Human resources professionals (NOC 1121)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Human resources professionals develop, implement and evaluate human resources and labour relations policies, programs and procedures.

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Human resources specialist

People in this career advise managers and employers on human resources matters. They work throughout the private and public sectors, or may be self employed.

Common job titles
  • administrator, staff relations
  • adviser, human resources
  • agent, bargaining
  • agent, business - labour union
  • analyst, human resources policy
  • analyst-researcher, compensation


Human resources professionals:

  • plan, set up and evaluate staff and labour relations strategies including policies, programs and procedures to deal with an organization's human resource needs
  • oversee initiatives such as employee assistance programs and workplace diversity programs
  • draft job descriptions, occupational classifications and salary scales
  • hire staff, decide on the staff's educational needs and oversee and lead appropriate training programs
  • examine organizational structures and job requirements to make sure they match any management decisions that affect staffing and recruitment
  • advise managers and employees on understanding personnel policies, compensation and benefit programs and collective agreements
  • settle collective agreements on behalf of employers or workers, and act as a go-between in labour disputes and grievances
  • give advice on employee and labour relations
  • coordinate employee performance and appraisal programs
  • look at employee benefit and health and safety practices and recommend changes to existing policies
  • development and use of HR facts and figures

Special duties

In smaller organizations, there is often one HR professional who performs all HR duties.  In larger organizations, there are often several HR professionals who each specialize in a specific area.

Work environment

Human resources professionals generally work a standard five-day workweek, with a minimum of 40 hours per week.

Workers are prone to back and neck injury and eye strain from using computers for extended periods of time.

Insights from industry

Although the current supply of new graduates in HR is adequate, most recent graduates do not have the experience necessary to fill a specialist role. In the past few years, there has been difficulty filling both experienced HR professionals and HR generalist roles in B.C. and throughout Canada. This is expected to continue in the coming years until graduates gain the experience level typically required to fill this role.

Individuals can work their way up in this profession without formal HR education or a CHRP designation. However, formal HR education and a CHRP designation are preferred by most companies and these qualifications are becoming more in demand. The worker's level of business experience is also important. In addition, employers have an increasing interest in those with numeric and analytical skills.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Recent graduates can expect to find work as a human resources administrator, payroll assistant, benefits clerk, recruiting administrator, human resources assistant or human resources advisor.

Workers with experience and further education may progress to other occupations, such as HR advisor, manager, director, generalist, senior specialist, benefits manager, compensation specialist, training manager, recruiting specialist and divisional/regional HR executive.

Additional resources