As a member of the senior management team of an organization, a Vice President of Human Resources typically reports directly to the CEO and other top executives. While individual job responsibilities vary depending on the company a VP of HR works for, most Vice Presidents of Human Resources have the following basic responsibilities:
– Evaluate and implement compensation plans and HR programs
– Develop strategies for staffing and evaluate employees for promotion
– Establish policies to comply with non-discrimination laws
The Vice President of HR also manages the human resources department of a company or organization, which could be quite large or consist of only a few employees depending on the size and complexity of the organization.
How to Become a VP of HR
With very few exceptions, anyone interested in holding the position of Vice President of any department, including Human Resources, should have consider what the best degree might be for a human resources career. Generally speaking, a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, or a related field is usually required. Experience is also typically required, generally in the range of five to ten years or more in human resources or a closely related field. In some cases, a degree in psychology or sociology could qualify an individual for a position in human resources management.
That said, each organization has its own policies and methodologies for choosing the VP of HR. Companies that place a great deal of emphasis on providing upward mobility to its loyal employees may not require a degree at all, relying instead on extensive on-the-job training and company-sponsored workshops. Regardless of the size of a company or the salary they are willing to pay a VP of HR, some of the biggest qualities companies seek in a potential Vice President of Human Resources is leadership skills, integrity, and the ability to make tough decisions.
How much Does a VP of HR Make?
Asking how much a VP of HR makes is a lot like asking what the “average” CEO makes; with so much diversity in business these days, there really is no “average.” Nonetheless, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides median salary estimates for human resources managers that you may find useful.
According to BLS statistics, the median annual salary of a human resource manager in the United States was $99,180 as of 2010. The highest compensated VPs of HR earned in excess of $166,000, while the lowest compensated HR managers made less than $61,560 annually.
To get a better idea of the variability of salaries for people holding the title of “VP of HR,”,consider this: the Vice President of Human Resources at PepsiCo. earns $189,000, while the VP of HR at eBay earns more than a quarter of a million dollars a year. With company stock awards factored in, the VP of HR at a company like Microsoft or Facebook could earn several million dollars a year in total compensation.
On the other side of the coin, the VP of HR at a small company somewhere in small town, USA may earn less than $30,000 a year.
As with any executive management position, the level of responsibility and job-related stress can help explain the seemingly high median salary you can expect to earn as a VP of HR.