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Every organization wants to attract, motivate, and retain the most qualified employees and match them to jobs for which they are best suited. Human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists provide this connection. In the past, these workers performed the administrative function of an organization. Today's human resources workers manage these tasks, but, increasingly, they consult with top executives regarding strategic planning.
In an effort to enhance morale and productivity, limit job turnover, and help organizations increase performance and improve results. Workers also help their companies effectively use employee skills. They provide training and development opportunities to improve those skills, and increase employees' satisfaction with their jobs and working conditions. Although some jobs in the human resources field require only limited contact with people outside the human resources office.
There are many types of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists. In a small organization, a human resources generalistmay handle all aspects of human resources work, and thus require an extensive range of knowledge. In a large corporation, the director of human resourcesmay supervise several departments. Each department is headed by an experienced manager who is specialized in one human resources activity, such as employment and placement, compensation and benefits, training and development, or labor relations. The director may report to a top human resources executive.
Employment and placement managerssupervise the recruitment, hiring, and separation of employees. They also supervise employment, recruitment, and placement specialists, including employment interviewers. Recruitment specialistsmaintain contacts within the community and may travel considerably, often to job fairs and college campuses, to search for promising job applicants. They also may check references and extend job offers. They also must stay informed about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action guidelines and laws.
Employment interviewers help to match employers with qualified jobseekers. Similarly, employer relations representatives, who usually work in government agencies or college career centers, maintain working relationships with prospective employers. They promote the use of public employment programs and services.
Counselors work in diverse community settings designed to provide a variety of counseling, rehabilitation, and support services. Their duties vary greatly, depending on their specialty, which is determined by the setting in which they work and the population they serve. Educational, vocational, and school counselorsprovide individuals and groups with career, personal, social and educational counseling. School counselors assist students of all levels, from elementary school to post secondary education. They advocate for students and work with other individuals and organizations to promote the academic, career, personal, and social development of children and youth.
Elementary school counselors provide individual, small-group, and classroom guidance services to students. Counselors observe children during classroom and play activities and confer with their teachers and parents to evaluate the children's strengths, problems, or special needs. In conjunction with teachers and administrators, they make sure that the curriculum addresses both the academic and the developmental needs of students.
High school counselors advise students regarding college majors, admission requirements, entrance exams, financial aid, trade or technical schools, and apprenticeship programs. They help students develop job search skills, such as resume writing and interviewing techniques. College career planning and placement counselors assist alumni or students with career development and job-hunting techniques. School counselors at all levels help students to understand and deal with social, behavioral, and personal problems.
Vocational counselors, also called employment counselors orcareer counselors, usually provide career counseling outside the school setting. Their chief focus is helping individuals with career decisions. Vocational counselors explore and evaluate the client's education, training, work history, interests, skills, and personality traits. They may arrange for aptitude and achievement tests to help the client make career decisions. They also work with individuals to develop their job-search skills and assist clients in locating and applying for jobs. In addition, career counselors provide support to people experiencing job loss, job stress, or other career transition issues.
Financial analystshelp people decide how to invest their money. They work for banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, and securities firms. .They often meet with company officials to learn more about the firms in which they want to invest. After the meetings, the analysts write reports and give talks about what they found out. Then, they suggest buying or selling that firm's stock.