According to the New Hampshire Employment Security, Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, there’s plenty to be excited about in New Hampshire; particularly when it comes to the job market. In late 2019, New Hampshire posted an unemployment rate of just 2.5 percent.
The New Hampshire Business Review reported in 2019 that the state has added more than 32,000 jobs since 2016, making it the fastest growing economy in the Northeast.
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 has the backing of a highly capable HR division.
In 2019, the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau projected a very strong job outlook for a number of human resources job classifications by 2026:
HR Management Roles
- Human Resources Managers:1 percent increase for an average of 60 openings per year
- Training and Development Managers: 10 percent increase to keep pace with growing demand
Non-managerial HR Roles
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists: 4 percent increase for an average of 20 openings per year
- Human Resources Specialists: 5 percent increase for an average of 240 openings per year
- Training and Development Specialists: 2 percent increase for an average of 120 openings per year
- Labor Relations Specialists: 7 percent increase for an average of 20 openings per year
- Human Resources Assistants: 2 percent increase for an average of 50 openings per year
The Right Degree for a Human Resources Career in New Hampshire
But HR jobs don’t just go to anybody. You have to have the right skills and the right preparation, particularly if you hope to enter the top end of the 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 an MA, MS, Master of HRM, or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an HRM concentration, 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 business professionals who want to reorient their careers around strategic HR management, as well as mid-career HR 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:
- SHRM-CP (certified professional)
- SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)
HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
- Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)
- Associate Professional in Human Resources – International (aPHRi)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Professional in Human Resources – International (PHRi)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi)
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
- Certified Professional (IPMA-CP)
- Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP)
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 (shown for illustrative purposes only):
- 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 (shown for illustrative purposes only):
Contract Technical Recruiter: Arista Networks Inc., Nashua
This position requires collaborating with HR corporate resources 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, serving as a consultant to management for a wide array of employee issues, and advocating for and counseling 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 HR 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
Examples of HR positions were taken from a survey of job listings in the state at the time of this writing and are shown for illustrative purposes only. These examples do not represent job offers or positions that are currently available.
Job growth projections sourced from the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm. Employment conditions in your area may vary.