Contributing to the vitality and viability of organizations, professionals with human resources training are sought after by today's employers. In fact, according to CNNMoney, human resource consultants enjoy one of the top careers in the U.S. when it comes to pay, job growth, and quality of life. Explore the profession with this collection of online resources available to help human resource graduates build a great career.
With networking, training opportunities, job boards, and certifications, professional organizations are an important resource in the HR professional's tool kit. Most offer subscriptions to industry newsletters and magazines, and discounts on continuing education.
- The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) - Part of the American Hospital Association (AHA), this professional group is "exclusively dedicated to meeting the professional needs of human resources leaders in health care." A variety of membership types are available, including student, practitioner and consultant, as well as joint memberships with the SHRM. Educational benefits include webinars, learning sessions at the ASHHRA's national conference, and its unique eLearning Network. In addition to the conference, other networking opportunities, including the group's Mentoring Program, are also available.
- International Association for Human Resource Information Management - Membership in the IHRIM helps young human resource professionals reach their career goals with networking and educational opportunities, including the Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) certification program. A membership to IHRIM includes a subscription to Workforce Solutions Review, access to the HR job board, webinars, discounts, and the online community CORE, where members share and receive advice and best practices.
- International Public Management Association for Human Resources - For over 100 years, the IPMA-HR has supported HR professionals in the public sector with job, educational, and professional development opportunities, as well as other resources and industry news. With more than 40 chapters across the world, members enjoy networking close to home. Membership also includes HR Solutions, a site to find standard HR practices, as well as IPMA-HR's unique Successful Practices Database. Discounts on products, such as the IPMA-HR Certified Professional designation, are also available.
- National Association of African Americans in Human Resources - Focused on helping the development of African American HR professionals, the NAAAHR provides a number of benefits to its members. A directory of members and community affiliates, national and regional conferences, and local chapter meetings provide networking opportunities. On its Career Connections page, members can post positions and resumes, and training and professional development seminars are offered through local chapters.
- National Human Resources Association - Since 1951, the NHRA has supported human resource professionals as the field has transformed from simply hiring and policing to managing change, productivity, and continuous improvement. Members of NHRA network through the national organization as well as their local affiliate. Professional development, training, and leadership opportunities are offered, as well as a job board on its HR Career Services page.
- Society for Human Resource Management - The largest professional association for human resource management, the SHRM has over 250,000 members across the globe. Membership benefits include subscriptions to HR Magazine and HR Week, as well as access to the HR Advisor service, where specific questions are answered clearly and quickly via email or telephone. Other online resources include topical guides to HR issues, as well as ready-to-use presentations, metrics calculators, testing tools and compliance resources.
- WorldatWork - Providing advocacy, community, education, research and certification for HR professionals, this non-profit organization offers a number of benefits to its members. Three levels of membership are available, and as a WorldatWork Premier member, HR professionals have access to topical online resources via its State Law Directory, Issue Tracker, and One-Stop Topics sites. Members at all levels enjoy subscriptions to Workspan Weekly, Benefits & Work-Life Focus, and electronic news updates. Discounts on seminars, webinars and certifications are available for Premier members.
Increasingly, colleges and universities are posting lectures, presentations, videos, activities and other course material online for the public to access free-of-charge. HR students on a budget take advantage of this free content and develop skills and expertise without committing to a full-fledged degree program or breaking the bank.
- Employee engagement - OpenLearn - Introducing HR professionals to the fundamentals of getting "buy-in" from employees, this 10-hour course covers the basics of employee involvement. Students learn to identify the strategic issues and components of employee engagement, and the ways in which management and organizational structures impact that engagement. At the end of the course, students should be competent to analyze the condition of employee involvement and motivation in their own organizations.
- Negotiation and Conflict Management - MIT - This graduate level course was designed "for anyone interested in teaching or learning about negotiation." Led by the Sloan School's Prof. Mary Rowe, this graduate level course covers the theories of negotiation and strategies. Students learn through role-playing exercises, and with an emphasis on tough situations, which include the following topics: whistleblowers, racism, sexism, and emergencies. Third-party issues are also explored, including investigation, mediation and arbitration.
