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Important concepts to learn during an MBA in Human Resource

Admin | August 12, 2022

A Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources is a 2-year postgraduate course that provides in-depth knowledge to students about various subjects relevant to the HR domain and function. For example, Human Resource Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics, Industrial Relations, etc. Candidates can choose to pursue an MBA in HR via online or offline mediums from various universities. Read along to learn more about the details of an MBA in HR programme, the core concepts of human resource management and subjects taught in the course and the various career options you can opt for after completing the programme. 

What is the scope and demand of an MBA in HR?

The study of Human Resources Management is relevant to all companies regardless of their domain, employee strength, products and services offered. Hence, there is a high demand for MBA graduates in the HR specialisation. Graduates with MBA in HR can apply for positions like Human Resource Generalist, Talent Manager, Human Resource Specialist, etc. It is estimated that the demand for human resource employees is likely to increase in the coming years.

What are the various subjects taught in an MBA in HR?

 

The university committee usually decides the MBA HR syllabus; therefore, it can differ a bit from one university to another. However, some of the common MBA HR subjects that are taught in business schools are as follows:

  • Business Environment: It involves studying all the components of a business environment, for example, suppliers, target consumers, economic conditions, investors, the technology used, competitors, etc. This subject also teaches about the core analysis methods such as SWOT, PESTLE, Boston Box Matrix and Porter’s Five Forces, etc.
  • Human Resource Management: In this subject, you will be taught concepts like how to steer negotiations, employee relations, workplace rules and regulations followed by managers, trade unions etc.
  • Quantitative Techniques in Human Resource Management: Quantitative techniques in human resource management involve creating equations and variables that enable us to set up an empirical relationship of operational human resource planning. This technique teaches individuals to tackle various problems as a well-defined system.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics: CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is a corporate ideology that urges the organisation to conduct their manufacturing and sales activities in a way that does not cause environmental pollution and is also sustainable for the environment in the long term. Business Ethics are a set of moral guidelines that should be followed by every organisation as a step toward social responsibility.
  • Economics of Human Resources: This subject talks about the strategies that are aimed toward properly utilising the workforce and resources to positively impact the economy of a region or nation. Some topics of this subject include employee training, recruitment processes, employee retention, etc.
  • Industrial Relations: This subject has three major components: a) development of a positive relationship between employees and executive management, b) avoiding conflict between internal and external stakeholders, and c) promotion of industrial democracy.
  • Human Resource Information System: This subject deals with the IT system and management responsible for collecting and storing employee data. This data could be their name, private address, salary information, or performance reviews. This data is strictly confidential and is used for data-driven decision-making in the Human Resources department.
  • Human Resource Planning and Development: This subject teaches the students how an organisation decides on the requirements of the human resource department to finish all the projects and responsibilities effectively. It also deals with the development process (both skills and behaviour) of the human resource team.
  • Performance Management and Competency Mapping: This subject teaches how to choose the right employee for a specific task and review the employee’s performance during the process. This process helps in highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the employee.
  • Compensation and Reward Management: This subject deals with the formulation and implementation of reward and compensation strategies that aim to treat employees equitably according to their functions and responsibilities  and their performance and value.
  • Labour Laws: This subject teaches about the rules and regulations that apply to employment, work conditions, trade unions, remuneration of employees, industrial relations, etc. The primary objective of labour laws is to try and maintain a proper balance of power between the employer and the employee.
  • Strategic Human Resource Management: This subject teaches the skills that help in the solving of issues in the hierarchy structure, performance issues, organisational culture, operational efficiency, etc. It involves a process that aims to develop and implement human resources programmes that could solve business issues. This subject will further help in achieving the long-term goals of the organisation. 

What are the key concepts you can learn in an MBA in HR?

