Black-eyed Susans are blooming outside the Haworth College of Business

Career Pathway: Human resource management

A human resource management major will give you the specialized skills to manage and develop others. The major emphasizes tested concepts essential for a successful career in human resources, industrial relations or management. These include human resource planning, managing a diverse workforce, staffing, compensation, employee relations and organizational development and change. Upon successful completion of this program, you will be prepared for graduate studies in human resources or a career in business unions, industrial relations or law.

  • Where do I start for a career pathway in human resource management?

    Start by making an appointment with the Zhang Career Center, which can assist you in discovering your career interests and values. The human resource management industry includes employees who tend to be conventional, enterprising and social. They value achievement, relationships and support according to O*Net. Find out if your work preferences match careers in human resource management by taking the Focus2 assessment.

    What is human resource management?

  • What skills are human resource manangement employers seeking?

    Technical skills are part of the proficiencies that are required for a job and may be developed in your major coursework. Human resource management-oriented technical skills desired include project management software, Microsoft programs, Google analytics, Oracle software, payroll software and SAP experience. 

    Interpersonal skills enable you to succeed and are often developed outside of the classroom. Human resource management-oriented interpersonal skills include active listening, critical thinking, complex problem solving, social perceptiveness, time management and management of personal resources.

    What careers involve these human resource management skills?


  • Student groups and supporting events at WMU Haworth

    Human resource management student groups include the Society for Excellence in Human Resources. Other groups include Business Association of Mentors, DECA at WMU, Delta Sigma Pi, Leadership and Business Strategy, Phi Chi Theta and Women's Business Network.

    Events supporting the human resource management major include Business Career Day.

  • NACE Career Readiness Competencies

    The Zhang Career Center at the Haworth College of Business empowers learners to launch successful business careers by engaging them in innovative programming focused on professional readiness, while developing partnerships with global, regional and local leaders who hire students. As pioneers in career readiness programs and experts in customer service, staff members in the career center strive to meet the needs of all students and employers.

    Career readiness competencies include:

    • Career and self-development
    • Communication
    • Critical thinking
    • Equity and inclusion
    • Leadership
    • Professionalism
    • Teamwork
    • Technology

    Visit the NACE competencies online to learn more.

Tasks and processes in human resources management:

Assessment and selection, behavioral interviewing, coaching, contract negotiations, decision making, diversity management, employee engagement, employee retention, equal employment opportunity, HRIS technology and solutions, human capital management, interviewing, labor relations, leadership development, management and management principles, organizational development, payroll, pension administration, performance appraisal and evaluation, policies, salary reviews, selection process, staffing and scheduling requirements, strategic management planning, succession planning, talent management, team building, training and development and compensation.

Careers in human resource management:

Human resource management-related job titles:

  • Corporate recruiter
  • Employment coordinator
  • Employment representative
  • Employment specialist
  • Human resources coordinator
  • Human resource generalist
  • Human resource specialist
  • Personnel coordinator
  • Recruiter
  • Technical recruiter

Business Externship opportunities

Business Externship opportunities

The Business Externship Program provides career exploration opportunities that connect students in Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business with mentors, many of whom are WMU alumni. Current human resource management externship opportunities include Greenleaf Hospitality, Haworth, Kellogg's, MANN+HUMMEL and many more. Learn more about the program.

Major research tools

Book an appointment

Zhang Career Center

To schedule an appointment, book with online portal or call (269) 387-2711 today.