Job Prospects For Health Care Human Resources Managers
Human Resources Management professionals stand at the front lines of managing workforce requirements at health care sites, including hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies. Fueling the need is the explosive demand for health care professionals, including physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. With BLS projections indicating that three million new wage and salary jobs will be added to the 14 million that already currently exist in the health care industry, opportunities will continue to be ripe for skilled HR professionals.
HR is in many ways the vital element for health care organizations in their efforts to attract and retain top talent-critical to the delivery of cost-effective, quality health care within their communities. New entrants to the health care human resources field often begin by specializing in one or more of the following fields:
Recruitment: Entry level recruiter positions are the most promising starting point for new HR candidates, as the demand for health care workers continues to grow. Entrants may be assigned to a particular niche, such as nurse or physician recruitment, or oversee staffing efforts for a broad range of support, professional and managerial fields.
Salary and Benefits Administration: Over sixty percent of the operating budget of a health care organization involves salaries and benefits. As a result, candidates with solid quantitative skills will be highly sought for this niche area.
Labor Relations: Labor unions continue to have a heavy presence in the health care industry, creating a demand for professionals with negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution skills.
Employee Relations: Disciplinary action and dismissal are an unfortunate yet common reality in health care settings. Managing these scenarios requires HR professionals who are calm, decisive and skilled at handling highly charged situations.
Training and Development: Health care organizations are investing greater resources in their clinical and managerial training efforts. As a result, the need for training and development specialists, particularly those with an RN or other clinical background, will continue to grow.
Payroll: Myriad federal and state laws, as well as the inherent complexity of health care compensation practices, make this one of the more challenging Human Resources specialties. Those with a gift for detail and calmness under pressure are best suited for these positions.
Education is critical for entry into a career in Human Resources Management, particularly for those who aspire to senior-level HR positions such as director or vice president. These roles typically require a bachelor's or master's degree in Human Resources, public administration, business management, or health services administration.
In terms of professional development, those seeking opportunities in the health care Human Resources field would be wise to consider joining one or more professional associations. The American Society of Health Care Human Resources Association (ASHHRA) is the most recognized group; The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) caters to HR professionals in a wide variety of fields including health care. Certifications offered by SHRM such as Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) are increasingly being recognized as a requirement for many generalist and senior level positions.
Often overlooked as a career direction, health care human resources represents a great career option for those who possess solid interpersonal and strategic thinking skills, quantitative competencies, and the ability to manage and resolve workplace issues. The field offers a wealth of possibilities as the health care workforce continues its expansion mode.
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