How do I Become a Human Resources Supervisor?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2018
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A human resources supervisor is a business professional who oversees the human resources department of a corporation. An individual might supervise activity of an entire department in a smaller company, though a large corporation typically staffs several supervisors to manage different divisions, such as hiring, training, payroll, and labor relations. A person who wants to become a human resources supervisor is usually required to hold at least a bachelor's degree and gain experience in entry-level jobs. Many employers prefer to hire supervisors who have obtained professional certification from a nationally recognized organization, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the United States.

A college education is essential to become a human resources supervisor in most job settings. Individuals can pursue bachelor's, master's, and even doctoral degrees in business administration, labor relations, human resources, or similar subjects. In school, students typically take courses in finance, personnel management, sociology, psychology, and statistics. Some graduate schools offer students the opportunity to find internship positions at local companies to gain firsthand experience in the field.

Upon graduation, a person who wants to become a human resources supervisor usually looks for entry-level or managerial employment at a business. They typically receive expert training from established human resources personnel on the company's policies and how to perform the job efficiently. Individuals in basic human resources positions usually work with other employees to implement the strategies suggested by their supervisors.


An employee who is able to prove him or herself capable of taking on more responsibility may be awarded the opportunity to become a human resources supervisor. Employers prefer to promote individuals who show interest in the position, have excellent attendance and productivity records, and can communicate effectively with employees and management alike. Most new human resources supervisors assume limited responsibilities at first, such as directing an employee benefits program. With time and proven skills, a successful supervisor may be placed in charge of larger divisions or perhaps an entire human resources department.

In many instances, pursuing professional certification can greatly improve a person's resume and help him or her become a human resources supervisor. Organizations such as the SHRM and the American Society for Training and Development offer memberships and certification exams to hopeful human resources supervisors to help them build their credentials. Most certification exams test an individual's understanding of basic job duties, ethics, and legal matters. With designations like Senior Professional in Human Resources, a person usually finds that his or her employment and advancement opportunities increase significantly.



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