Is HR one of the most desirable occupations?

Chloe Hava


written on January 30, 2018

HR manager was recently ranked as one of the top job titles in the US. But does the role carry the same weight in Australia?

This year, for the first time, HR manager was ranked as one of the most desirable jobs to have in the US. Glassdoor which published the data, says that a median salary of US$85,000 (A$106,000) puts the role into fifth position on their best jobs list.

If you’re interested, STEMM based professions dominated the top two in the list, with Data Scientist just edging out DevOps Engineer, with salaries of US$110,000 (AUD$136,199.69) and US$105,000 (AUD$130,008.79) respectively. Marketing manager and occupational therapist were the next most desirable job titles. You can find the list of the top 50 jobs here. The 50 best jobs in America list is compiled by measuring the number of job openings for each title, the average salary for that role, and the job satisfaction recorded by Glassdoor users, weighting each factor equally. For HR, job satisfaction for example, was 80 per cent.

What do the top jobs have in common?

While the top jobs might seem like they vary in the required skill sets, there are certain things they have in common which have distinguished them from the pack. Chief Economist at Glassdoor Dr Andrew Chamberlain says that it’s the creativity and soft skills needed to do these jobs that are positioning them head and shoulders above the rest. “Workers with certain technical and soft skills, such as creativity, flexibility and good judgement, are at an advantage across industries, from health care to finance to HR, to leverage advances in artificial intelligence and automation,” says Chamberlain.

“That’s because AI is increasingly complementing these jobs, while not replacing the people needed to do them.” It’s a persuasive argument for HR in Australia to get well acquainted with technological advances to better serve their organisations.

How does HR fare in Australia?

In a similar survey to the Glassdoor research, Indeed conducted analysis in May 2017 on Australia’s top jobs – taking into account again the number of job postings, average salary and the potential for growth. And which job came on top of their list of 20? None other than marketing manager, with HR failing to make the cut.

Analysing what distinguished the top 20 roles, Indeed managing director Australia and New Zealand Chris McDonald made similar remarks to Chamberlain. “While many roles are under threat of automation, creative professions such as marketing are not yet one of them,” he says.

Is there a lag between HR professionals in Australia and their counterparts in the US when it comes to embracing new technology? Deloitte research from 2017 indicates Australian HR professionals are less prepared for the future than their international counterparts. According to the 2017 Human Capital Trends Survey, Australian HR professionals are too caught up in employee experience.

At present Australian HR professionals are closely focused on retention through improving the employee experience, such as setting up systems to help employees deal with the volume of communication and level of administration in their lives,” says David Brown, leader of the Deloitte Human Capital Consulting Practice.

“But digital disruption is affecting business models, work practices and staff lifestyles, and effective management of this change will be critical to business growth in the short term, so Australian companies must understand and elevate digital HR as a priority.”

2018 could be a better year for HR in Australia, however. The recently released Hays Job Report says HR Business Partner, team leader and coordinator roles are in high demand this year.

Watch this space!

Be the one who creates value in your organisation – become a certified HR practitioner with the AHRI Practising Certification Program. Enrol now.

Don’t miss out on more great content like this.


2 thoughts on “Is HR one of the most desirable occupations?

  1. HR has been a much maligned ‘occupation’. Its professionalisation has come slowly as more people have studied it as a career/profession and then begun practicing. However, its history showed that it started as a Welfare-oriented occupation, then IR/ER orientation and so on. Many companies and individuals focus on it as a Recruitment and/or Training function forgetting that they are only concentrating on the compliance bits rather than on the Strategic side – that which adds value i.e. organisation and culture development, performance enhancement, leadership, talent acquisition for the future etc. In this arena, it is not the ‘fault’ of HR players but that of organisations and their management who fail understand the value of having a strategic partner on the top team. (I did manage to get there ut it was a long and exhausting journey!) And this is despite companies boldly declaring ‘People are our greatest assets!’

  2. HR is not and cannot be the “maligned occupation”. The vision of the CEO and the top management should be to identify HR as a formidable force and leave HR to add value to the organisation and enhance organisational capability than dictate terms to HR. HR too should drive the culture and most of all understand the business. For this, one should be within the company with diverse experience in the fields of sales, marketing, credit, industrial/production, and if possible finance, to head HR, a candidate who knows the business. Engaging people and communicating the vision of the organisation will be mainstream HR culture, then. Individuals must be handpicked groomed and trained before placement to the top HR position, and needless to say the emphasises the companies attention to management development program which I was fortunate to be in my former organisation.

To comment on this article please provide your name and email address. Your email address will not be available publicly.