UCLA Extension. “Therefore top management will look to the human resources function for programs and strategies to attract, retain, deploy, motivate and develop top talent.”
Sangi added that since human resources management serves as a universal operation, employment opportunities are vast.
As an HR person Sangi is 30-year veteran of human resource management, having worked in the oil industry, chemical and mining facilities, research labs, supported sales organizations and most recently worked in the entertainment industry supporting the major studios. “On this basis, I feel human resources is an ideal occupation,” Sangi said.
“Top positions for which candidates can strive include vice president of HR, director of diversity and director of compensation and benefits.”
“The vice president of HR is the person that recommends and influences top management to establish policies and programs which invest in employees and acts as an advocate for their current and future needs,” said Sangi, who earned his master’s degree in industrial sociology from Duquesne University.
Due to changes in society, most companies make certain their employee base is a mirror reflection of the community they serve.
“The director of diversity is vital since companies are becoming more global in their operations or customer base,” explained Sangi.
“Therefore, attracting and successfully managing a workforce that is increasingly more diverse in terms of age, gender, ethnic group, country origin and culture is a growing business issue.”
He added that the role of director of compensation and benefits has become an indispensable element within corporate structure.
“Meaningful and creative compensation, including rewards and incentive programs, are needed to attract and retain employees,” said Sangi.
He advises those desiring to enter the human resources field to gain both education and experience.
“In the early stages of your career, work in as many HR functions as possible, such as training, recruiting, compensation and generalist roles both at the corporate level and plant or field level. Be as broad as possible in your learning experiences,” said Sangi.
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.