 

Some of the important HR concepts that you need to master during an MBA in Human Resources programme are as follows:

Recruitment

Recruitment is one of the most important and basic HR concepts. It can be defined as the process of locating and hiring potential employees to fill up the existing vacancies in a company. The recruiters in charge of the recruitment process ensure that the skills required for the specific position match the skill sets of the potential employee. Generally, a 5-step process is recommended for the recruitment process to boost the efficiency of the process. The steps include:

  • Recruitment planning: This step includes the analysis of the vacant position and the preparation of a job description.
  • Strategy development: This step deals with formulating strategies for the recruitment process. It involves defining the job location, recruitment sources, type of recruitment (permanent or temporary), etc.
  • Searching: This step deals with selecting the internal and external sources from which the potential candidates can be searched and selected.
  • Screening: This step is carried out after the HR department has sourced enough candidates for a specific position. It involves reviewing candidates’ skill sets from the CVs, motivation letters, interviews, case studies, etc.
  • Evaluation and Control: This is the final step of the recruitment process where the process is thoroughly reviewed, and the scope of improvement in future processes is defined.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is an essential concept of human resource management that indicates the commitment and dedication level of the employees towards their job and the company. This concept is critical for the success of the company’s objectives since it deals with employee morale and job satisfaction. It is also crucial for the company because engaged employees showcase better productivity and performance at work compared to the ones who are not that well involved. Some of the ways in which companies can promote employee engagement are listed below:

  • Employers should communicate the work expectations clearly and effectively.
  • Rewarding employees with incentives and promotions for exemplary work and fulfilling their responsibilities efficiently.
  • Setting up an efficient communication channel to update the employee about the company’s performance.
  • Regular feedback sessions and appraisals.
  • Making the employees feel valued and respected in the workplace. 

HR audit

HR audit is a concept included in the MBA in Human Resources programme that discusses the auditing process of an organisation’s HR management system, practices, policies and procedures. The primary objective is to pinpoint the issues in the management system and find ways to improve the existing process. This audit can be performed internally by the HR department, or a company can hire an external audit consultant to conduct the evaluation. Some of the specific areas that are examined are as follows:

  • Best practices: The auditing process ensures that the HR practices of a company are compliant with the industry standards.
  • Competitiveness: The audit aims to ensure that all the employees receive fair and equitable compensation for their work and performance. 
  • Compliance: The audit is designed to ensure that the business operations comply with regional, national, and international laws.
  • Performance: The auditing process also examines the feedback process implemented by the company for appraisals and other incentives.
  • Function-specific areas: This is a minor audit process which monitors the human resource areas like payrolls, documentation, etc.

Job demands-resource model

The Job demands-resource model or the JD-R model was created by Evangelina Demerouti and Arnold Baker in 2006. This is an example of an occupational stress model that aims to provide a comfortable work environment to employees when they are working under a lot of stress. It assumes that the imbalance between the job demands of an employee and the available resources causes strain. Let us understand the two categories in detail that predict the level of working conditions under this model:

  • Job demand: These are the physical elements that increase the stress levels in a work environment. These elements include a hectic work schedule, tight deadlines, stressful work environment, ambiguous work profiles, heavy workload, and poor employee-employer relations.
  • Job resources: These are the physical, organisational, and social elements that support you in completing work objectives and reducing work-related stress. These elements include strong employee-employer relations, autonomous work culture, training and mentoring workshops, opportunities for career advancement, etc.

Talent management and employee retention

Talent management is a process that helps in minimisation of the overall cost of hiring and maintaining employees. It is mainly initiated by training these employees and then retaining them. Employers put in a lot of money and effort to train employees so that they can function efficiently in a workplace, and therefore, they prefer to retain the trained employees for a long time. Some of the main factors that could affect the employee retention rate are as follows:

  • Remuneration: This accounts for the employee’s salary, bonus, incentives, advance pay, insurance coverage, transport reimbursement, etc.
  • Work environment: A healthy workplace environment boosts the productivity of employees and helps retain them for a longer time.
  • Professional growth: Every individual wants to grow in their professional career. The employees will probably accept to retain their job role if employers provide them with opportunities to grow within the company.
  • Support: Companies should support their employees to grow professionally and climb the corporate ladder. They need to offer financial and motivational support to the employees so that they function better.

Employee turnover

Employee turnover is also one of the HRM core concepts that you should focus on during your MBA in HR course. It can be defined as the total number of employees that leave a company over a specific period. It includes the employees who resigned from the company voluntarily and those who were terminated involuntarily (for example: laid off or fired). It is important to note that employee turnover is not the same as employee attrition because involuntary terminations are not taken into account for the latter. Employee turnover gives us an idea about important factors like employee satisfaction, company culture, remuneration structure, etc., in the company. In simple words, the higher the turnover rate, the lower the company’s image.

