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MBA Career in Human Resources

Human resources professionals work a variety of roles that span the company both horizontally or vertically.  There are many specialties within HR that can include high-level strategic planning, implementation, and/or day-to-day management of the specialty.  Many HR professionals complete a rotational program following their MBA for exposure to all of these areas. A skill sets required range from strategic reasoning, to strong interpersonal skills.  In many organizations quantitative skills are essential for success.

  • Recruiting and Staffing: Staffing departments determine marketing strategy and build plans for recruiting employees possessing key skills set matched to specific positions and functions within the firm.  Technical aspects include observance of numerous laws, quantitative justification of selection criteria, with an eye toward retention.

  • Training and Development:  Work with employees to build skill sets necessary for success within the company, mapped to corporate goals.  Most people in T&D both train employees themselves and coordinate third-party training programs.

  • Compensation and Benefits: Positions vary from planning compensation and benefits offerings for employees based on strategic objectives and total cost, to working with suppliers of benefits and the employees that utilize them.

  • HR Generalist:  Generalists provide all the functions listed above, typically responsible to a client group consisting of a department, division or class of employees within the corporation.

  • Organizational Development: The focus here is on building organizations to support business plans and strategic initiatives.  Typically this is a position attained following success in the above functions.

  • Various Other Tracks:  Including HR information systems, safety and ergonomics, and labor relations (typically dealing with negotiations, not employee relations).

  • HR Consulting:  There are consulting equivalents of all of the above HR functions, ranging from strategic to being a third-party provider of the day-to-day operation.

 Key Words for resume (example)

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA): Expanded regulatory com­pliance programs to incorporate new federal ADA regulations and initiated $12 million capital investment program to upgrade facilities to meet access requirements.

Benefits Administration: Expanded in-house benefits administration function to include pension plans, 401(k) plans, tuition reimbursement programs, LOA programs, and joint spouse maternity leave programs.

Career Pathing: Introduced the concepts of career pathing, leadership development, and succession planning into Federal Express in an effort to increase executive staff recruitment and retention.

Change Management: Pioneered innovative change management programs focused on core productivity, efficiency, and safety improvement programs.

Claims Administration: Directed a 12-person claims administration function responsible for all health insurance, disability, and workers' compensation claims.

College Recruitment: Managed a nationwide college recruitment program to attract talented young engineers and technical designers.

Compensation: Benchmarked best practices worldwide to create Knud­sen's domestic and international compensation programs.

Competency-Based Performance: Created a competency-based perfor­mance analysis and appraisal system to identify top performers and faci­litate progressive career movement.

Corporate Culture Change: Pioneered corporate culture change initiatives impacting more than 10,000 employees at 54 manufacturing facilities and 122 sales offices throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Cross-Cultural Communications: Introduced in-house language training programs to strengthen staff competencies in cross-cultural communica­tions.

Diversity Management: Forged the introduction of diversity manage­ment programs and initiatives to expand hiring, training, and promotion of minority candidates.

Electronic Applicant Screening: Spearheaded project to implement the first electronic applicant screening process in the industry, complete with resume scanning and keyword scanning technology.

Employee Communications: Designed and produced multimedia employee communications for new hire orientation, training, and leadership development.

Employee Empowerment: Championed implementation of employee empowerment and participative management programs to increase man­agement/staff relations and cooperation.

Employee Involvement Teams: Formed six employee involvement teams to support HR's efforts in employee downsizing, reorganization, and consolidation.

Employee Relations: Expanded employee relations initiatives to include in-house EAP and counseling programs.

Employee Retention: Designed performance-based incentives for a 200 person hourly workforce and increased employee retention by better than 26%.

Employee Surveys: Wrote, administered, and reported results of corporate-wide employee surveys investigating employee satisfaction and personal career objectives.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): Achieved/surpassed all EEO and Affirmative Action regulations.

Expatriate Employment: Spearheaded a worldwide expatriate employ­ment and human resources function incorporating recruitment, training and development, succession planning, and compensation.

Grievance Proceedings: Administered over 100 grievance proceedings as the direct intermediary between union and management officials.

Human Resources (HR): Senior Executive with full operating responsi­bility for design, development, and leadership of comprehensive human resources and organization development function.

Human Resources Generalist Affairs: Administered all HR generalist affairs, including recruitment, selection, training, manpower planning, benefits, claims administration, employee relations, and succession planning.

Human Resources Partnerships: Forged innovative human resources partnerships with key operating divisions worldwide to drive common vision and achieve financial objectives.

Incentive Planning: Spearheaded incentive planning functions for sales and support personnel through ITI's worldwide field organization.

International Employment: Created a comprehensive international employment organization responsible for all generalist HR functions and a complex expatriate compensation program.

Job Task Analysis: Conducted a sophisticated job task analysis study to delineate all core competencies, functions, and requirements of each of the company's 22 different job classifications.

Labor Arbitration: Negotiated favorable resolutions to several high profile labor arbitration proceedings negatively impacting Bethlehem Steel's long-term market viability.

Labor Contract Negotiations: Directed 6-person cross-functional team responsible for labor contract negotiations with Teamsters officials.

Labor Relations: Created a proactive labor relations function that successfully thwarted several work stoppages and proposed walkouts.

Leadership Assessment: Developed quantifiable tools for leadership assessment of top operating management.

Leadership Development: Pioneered innovative leadership develop­ment programs to accelerate career advancement of high-potential management candidates.

Management Training & Development: Identified organizational needs and created a 4-part management training and development program.

Manpower Planning: Created manpower planning methodologies to staff new production facilities in Iowa and Utah.

