A recent Michigan Workforce Development Agency report revealed that nearly 600 occupational classifications in the state are expected to see a growth rate of 5 percent or more in the years leading up to 2017. This surge in hiring is thanks in large part to a rebound in the auto industry and an optimistic future for the state’s technology sector.
There’s likely no better proof of a strong economy than a spike in hiring for human resources professionals, those specialists and experts responsible for overseeing a company’s employee recruitment and retention, labor law compliance, and training, professional development, among others.
In Michigan, human resources, training, and labor relations specialists are at the top of Michigan’s Hot 50 list of the most in-demand, high-wage careers through 2018. Projections show that there are approximately 585 new HR specialist jobs being added in Michigan every year, resulting in close to a 20 percent increase through 2018.
Also making the list are employment, recruitment, and placement specialists. Statistics show about 206 job openings annually for these professionals, resulting in a 19 percent increase through 2018.
Michigan’s Top Employers for Human Resources Managers and Specialists
It’s no surprise that the bulk of human resources jobs in Michigan are found in companies that employ a large portion of the state’s workforce, as well as companies that have plans to increase their hiring efforts. In Michigan, that means human resources managers, coordinators, analysts, and specialists—those HR professionals responsible for senior-level oversight of human resources departments, retention efforts, recruitment efforts, and other supervisory tasks—are in highest demand in these industries:
- Automotive Industry: Michigan remains home to 61 of the top 100 automotive suppliers, and produces more cars and trucks than any other state in the U.S.
- Advanced Manufacturing: Michigan has numerous R&D centers that provide design, engineering, and research support for a number of industries.
- Information Technology: Encouraged by Michigan’s network of SmartZones, the number of high-tech startups continues to grow.
The top five employers in Michigan, as of 2014, were:
- State of Michigan, Lansing: 35,135 employees
- Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., Grand Rapids: 17,324 employees
- McLaren Health Care Corporation, Flint: 16,891 employees
- General Motors Company, Detroit: 14,443 employees
- CHE Trinity Health, Livonia: 12,122 employees
Job Requirements to Become a Human Resources Professional in Michigan
Jobs for human resources specialists and managers are found in the private sector and with non-profit organizations and in academia; as well as with state, local, and federal government agencies.
Job descriptions for HR positions advertised in Michigan reveal the responsibilities and employment requirements these careers involve (Surveyed in May 2015 and shown here for illustrative purposes only):
Human Resources Coordinator, Riverview Health & Rehab Center, Detroit
This position requires completing a variety of human resources tasks, including processing payroll, administering employee benefits, assisting in the hiring of new employees, and ensuring compliance with company policies and procedures.
Candidates must possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at minimum in human resources or a related field, along with at least three years of related experience.
Human Resources Manager, TH Plastics, Inc., Battle Creek
This position requires playing a key role in the management and administration of all human resource functions in a facility with more than 300 employees.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree at minimum in business with a human resource management concentration, along with at least 5 years of administration/management in human resources; PHR/SPHR certifications preferred.
Human Resource Operations & Services Leader, Amerisure Mutual Insurance, Farmington Hills
This position involves developing and implementing enterprise-wide human resources strategies and initiatives, building key relationships across the organization, and translating business needs into effective HR solutions.
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree, with a master’s degree strongly preferred, along with at least 10 years of progressive HR or related experience and at least 5 years of management experience.
Human Resources Consultant, Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor
This positon involves planning, developing, and leading future initiatives that support the mission and core values of Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources or the equivalent combination of education and experience as a human resources generalist; a master’s degree in human resources is preferred.
Human Resources Business Partner, Chrysler Group, Auburn Hills
This position requires collaborating with business leaders, assisting in the development and deployment of a talent management platform, and providing hands-on HR expertise to deliver value to resource planning, organization design, and retention strategies.
Candidates for this HR position must possess a bachelor’s degree, with a master’s degree in human resource management being the preferred qualification. A minimum of 8 years of experience in an HR business partner position is also required.
Degree and Certification Options for Working in Human Resources Management
The majority of human resources jobs in Michigan, as detailed above, require at least a bachelor’s degree in business or human resources.
Bachelor Degrees in Human Resources
Bachelor degrees in human resources allow students to learn the many aspects of human resources management so as to be able to deliver, develop, and retain employees.
These programs, which may be designed as Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees, generally include coursework in areas such as:
- Information Systems Management
- Principles of Management
- Compensation and Benefits
- Collective Bargaining
- Training and Development
Master’s Degrees in Human Resource Management
Achieving a supervisory or leadership position in human resources often requires the completion of a master’s degree in human resources, which may be designed as a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Science (MS), or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resource management.
Most of these programs require applicants to possess some type of business and human resources education, whether as an undergraduate degree or through the completion of specific undergraduate classes. Admission into these programs also often depends on experience in human resources and a strong undergraduate GPA.
An MBA in human resource management provides a foundation in traditional business administration concepts, such as accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, economics, operations, and information technology. These programs provide in-depth study in the key areas of human resources, which include:
- HRIS Systems
Typical coursework in an MBA in Human Resource Management includes:
- Managerial accounting
- Financial management
- Information technology
- Strategic management
- Marketing strategies
- Operations management
- Quantitative analysis for decision making
Professional Certification Options in Human Resources
Although professional certification for human resources managers and other specialists is strictly voluntary, many HR professionals choose to achieve it because:
- It demonstrates expertise
- It builds credibility
- It distinguishes HR professionals as industry leaders
The top certification designations for HR professionals include:
- 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
Resources for Michigan’s Human Resources Professionals
- Michigan Council of the Society of Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Association of Southeast Michigan
- Greater Southeast Michigan Society for Human Resource Management