HR analytics

HR analytics (also known as talent analytics, workforce analytics, or people analytics) is an analytical approach to human resource management that helps collect, analyse and report HR data. This approach can also be used to measure and visualise HR-relevant metrics and KPIs. It further helps the organisation to assess the performance of a company and make data-driven decisions. This approach is a relatively new concept that has not yet been thoroughly explored. Here are some examples of human resource management questions that could be resolved via HR analytics:

  • Patterns in employee turnover
  • The average time taken to hire employees 
  • Average recruitment cost
  • The average number of days that employees take leave
  • The average investment needed to train employees and get them up to speed, etc.

Compensation and benefits

The compensation and benefits package is the remuneration and other allowances that the employee receives for their services to the company. The remuneration package of an employee could be paid at hourly, weekly, monthly, or annual rates. The benefits of an employee include all sorts of allowances and other perks offered by the company, such as stock options, health insurance, travel reimbursement, etc. Other essential components of the compensation and benefits package are the number of annual leaves, overtime pay, festive bonuses, pension, etc.

Compensation and benefits are the essential factors that affect the recruitment process, employee turnover, employee satisfaction, and an organisation’s overall working environment, etc. Most job searchers consider the compensation and benefits package as the most important criteria while searching for a job position. It is important to note that the compensation and benefits package depends on various factors and usually varies from one region to another and from one organisation to another.

Performance management and appraisals

Performance appraisals and management are organisational processes that aim to evaluate the performance of an employee. The important thing you need to understand is that while both these processes perform similar functions, they are inherently different. 

Performance appraisals are conducted annually to assess the accomplishments and performance of an employee. The major downside of this process is that the evaluation is carried out by the managers and supervisors without any significant involvement of the employees. The appraisal approach did not really contribute to the company’s vision or objectives but instead was only focused on the evaluation process based on the employees’ performance. It is the reason why many companies have recently diverted from performance appraisals to performance management. 

Performance management focuses on the behaviour and results showcased by the employee towards the specific goals and objectives of the company. The purpose considered for this approach is mutually agreed upon at the start of the performance review cycle.

Employee relations management

Employee relations management is one of the most crucial HR concepts you need to learn during your MBA in HR course. It is the process by which an organisation manages the relationship between the employees and the management. This relationship could be between two employees at different hierarchical levels or the same level. It is crucial to ensure that the employees work as a team towards achieving the common objectives and goals of the company. Achieving the organisational goals will be difficult if there are widespread conflicts and issues between the employees and the management. Some of the tips to ensure efficient employee relations management are as follows:

  • Efficient communication channels must be set up to discuss and resolve conflicts.
  • Organising fun outings and other group activities to boost the team spirit and morale among the employees.
  • Common workplaces should be promoted rather than individual cabins.
  • Partiality towards specific employees should be avoided at all costs.

Who is eligible to do an MBA in HR?

 

Candidates interested in working in the HR domain can pursue an MBA in HR programme. The eligibility criteria for students who want to join the MBA in HR programme and the precise prerequisites might vary from one university to another. 

  • In general, an MBA in HR programme can be opted for by candidates who have finished a Bachelor’s degree with any specialisation.
  • Another primary eligibility criterion of universities to admit students for an MBA in HR course is that the candidates must have scored at least 50 percent CGPA during their undergraduate programme. However, some institutions might consider candidates with lower CGPA as well, considering they possess relevant skills. There might be special concessions available for candidates belonging to scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, or people with disabilities.
  • To take admission in an MBA in HR course from a top university, you might also have to apply for an entrance test that is accepted by the institution of your choice. For example, CAT, GMAT, XAT, TISSNET, etc. Candidates are usually expected to score above the cut-off score to reserve a seat for an MBA in the HR specialisation. 

