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Essentials of Human Resource Management Certificate (Online)


Human resource issues impact every company in some way. That's why it's important to understand the fundamental issues surrounding HR today. 

If you're new to human resources or need to strengthen your employee management skills, the Essentials of Human Resource Management Certificate is for you. Knowledge of the essentials can improve valuable on-the-job effectiveness, protect your small business from needless litigation, and help advance your career. You will gain practical skills you can immediately apply to your own situation. 

Offered in partnership with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), this cost-effective course covers real-life HR issues, including employment law, selecting qualified employees, compensation, the employee performance process, and much more. You will also learn key information to keep you on track with compliance issues.

+ Features

You'll learn techniques for handling HR challenges through interactive case studies designed to make you feel comfortable dealing with HR issues. You'll also receive the SHRM® Essentials of HR Management Certificate Program manual consisting of six modules, glossary, and index as well as the Participant's Activities Book. In addition, you'll have the opportunity earn a Certificate of Completion from George Mason University and to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for completing this course. 

Benefits for employees: 

Through the SHRM Essentials of HR Management course, participants can:

  • Attain knowledge and practical HR skills to effectively approach challenging HR issues. 
  • Gain expertise in areas of HR management that are broader than the normal scope of your job.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations.
  • Increase your on-the-job confidence.
  • Utilize the course materials as one comprehensive source of HR information.
  • Earn a certificate upon completion.

Benefits for companies: 

The SHRM Essentials of HR Management course can help companies increase HR knowledge that is critical to overall business success. This program:

  • Reduces company's risk of potential high-cost litigation. 
  • Promotes a consistent understanding of the HR function to non-HR management. 
  • Offers professional development for divisional or departmental supervisors to ensure HR compliance.
  • Develops a common dictionary of HR terms for the entire organization.
  • Enhances the importance of the HR function within your company.

This course provides important knowledge and skills you can use immediately in your day-to-day job:

1. Human Resource Management

  • Gain a clear understanding of the HR function
  • Roles and responsibilities 
  • Important steps and outcomes in the HR planning process

2. Employment Law

  • Enhance your ability to apply key HR legislation 
  • Civil Rights Act
  • EEOC, Affirmative Action, and elements of the affirmative action plan
  • Pregnancy, age and disability legislation
  • Many other employee protection laws

3. Recruitment and Selection

  • Gain important skills for selecting employees 
  • Recruiting methods and their effectiveness
  • Key selection tools
  • Adverse impact calculations
  • Interview biases

4. Compensation and Benefits

  • Learn the key elements of a total compensation system 
  • Framework for base pay, incentives, differentials and increases
  • Job analysis and documentation 
  • Methods for job evaluation
  • Benefits commonly offered by employers

5. Employee Development

  • Gain an understanding of orientation, development and training 
  • Effective adult learning, both on-the-job and off-the-job
  • Four levels of evaluation

6. Performance Management

  • Discover the purpose and process for performance appraisals 
  • Common appraisal methods and errors
  • Legal concepts surrounding the disciplinary process
  • Guideline for conducting disciplinary meetings

This program is designed to launch your career and increase your HR effectiveness.

Course Materials

Materials Include:


This book is newly updated with the latest HR developments, the SHRM Essentials of HR Management program combines print materials with online study tools to provide a blended learning experience. 

Print Materials

Each SHRM Essentials of HR Management course participant will receive two printed books: Participant’s Reference Book and Participant’s Activities Book. For students taking the course online the materials will be mailed to you before the course begins at no additional charge.* 

The Participant’s Reference Book includes the printed content of the course. It addresses six key human resource management practices, compiled into one comprehensive course book for easy reference. 

1. Human Resource Management. Gain a clear understanding of the HR function.
2. Employment Law. Enhance your ability to apply key HR legislation.
3. Recruitment and Selection. Develop important skills for selecting employees.
4. Compensation and Benefits. Learn the key elements of a total compensation system.
5. Employee Development. Obtain an understanding of orientation, development, and training.
6. Performance Management. Discover the purpose and process for performance evaluation. 

The Participant’s Activities Book contains copies of the instructor slides with room for notes and application activities. 

Web-based Study Tools and Resources

The web-based tools are designed to support the print materials, provide added opportunities to review and master HR concepts, and gain confidence. The tools are available to all SHRM Essentials of HR Management program participants. 
Laptop- Screen Display of SHRM Materials 

EVALUATE your current knowledge

  • Pre-test to gauge current knowledge
  • SmartStudy tool to develop a study plan
  • Reports that measure progress

LEARN about key HR topics

  • Module-specific test for each module to check mastery of key information
  • Glossary of key terms for quick reference
  • Resource Center that includes additional resources and reference material

DEMONSTRATE your HR understanding

  • Threaded case study featuring real-life scenarios to apply concepts learned throughout the course
  • Post-test to assess learning gain

*For students living outside of the contiguous United States shipping costs will be an additional fee charged separately from the tuition cost. Please note that shipping costs may vary depending on the mailing location.

+ Requirements

To receive a Certificate of Completion from George Mason University and SHRM, 100% attendance and participation are expected from participants.

+ Designed For

Designed as a thorough introduction to HR basics, the SHRM Essentials of HR Management course provides a solid foundation in human resource management that improves HR job performance across multiple job titles and functions.

This course is designed for:

  • New and junior HR practitioners who need to increase their knowledge base.
  • Small business owners or office managers who perform the HR function for their company.
  • Business managers who want to learn basic HR best practices to avoid costly litigation.
  • New or experienced managers interested in learning more about employee management skills. 
  • Representatives selling or supporting HR systems and services.
  • International HR personnel wishing to increase their knowledge of U.S. HR practices.
  • Job seekers who are investigating HR as a new career option or want to have HR as a skill for future positions.

Additional Details

Questions? Submit an inquiry >> HERE

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