In 2014, the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau projected a a very strong job outlook for a number of human resources job classifications:
- Compensation and Benefits Managers: 133 positions expected to open up by 2022
- Human Resources Managers: 455 positions expected to open up by 2022
- Training and Development Managers: 91 positions expected to open up by 2022
According to an April 2015 NH Business Review article, there’s plenty to be excited about in New Hampshire; particularly when it comes to the job market. At the start of 2015, New Hampshire posted an unemployment rate of just 4 percent. Further, it is projected that joblessness will further drop throughout the year, coming in at around 3.6 percent by the end of the second quarter.
Stay-Work-Play New Hampshire, an organization dedicated to supporting economic growth in the state, reports that the state ranks sixth in the nation in terms of the number of new companies started each year, and has the lowest unemployment rate in New England.
A healthy job market spells good news for human resources professionals, as opportunities for HR managers, specialists and generalists increase as the unemployment rate plummets and companies set their sights on recruiting new talent. And it only makes sense, as companies always benefit from a business environment that ensures that the employee-employer relationship is supported through human resources services provided by a highly capable HR division.
The Right Degree for a Human Resources Career in New Hampshire
Achieving a job in human resources management requires a solid education in human resources or a related field.
Human Resources Bachelor’s Degrees
A bachelor’s degree in human resources (Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)) is designed to provide graduates with knowledge related to business and labor practices. A bachelor’s degree provides a foundation in psychology, human behavior, the structure of organizations, policy, training, and compensation.
The key subject areas covered in these programs include:
- Leadership and management
- Business law and ethics
- Human resources management
- Information management systems
- Project management
Human Resources Master’s Degrees
Achieving a senior-level position in human resources and HR management often means pursuing a graduate-level education in human resources or a related field. A master’s degree in human resources, which may be designed as a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or a Master of Business Administration (MBA), allows students to focus on a specific area of human resources, such as:
- Staffing, training, and development
- Employment and labor law
- Labor and collective bargaining
- Benefits and compensation
These programs focus on the professional practice of human resource development, management, and organizational change management. As such, they are ideal for current human resources professionals who want to expand their knowledge and expertise, as well as mid-career professionals who want to improve their advancement opportunities.
Coursework in a master’s degree in human resource management often includes:
- Applied research in human resource development
- Organizational behavior
- Managing organizational change
- Training and development
- Staffing, recruitment, and selection
- Compensation and benefit management
- Managing employee relations
Human Resources Professional Certification Options
Professional certification in human resources is common, particularly among managers and supervisors in senior-level positions. Although strictly voluntary, professional certification has become a standard in this competitive industry:
- Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- SHRM-CP (certified professional)
- SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)
- HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
- Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP)
- Human Resource Business Professional (HRBP)
- California Certification for PHR and SPHR certified professionals
New Hampshire’s Top Employers of Professionals in Human Resources
Top employers of New Hampshire’s overall workforce are also the top employers of human resources professionals. The largest employers in the state offer insight as to where human resources jobs are found in New Hampshire:
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is the largest employer in New Hampshire, with more than 8,000 employees. It includes extensive medical treatment and research facilities, as well as a general clinic, a children’s hospital, and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
- UA Local 788 Marine Pipefitter, located in Portsmouth, employs about 3,000 people. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the oldest in continuing operations, services the Navy’s nuclear submarines.
- The University System of New Hampshire, which includes the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Keene State College, and Granite State College, employs more than 4,700 faculty and staff.
- Dartmouth College in Hanover, which was founded in 1769, has a total estimated employment of 3,500.
- Elliot Hospital in Manchester is currently the largest healthcare provider in southern New Hampshire, thanks to its 396-bed acute care facility. There are currently more than 3,500 employees within this health center, which includes a cancer center, a specialty clinic, and a children’s hospital.
What New Hampshire’s Top Employers Expect from HR Job Candidates
To fully understand the status of the human resources field in New Hampshire, including typical job requirements and responsibilities for human resources professionals in management, such as HR directors, recruiters, HR analysts, compensation and benefits specialists, and labor relations representatives, individuals need only look as far as job descriptions from recent job announcements (from a survey of job vacancies taken in May 2015, shown for illustrative purposes only):
Contract Technical Recruiter: Arista Networks Inc., Nashua
This position requires collaborating with HR corporate to confirm headcount details, sourcing candidates via various methods, screening resumes and interviewing candidates, and facilitating interviews.
Candidates must possess at least 8 years of recruiting experience in the technology field.
HR Generalist: Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Nashua
This position involves working in conjunction with the management team to carry out recruitment, serve as a consultant to management for a wide array of employee issues, and advocate for and counsel employees and management.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field and at least 7 years of experience as a human resources generalist.
Human Resources Director: City of Nashua, Nashua
This position involves reporting directly to the Mayor for developing human resources strategies, and involves providing administrative management, organizational development, and strategic direction to all human resources and payroll initiatives.
Candidates must possess at least 8 years of HR related experience, including at least 5 years of progressively responsible management experience. Candidates must also possess a master’s degree in human resources or an MBA/MPA related field.
Assistant Vice President, Human Resources: Service Credit Union, Portsmouth
This position involves managing the processes and maintaining the company’s benefits programs, as well as providing support to the vice president of human resources in the areas of human resource policy development, wage and salary administration, performance appraisal programs, and employee and workplace issues.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in human resources, business, or a related field, at least 7 years of human resource experience, and at least 5 years of experience in a management role.
Resources for HR Professionals in New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
- Seacoast Human Resources Association
- HR State Council of New Hampshire
- Manchester Area Human Resources Association
- Human Resources Association, Greater Concord
- Greater Nashua Human Resources Association
- State of New Hampshire Human Resources
- Association of New Hampshire Public Employer Human Resource Association