Job roles an MBA HR graduate can take up 

An MBA in HR programme opens up a lot of possibilities and career choices that can be explored after graduation. Some of the most attractive career options after completing an MBA in HR degree are as follows:

Job titleJob descriptionAverage salary
Human Resource Generalist A human resource generalist works in various activities, including recruitment, attendance monitoring, orientation programme, employee engagement activities, performance management or appraisals, handling payroll, etc.The average salary of a Human Resource Generalist is about INR 3.6 lakhs per year.
Human Resource ManagerA human resource manager is in charge of the recruitment process that involves interviewing, hiring, and training new employees. They are also in charge of supervising the workflow of the HR department. They are responsible for conducting performance management and providing constructive evaluations.The average salary of a Human Resource Manager is about INR 7 lakhs per year.
Technical RecruiterA technical recruiter has some understanding of technological knowledge, which makes them suitable to handle the recruitment process for technical job positions. They are in charge of partnering with hiring managers to understand the requirements of vacant positions. They help in drafting and posting job descriptions and lead the recruitment process via initial interviews.The average salary of a Technical Recruiter is about INR 3 lakhs per year.
Employee Relations ManagerAn employee relations manager is in charge of maintaining positive employee relations in an organisation. They help in contract negotiations, inter-company meetings, and negotiations with labour unions and employees. They are in charge of training senior managers and supervisors to practice positive employee relations practices. The average salary of an Employee Relations Manager is about INR 3.1 lakhs per year.
Human Resource Consultant A human resource consultant is responsible for offering guidance on human capital and advice to a range of companies. They employ human resource models, procedures and policies to resolve all sorts of conflicts between the employees and the companies. They also help in assisting the human resource managers with the recruitment process and training new employees.The average salary of a Human Resource Consultant is about INR 3.6 lakhs per year.
Human Resource Specialist A human resource specialist is in charge of supervising all the functions of the human resources department. They are mainly in charge of setting up the compensation and benefits package for new employees, updating employee records and ensuring a healthy workplace.The average salary of a Human Resource Specialist is about INR 5.6 lakhs per year.
Human Resource Executive A human resource executive is in charge of managing a company’s recruiting process, training and development, and performance management process of employees. They also help in setting up a compensation and benefits package for newly hired employees.The average salary of a Human Resource Executive is about INR 3 lakhs per year.
Compensation and Benefits Manager A compensation and benefits manager is in charge of designing a compensation and benefits package that is equitable. The package includes salaries, allowances, stock options, pensions, and other employee benefits. They can also be involved in other human resources functions if needed.  The average salary of a Compensation and Benefits Manager is about INR 17 lakhs per year.

Further Studies

There are lots of opportunities to pursue further studies for MBA Human Resources graduates. You can pursue a doctorate or PhD degree in Business Administration or other HR-related domains. You can also pursue another Master’s degree in a field linked with the HR domain, such as Data Analytics or Finance, to learn more about the usage of these subjects in the human resource department. You can also opt for specialised certification courses such as Talent Management Certification, SAP HR certification, etc. 

How can one advance their career by doing MBA in HR from Online Manipal?

Manipal University Jaipur is a NAAC A+ accredited institution that offers applicants UGC recognised MBA in HR courses. Online Manipal is the online platform offered by Manipal University Jaipur that allows students to take up and complete courses online. It takes about 24 months to finish the MBA in HR degree offered by Online Manipal, and you will need 15-20 hours of study time per week to complete the MBA in HR course. The annual fee for the online MBA offered by Manipal University Jaipur is INR 1,50,000, and the candidates can pay the fees in semester-wise instalments of INR 37,500. 

Some of the advantages of pursuing an MBA in HR programme from Online Manipal are as follows: 

  • Students can complete the course from the comfort of their homes according to their free time and availability.
  • Online Manipal offers an online MBA in HR specialisation with placement assistance and free access to Coursera. They provide a broad range of placement assistance activities, such as resume writing workshops, to help you land your dream job. They also offer lots of interview tips to secure a lucrative career.
  • The MBA in HR degree from Online Manipal is accepted by national and international companies such as Amazon, KPMG, Deloitte, Capgemini, etc.
  • You can also apply for further studies after completing an MBA in HR from Online Manipal.

Conclusion

An MBA in HR is a postgraduate level degree that trains the candidates to take up job positions in the human resource management department. This programme offers an understanding of a wide variety of subjects such as Human Resources Economics, Business Environment Employee relations, HR planning and management, etc. Many essential topics are taught to students during an MBA in HR course. After completing an MBA in HR degree, you can apply for good-paying job positions such as human resources manager, compensation and benefits manager, technical recruiter, etc. and build your career.

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