How to Become an HR Coordinator: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a human resources coordinator. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in human resources. View article »

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  • 0:00 Be a Human Resources…
  • 0:39 HR Job Requirements
  • 1:45 Earn a Bachelor's Degree
  • 2:55 Gain Work Experience
  • 3:23 Earn Certification
  • 4:08 Career Advancement

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Video Transcript

Be a Human Resources Coordinator

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; master's degree often preferred
Degree Field Human resources, personnel management, public administration, business administration, human resources management, ore related field
Licensure/Certification Voluntary but often preferred
Experience 2-4 years of general human resources or administrative support experience
Key Skills Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication, and decision-making skills; attention to detail; knowledge of HRIS systems, Microsoft Office, and ADP database programs; travel may be required

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Careerbuilder.com Job Postings (August 2012)

Human resources or HR coordinators help job seekers and employers connect. After working with the employer to understand what positions need filling, the HR coordinator reaches out to potential applicants to begin the interview process. The coordinator is responsible for hiring employees, scheduling new hire orientations, coordinating employee activities and responding to worker compensation claims.

Most of these professionals work in comfortable office settings, but travel is often required to meet with potential job candidates. Some HR professionals regularly work overtime.

HR Job Requirements

This career typically requires a bachelor's degree, and coordinators may benefit from additional education, job experience and voluntary certification. A bachelor's degree in human resources management or a related subject is essential, and a master's degree may be helpful for career advancement.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some common requirements for obtaining a position as an HR coordinator include a bachelor's degree in the field of human resources, personnel management or a business-related field; earning voluntary certification; and previous work experience. Employers tend to look for 2-4 years of general human resources or administrative support experience, strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail and strong verbal and written communication skills, along with decision-making skills. In addition, the ability to use various computer systems, such as HRIS systems, Microsoft Office and the ADP database program would also be necessary skills. Some HR positions may require travel.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Human Resources Development
  • Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Labor Studies
  • Organizational Behavior

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

An individual who wishes to become an HR coordinator can complete a bachelor's degree program in human resources management, business or a related field. In a human resources management degree program, individuals examine a variety of topics, such as operations management, employee development and employee benefits. Business programs may also offer human resources options through concentrations and minors.

In addition to coursework, consider joining a professional association. Joining a professional human resources organization can give individuals access to networking and career development opportunities. Organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offer student chapters that organize meetings, internship programs and student conferences.

Also, for success in this career, learn about Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS). Since human resources is becoming a more technological field, knowledge of how to use human resources software may help one stand out when applying for certain positions. Students can complete an elective course in human resources information system software to gain knowledge of applicable software applications.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Employers prefer HR coordinators who hold 2-4 years of experience. Many entry-level HR coordinators start out in positions assisting other human resources managers. Internships are excellent experience opportunities for HR coordinators who are still enrolled in school. Many employers have new HR coordinators enter into a job training program where future coordinators learn how to interact with applicants, identify job titles and examine work performance.

Step 3: Earn Certification

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, certification for HR coordinators is a voluntary process. Many professional organizations offer certifications in the area of human resources, including the HR Certification Institute. Certification designations that are offered by this association include the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Those looking to gain success as an HR coordinator should consider earning multiple certifications. Human resources certifications require different levels of education and degree programs. HR coordinators that choose to gain multiple certifications in the field can demonstrate competence across several human resources areas.

Step 4: Career Advancement

HR coordinators looking for increased pay and benefits may want to consider acquiring a master's degree. Human resources is a common major at the master's degree level, and HR coordinators can find master's-level programs in human resources and business administration with a concentration in human resources management. Classes in these programs often examine topics such as organizational development, finance, consulting, leadership development and global workforce management.

So, when contemplating a career as an HR coordinator, take the following into consideration: he or she will need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in the field of human resources or a similar business-related field, along with 2-4 years of experience and the willingness to learn software, develop strong communication and people skills and, in order to advance further in the field, achieve certifications and/or a master's degree.

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