where human resources jobs in canada are headed

Canada's job market continues to hum along at a similar pace to last year. For most of 2019, unemployment hovered between 5.5% and 5.8% and is expected to remain similarly low in 2020. With sustained, low unemployment, HR teams play a crucial role in attracting, hiring and retaining the talent their employer needs to succeed. In competitive fields experiencing talent shortages such as IT or skilled trades, HR professionals have an especially challenging role as they must attract candidates who have a wide variety of job opportunities available to them. In 2020, expect to see a strong demand for HR professionals who are able to connect with employees and build rapport with candidates. As the capabilities of HR tech continue to advance, the human side of HR is becoming a critical piece that HR professionals must bring to the table to stand out.


the best HR careers in 2020

The list of top HR jobs remains relatively similar to last year, however there is one new addition: talent acquisition specialist, which nods to the growing competition between companies looking to find and secure top talent in the intensely candidate-driven market. Taking the top spot for another year is HR manager. HR managers oversee the HR function, so they play a key role in keeping HR departments on track and ensuring the right professionals are in place to keep the employees happy and the talent pipeline flowing.

best HR careers

  • 1. HR manager

    HR manager holds onto the top spot on the list of best HR jobs for 2020. HR managers are responsible for the HR function at their company, and typically oversee other HR professionals in areas such as talent management, recruiting, employee relations, health and safety, payroll and other specializations within HR. Forward-thinking HR managers who understand the importance of communication, culture building and diversity will be in demand in 2020.

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  • 2. recruiter

    2020 is shaping up to have a candidate-driven job market. There are more job openings than there are skilled people to fill them. That's where recruiters step in! Recruiters bridge the gap between employers and job seekers, helping employers find the talent they need to thrive, while also helping job seekers access the best possible opportunities. Recruiters who understand how to connect with people and build trusting relationships with talent have a leg up in 2020.

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  • 3. HR generalist

    HR generalists are the jack-of-all-trades of the HR world, so it's no surprise to see them round out the top 3 best HR jobs in 2020. HR generalists do a little bit of everything in HR including talent management, recruitment, employee relations, and payroll, among other things. If it relates to employees, there's a good chance an HR generalist does it! That versatility makes HR generalists in high demand, especially at small and medium-sized businesses that don't have a large HR department segmented into specializations.

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  • 4. HR coordinator

    HR coordinators are a lot like HR generalists, but more junior. HR coordinators typically provide general HR and administrative support to the HR teams they work with. This role is considered entry-level, though with a few years of experience, many HR coordinators go onto specialize in a segment of HR or become an HR generalist. A strong desire to learn and work with people will be your best asset as an HR coordinator in 2020.

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  • 5. HR director

    HR director moved up one spot from last year. HR directors are near the top of the HR hierarchy, just below the Chief People Officer or Chief Human Resources Officer. As leaders, HR directors are responsible for high-level planning and strategy within the HR department. Excellent communication and an innate ability to connect with and understand employees and corporate culture will help HR directors get ahead in 2020.

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  • 6. HR business partner

    HR business partner holds steady in the same spot as last year. HR business partners are a front-line resource for employees. From guiding employees through management changes and new policies, to handling employee discipline, HR business partners are employee relations experts. HR business partners often deal with complex and sensitive issues such as harassment or illegal behaviour, so discretion and a calm, even-keeled disposition is a must.

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  • 7. talent acquisition specialist

    Talent acquisition specialist is a new entry on the list of best HR jobs for 2020. Much like recruiters, talent acquisition specialists are all about finding and hiring the best talent for their employer. In the talent-centric job market of 2020, it's no surprise to see that skilled talent acquisition specialists are in high demand.

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  • 8. HR technician

    HR technician is new on the list of best HR jobs for 2019, highlighting the trend toward more data-driven HR practices. HR technicians tend to specialize in the technical aspects of their HR department. This can include being expert in HR software, running background checks, or performing HR-related analyses, such as evaluating employee compensation or benefits.

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average HR salaries in 2020

The median human resources salary in 2020 is $64,250, the same as last year. Human resources continues to be one of the better paid sectors in Canada. The bottom 10% of earners make $40,950 or less, while the top 10% of earners make $100,000 or more.    

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the best HR skills to have in 2020

The best HR skills in 2020 remain similar to last year. HR software dominates the list of in demand skills, taking up half of this year's list, including the top 3. Once a highly traditional department, in recent years HR has shifted dramatically, adopting technology to increase productivity. If you want to get ahead in HR, knowledge of HR technologies such as HRIS and ATS will be key moving forward.

best HR skills

  • 1. talent management system (TMS)
  • 2. human resource information system (HRIS)

    Human Resource Information Systems (better known by the acronym HRIS) provide a backbone for HR management, storing info for key HR functions such as employee data, payroll, recruitment, benefits, and scheduling.

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  • 3. applicant tracking system (ATS)

    The top skills in HR are increasingly tech-focused, so it's no surprise to see Applicant Tracking System (ATS) come in third. ATS are used in the recruiting process to find and filter candidates by skills or other keywords and ultimately streamline hiring.

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  • 4. certified human resources professional (CHRP)

    Certified Human Resources Professional (known as CHRP) is the best-known designation validating knowledge of the HR function. It's also known as Chartered Professional in HR (or CPHR) in some regions, though CHRP remains the more commonly recognized term. There are two additional tiers: Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) for management-level, and Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) for executives.

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  • 5. french bilingualism

    HR teams are often situated in a single head office and communicate with employees across Canada. Being able to speak both of Canada's national languages will broaden your ability to connect with employees across the country. Written and verbal bilingualism will also increase your earning potential.

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  • 6. learning management systems (LMS)

    Learning Management Systems (LMS) are used to track employee development and corporate training programs. They allow HR to administer, track and report on the delivery of educational courses and training programs for employees. They can also integrate with HRIS systems.

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  • 7. occupational health & safety certificate

    The Occupational Health & Safety Certificate is exactly what it sounds like. It validates your knowledge of workplace safety best practices. It's offered by various colleges in Canada and is a requirement for the Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRST) certification. If you're interested in the Health and Safety sector of HR, this is a great certificate to have on your resume.

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  • 8. microsoft office

    As is the case in most professional jobs, intermediate knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite is a good skill to have in HR. Advanced knowledge of Excel, beyond the basics, is especially useful, as Excel is commonly used for reporting and data analysis in HR. Outlook, PowerPoint and Word will also look good on your HR resume.

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