- Strategic HR Management - MIT - Taught by Prof. Diane Burton and Prof. Paul Osterman of the Sloan School of Management, this graduate level course explores "the design and execution of human resource management strategies." Two themes run through this offering: (1) thinking systematically and strategically in the management of people in an organization; and (2) the actual steps that need to happen to implement the strategy. Particular topics include performance management, training, recruitment and retention, relevant laws and diversity, and human resource systems.
- Training Methods and Continuing Education for Health Workers - JHSPH - From the John's Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, instructor Bill Brieger "identifies the role of training and continuing education as an important component of health service and personnel management." Building on examples from real-life experiences, students learn to plan and execute training and continuing education across the healthcare spectrum. Needs assessments, instructional objectives, delivery models for effective learning, resource and budget issues, and evaluation techniques are also covered.
- Work, Employment, and Industrial Relations Theory - MIT - From MIT's prestigious business school, Prof. Thomas A. Kochan teaches this multi-disciplinary graduate course on the "theoretical and empirical foundations of research on work, employment, labor markets and industrial relations." A history of the field from a research perspective, including traditional methodologies, as well as current trends in employment relations, will be covered. Research from the field, as well as quantitative and qualitative studies and data will be explored.
Open Access Journals
Like universities posting free open courseware, many academic journals have begun to provide free access to their scholarship. Young HR professionals keep current on the latest trends and innovations in the field by catching up with scholarly research on these open access journal sites.
- Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training - Although geared toward Voc Ed professionals, many of the articles in this journal are helpful for human resource specialists who have training responsibilities. An initiative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), this journal is international and multidisciplinary. Recent topics include "Measurement of Vocational Competencies" and "Training Participation of a Firm's Aging Workforce."
- Human Resource Development International - A hybrid publication, this academic journal includes both articles that require a subscription as well as many that are freely available to the public. Published works undergo a rigorous double-blind, peer-review process and most are directed toward bridging the gap between human resource theory and practice. Two of its most read articles are, "The use of a personal development plan and the undertaking of learning activities, expertise-growth, flexibility and performance: the role of supporting assessment conditions," and "Workplace Learning Environment and Its Relationship with Learning Outcomes in Healthcare Organizations."
- International Journal of Human Resource Management - Intended to be a forum for "HRM scholars and professionals worldwide," this journal focuses on HR's ever-expanding role within organizations across the globe. Peer-reviewed, most articles will have empirical research on future trends in human resources relating to a variety of issues, including market integration, increased competition and internationalization, and technological change. As a hybrid journal, some articles require a subscription to access; however, others like "Partnership, collaboration and mutual gains: evaluating context, interests and legitimacy," may be obtained for free.
- Journal of Business Economics and Management - Peer-reviewed, this quarterly journal publishes a wide array of topics, including strategic management, public administration, and issues related to transitions and innovations. Although a subscription is required to access all of its content, many articles are free, including some on human resource topics such as "Analysis of organizational culture: dimensions impacting performance" and "Managing the organizational change and culture in the age of globalization."
- Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship - More than just library science, this hybrid journal publishes articles of interest to a wide array of business and human resource professionals. Under the stewardship of editor and University of Kentucky Prof. Lisa G. O'Connor, papers undergo a double-blind peer-review and include both practice-focused articles and empirical studies. Two of this journal's most-read articles include "Access to Business Research Resources Through Academic Library Websites: A Survey," and "Information Literacy and the Evolving MBA Degree."
- Total Quality Management & Business Excellence - In this hybrid journal, many articles of interest to human resources professionals are available for free. Double-blind and peer-reviewed, published articles frequently include topics related to quality in an organization's culture, strategy, and systems. Representative free articles include "Re-investigating Business Excellence: Values, Measures and a Framework" and "An Analysis of Decision-Making Process in Organizations: Implications for Quality Management and Systematic Practice."
Human Resources Books
With so many books on human resources, it is difficult for the aspiring HR professional to know where to start. This combination of textbooks and lighter reads presents just a fraction of the titles available to help human resource managers succeed.
