Business operations can be complicated. Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists make things easier. A bachelor’s degree in one of several subjects can prepare students for these three different types of business operations specialist jobs.
Job Duties of Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists
Companies and organizations run on the productivity of their employees, and employees work for their wages and other benefits. Processing paychecks and administering benefits are part of a company’s operations. The larger the company, the more complex these tasks are likely to be, and the greater the need for separate specialists who can devote their workday to handling these responsibilities.
Compensation specialists are the ones whose jobs revolve around pay rates and policies. Researching salaries, including performing data analyses and cost analyses to compare the organization’s pay rates to that of other companies, falls under the purview of a compensation specialist. These workers also have to keep companies on track following any applicable laws and regulations, such as those governing minimum wage, workers’ compensation and overtime pay, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Benefits specialists perform the slightly different function of overseeing non-compensation benefits programs. Companies offer these programs, including insurance policies, retirement savings plans and paid time off, to attract and keep top talent in the industry. Benefits specialists do research on new benefits offerings and changes that can be made to save money on or improve the impact of existing benefits programs. They have to manage employee enrollment, policy renewals, recordkeeping and the delivery of benefits services as well as making sure that any benefits programs the company offers fit within government laws and regulations.
Jobs in a business or organization range from entry-level to senior-level, and their responsibilities and salaries typically correspond to their level of advancement. A job analysis specialist is responsible for determining the level of employment of a given position along with the salary scale, classification and job duties that go along with the role. While job analysis specialists are especially important in the creation of a new job opening and the writing of the job description, they also evaluate established jobs.
Most compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists hold a bachelor’s degree, the BLS reported. Different majors can equip students with skills that are valuable in these occupations.
Human Resources Degrees
The work of administering compensation, benefits programs and job classifications is primarily a human resources function. These specialists are concerned with the logistics of the programs meant to entice great employees to come and work for the company. If an organization’s pay rates and benefits fall below that of similar companies, there is a good chance that employees will begin leaving for jobs that offer better pay and benefits. That’s exactly what HR personnel aim to avoid.
Human resources degree programs typically cover all areas of HR, including human resources development and management, staffing, negotiation, employee relations, conflict resolution, training and development and employment law. Compensation analysis and benefits planning are two specialized classes that human resources often find valuable, especially if they are considering a career in compensation and benefits administration, according to the BLS.
A human resources degree is flexible enough to prepare students for other HR roles besides compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists, including HR generalist, HR specialist, labor relations specialist and training and development specialist.
Bachelor of Business Administration Degrees
If your top-choice school doesn’t offer a specific major or concentration in HR, studying business administration could be your next best bet. Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees include some coursework into the foundations, principles and practices of human resources, but the curriculum is more balanced with classes in other business areas. For example, courses such as introduction to business, accounting principles, marketing management, financial management, strategic planning, organizational management, economics and business laws and ethics are all part of a typical BBA curriculum. By studying business, prospective compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists develop a well-rounded understanding of all areas of business, which puts the HR tasks of administering pay and benefits into the context of big-picture business operations. Many BBA programs allow students to focus their upper-level coursework on an area of concentration, which could be HR, business management or any number of other specialized fields.
A benefit of choosing a business degree is that the breadth of subject matter included in the curriculum can open up a wealth of different opportunities, including those outside of the human resources arena, making it the most versatile degree choice.
Degrees in Finance
People tend to think of HR work as being the “warm and fuzzy” side of business. While soft skills certainly matter for compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists, they are far from the only factors that count. These roles require considerable analytical and quantitative skills. You must be comfortable working with numbers and manipulating data to compare your company’s pay structure to other organizations’ pay scales or to choose between different benefits plans and policies. Finance, one of the math-focused business majors, can help you develop the skills and confidence to do these data-driven calculations.
Finance jobs are also among the best-paying and fastest growing roles in business, according to the BLS, so this major is a great choice even if you aren’t completely sure that compensation, benefits and job analysis is the right path for you.
Jobs in compensation, benefits and job analysis aren’t limited to business majors. The BLS includes communication, leadership and decision-making skills alongside business and analytical skills as the most important qualities needed for this occupation. Specifically, compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists must have the speaking and writing skills to delegate tasks, direct projects, collaborate with team members and present their recommendations to colleagues and management personnel.
If you choose to major in communications, be sure to take at least a couple of business courses so that you understand the larger area of business operations.