Merit Promotion: Designed a performance-driven merit promotion program to reward top producers.

Multimedia Training: Partnered with Technology Services Division to create multimedia training and leadership programs integrating voice, data, and other electronic systems.

Multinational Workforce: Managed a 42-person multinational workforce with personnel from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Mexico, and the U.S.

Organization(al) Design: Defined new corporate vision and established new organizational design to streamline management tiers and advance staff to supervisory positions.

Organization(al) Development (OD): Spearheaded OD initiatives incorporating change management, employee empowerment, participative leadership, and process reengineering.

Organization(al) Needs Assessment: Conducted worldwide organiza­tional needs assessment to define core drivers in fast-paced technology industries.

Participative Management: Energized staff and supervisors to successfully transition to participative management organizational structure.

Performance Appraisal: Created a comprehensive performance apprai­sal system based on pre-established performance criteria.

Performance Incentives: Designed a complete portfolio of performance incentives awarded for measurable gains in production yield, quality performance, and customer satisfaction.

Performance Reengineering: Led fast-paced performance reengineering initiatives to keep pace with rapid market expansion and customer growth.

Position Classification: Designed a corporate-wide position classifica­tion system with associated salary grades, levels, and incentive structures.

Professional Recruitment: Spearheaded an aggressive professional recruitment program to identify top industry performers in sales, mar­keting, and international business development.

Regulatory Affairs: Administered regulatory affairs, compliance, and reporting with state and federal agencies governing HR operations.

Retention: Designed staff incentives and increased employee retention by better than 45%.

Safety Training: Accelerated the corporation's commitment to safe work practices with the introduction of a plant-wide safety training program.

Self-Directed Work Teams: Created self-directed work teams respon­sible for full product line management, from initial R&D through manu­facturing and customer delivery.

Staffing: Redefined staffing levels to assimilate new technologies and reduce annual payroll expenditures.

Succession Planning: Created succession planning models adopted by national association as best in practices model for the entire industry.

Train-the-Trainer: Developed curriculum and instructional materials for train-the-trainer programs in technology, telecommunications, and elec­tronic commerce.

Training and Development: Planned and launched start-up of worldwide training and development division to support the company's expansion into emerging product technologies and markets.

Union Negotiations: Led sensitive union negotiations governing salary and benefit programs for all two million members of the United Auto-workers Union.

Union Relations: Forged positive union relations through cooperative design of safe work practices and full compensation for on-the-job injuries.

Wage and Salary Administration: Developed a corporate-wide wage and salary administration program to ensure equitable compensation across all geographies and job classifications.

Workforce Reengineering: Led a massive workforce reengineering initiative to reduce Terminal's worldwide staff by 30% by the end of 1999.

 Interview Questions for Human Resource

General Questions:
1. Tell me why you chose Human Resource Management as your profession.
2. Do you have a personal philosophy about HR management?
3. What do you like most about HR? What do you like least, and what do you find the most challenging?
4. During your experience of working in HR (if you had one), to which positions have you reported and which reporting structure do you prefer?
5. How do you stay current with changes in employment laws, practices and other HR issues?
6. An employee tells you about a sexual harassment allegation but then tells you they don't want to do anything about it; they just thought you should know. How do you respond?
7. Describe the most difficult employee relations situation you have had to handle, how it was resolved or not, and why.
8. What would you do to help your prospective human resources department to become a strategic partner?
9. As HR professionals, we often deal with legal and ethical situations. Tell me about an ethical situation you have encountered and what part you took in resolving it. Tell me about any illegal discrimination charges you have handled and how these were resolved.
10. Tell me about your policy development experiences. What employment policies have you developed or revised?
11. Describe your knowledge of/involvement with progressive discipline.
12. Describe your knowledge of/involvement with Performance Evaluation processes.
13. Tell me about your experience in training and developing your employees or managers.
14. Tell me about training and development programs you have developed.
15. Have you ever worked in a Union Environment? What were the positives/negatives?
16. Imagine that a manager wants you as an HR professional to terminate an employee contract in contrast to your company's termination policy. How would you resolve this?
17. Describe to me in a few sentences the purpose of the following basic Federal regulations: (select one or more, as applicable) Title VII/Civil Rights Act, FLSA, WC, FMLA, ADA

Recruiting Questions:
1. How much recruiting experience do you have? What type of positions have you recruited for in the past?
2. Discuss why you feel that Human Resources/Recruiting is the right profession for you.
3. List your experience with and/or knowledge of Affirmative Action Planning and Applicant Flow reporting.
4. What recruiting tool do you consider to be most valuable to you? Explain.
5. What do you consider to be your greatest talent as it relates to recruiting?
6. What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of corporate recruiting?
7. Can you work extended hours when needed?
8. What is the most unique or non-traditional recruiting approach you have tried? Was it successful? Why or why not?
9. Are you familiar with full cycle recruiting?
10. How do you develop relationships with line managers?
11. Have you ever developed a staffing plan?
12. Tell me about your internal posting process.
13. If you were to fulfil diversity initiatives at you company tell me about staffing efforts that you would undertake?
14. Are you familiar with e-recruiting? Tell me about your success utilizing this method.
 
Compensation/Benefits Questions:
1. Provide me with an overview of employee benefit enrollment process at your previous organization. What duties were you responsible for within this process?
2. How did/would you communicate benefit updates to employees?
3. Tell me about a time when you had to present a benefit program to a group of employees to win their buy-in. What was the outcome?
4. What was a compensation philosophy at your previous organization?
5. Describe your previous organization's salary administration process. In what ways was it effective? Ineffective?
6. What is your knowledge of/experience with variable compensation?

 

 

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