- 1501 Ways to Reward Employees - Now available in paperback, this book by Bob Nelson, Ph.D., draws on examples from thousands of companies to produce a list of inexpensive ways to motivate employees and reward good work. From "thank you" cards to free "I Don't Want to Get Out of Bed" days, this bible of ideas for appreciating top employees should be on the bookshelves of every human resources manager.
- The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work - In this work, Peter Block provides tips and guidance to help managers develop and employ political skills to better navigate and shape organizational bureaucracy. Readers are encouraged to discard the bad-habits of cautious bureaucrats, like dependency and manipulation, in favor of initiative and courage.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable - Patrick Lencioni "outlines a powerful model and actionable steps, to build a cohesive team," through a fable about a CEO and her leadership crisis. Engaging, this book is instructive for anyone charged with the managerial responsibility.
- Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead - This bestseller by James A. Belasco and Ralph C. Stayer uses examples to teach the lesson of how to "achieve excellence in any organization." With a clear message that effective employees need to think independently (rather than blindly follow the one clear leader) and leaders need to relinquish some control, the authors give the reader plenty of food for thought about how power-sharing can create a more effective organization.
- HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources - Dave Ulrich and company used a data-driven approach in creating this blueprint for success. Encouraging HR professionals to influence strategy, build their organizations' capabilities, effectively use technology, get ahead of change and drive it, and maintain personal credibility, the advice in this book is helpful to young professionals in a wide range of fields and positions.
- Organizational Behavior - This book, which is a straight-forward and easy-to-read textbook by two of the foremost experts in the field, Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. Judge, covers all of the basics of human resources, including leadership, motivation and office politics.
- Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed To and What You Can Do About It - Ferdinand Fournies draws on the experiences of 25,000 managers and distills those into a set of clear guidelines for handling"real jobs, in the real world."Many have found this book helpful for managing misbehavior, as well as identifying problems before they occur. Particular topics covered include managing technology, telecommuting, and flex-time and outsourcing.
Online Human Resources Magazines
To keep track of the most innovative ideas and biggest developments in human resources, most HR professionals regularly read one or more of the top magazines in the industry. This list contains some of the most popular online periodicals that focus primarily on human resource issues.
- HC Online - The electronic presence of the Australian magazine Human Resources Director, HC Online provides the latest insight and developments from leading human resource professionals. Easy to read with a combination of news, analysis, and opinion, this magazine is ideal for young human resource specialists looking for a global perspective. Representative features include "Seven steps for effective leadership," and "Leading Virtual Teams - When the cat is away do the mice play?"
- HRM Online - A sister site of HC Online and part of the Key Media publishing empire, HRM Online brings HR news, opinion, and analysis from a Canadian perspective. Video interviews with leaders in the field, as well as an e-newsletter give aspiring HR professionals the opportunity to learn from the insights of successful human resource leaders. Recent headlines include "Quit Your Job app helps unhappy employees," and "Managing Millennials Comes Down to Science."
- Human Resource Executive Online - Established in 1987, this magazine focuses on addressing the issues important to senior-level HR personnel, including directors and vice presidents. Covering the gamut of human resource topics, a typical issue will include articles on information systems, employment law, and benefits and talent management. Representative features include"Is Severance Pay Subject to FICA?"
- Workforce - This multimedia publication includes an online presence. Its mission is to cover "the intersection of people management and business strategy." The content in Workforce attempts to help human resource professionals see the big picture. Representative articles include"Legal Briefing: Guidance on Home Work and Leaves of Absence," and "Helicopter Employer Approaching."
More informal and often pithy, blogs provide an opportunity to keep current on the hottest topics in HR without investing a lot of time. Young human resource professionals may find the blogs in this list entertaining and informative.
- Ask a Manger - Run by the self-described bossy Alison Green, this blog site has a clear point of view: that the best managers are neither wimps nor tyrants, are honest and frank, and use power as a "tool to get things done, not to lord over others". Representative posts include "5 ways to make job hunting easier on yourself," and "Someone accused me of crying at work - but I didn't."
- Fistful of Talent - Maintained by Kris Dunn, Chief Human Resources Officer for Kinetix, HR professionals find insights and innovations relating to recruitment and talent management here. Recent articles include "Three Trends from the Human Resources Electronics Show," and "This Cynic's Top Ten 2014 Predictions for HR."
- HR Bartender - Designed to be a place where"people would have a friendly place to discuss workplace issues,"personal advice and other interests can also be found on bartender Sharlyn Lauby's blog. Representative articles include "An Open Letter to CEOs - Teach Your Employees to Upsell," and "The Difference Between Knowledge, Skills and Abilities."
- HR Capitalist - Focusing on keeping HR professionals up-to-date with the most modern trends and innovations in human resources, this irreverent blog, also published by Kris Dunn, takes an off-beat approach to HR commentary. Recent posts include "Should Your Company Be Considering a Non-Tech 'Acqui-Hire'?'" and "The Future of Employee Engagement Will Feature a Siri-Like Companion at Work."
- The Cynical Girl - Laurie Ruettimann brings the funny to HR issues. Also a contributor with the New York Times and Forbes, Laurie writes a column for the Conference Board Review. Representative posts include "Monday Morning HR Humor: This Cat is Plotting," and "You Can't Make Someone Do Her Job." Note: Ruettimann will be changing the name of this blog in February 2014.
- Monster Thinking - Although a wide variety of HR professionals post on this site, it is also the blog home of Vice-President of Client Adoption for Monster.com, Eric Winegardner; as "the public face of Monster.com," Winegardner finds material for his posts from one of the largest online employment search and recruiting websites.
- TLNT - One of the most popular human resources blogs, everything from the basics to the most difficult subject of HR are posted here. Help with legal issues, technology, and benefits and training can all be found. Recent posts include "Court: Company Discriminated by Firing Pregnant Woman on Light Duty," and "Obamacare Rollout is Fueling Huge Growth in Medical Jobs."
- True Faith HR - St. Norbert College's Prof. Matthew Stollack is "creating a new order between HR theory and practice" with this site. He posts on human capital issues with enthusiasm and erudition. Representative posts include "Best Employment Application Ever - Kris Kringle" and "Ruined in a Day."
Who to Follow on Twitter
Keep up with the latest human resources developments by reading the Twitter feeds of HR experts. This list includes some of the top consultants in the business, and their years of expertise are worth following.
- @blogging4jobs - CEO of Xceptional HR Jessica Miller-Merrel tweets from her blog of the same name, called by Forbes one of the top career sites for job seekers. Recent posts include "Candidate Retargeting Through Content Marketing," and "2 out of 3 Companies to Expand Social Recruiting."
- @chinagorman - Former COO of the Society for Human Resource Management, China tweets her knowledge and expertise, as well as links to articles she posts on her blog . Recent tweets include "HRExaminer's Moovers and Shakers is out!" and "The One Thing #2: Be a Talent Magnet."
- @HRfishbowl - Senior-level human resource professional Charlie Judy is "utterly convinced we're over-engineering the business of human resources." He tweets his expertise with posts like "Best LinkedIn Company Pages 2013," and "Great Gig w/a Great Firm, Change Management."
- @lisarosendahl - A current practitioner, Lisa invites and responds to followers' HR questions. Recent posts include "7 Apps to Help You Achieve Your Goals & Build New Habits" and "Seven Time Management Tips I Am Putting to Use in 2014."
- @mikehaberman - Mike brings years of experience managing human resources for organizations of all sizes to Twitter. Representative posts include "Recruiting Trends Week is upon us!" and "5 Ways Recruiting May Change in the Future of HR."
- @mikevandervort - An expert on unions and the National Labor Relations Board, Mike describes himself as on the "cutting edge of HR and social media, fast and thorough." Tweets to read on Mike's feed include "Invest in Internal Mobility," and "Giving Good People Bad News: Something Different."
- @robinschooling - Bringing her experience to you in 140 characters or less, Robin's informal style makes keeping up with the latest HR news fun. Recent posts include "LinkedIn Lawsuit: You Can Run, But You Can't Hide," and "Talent Management: The Leader's Role."
- @TrishMcFarlane - New media consultant, human resources director and strategist, Trisha McFarlane's tweets relate to the intersection of online networking and old-fashioned organizational development. Recent posts include "Listen to Ben: Essential HR Skills: Communication, Conflict, and Change," and "Talking Talent Management with @SeanPConrad @HalogenSoftware."