Career Paths in IR/HR

The Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources (MIRHR) program at the University of Toronto is designed to train innovative professionals in human resource management, labour-management relations, and labour market analysis by guiding practice with a sound theoretical and conceptual foundation. Below is a sample of some entry-level and management positions.

This information was compiled from a number of sources and surveys available in the CIRHR Library. The Government of Canada’s online Working In Canada; and the National Occupational Classification also contain helpful information.

1.  Labour Management Relations Careers

Labour Relations Specialist/Officer

Advises management on all aspects of union-management relations, reviews contract disputes, mediates labour disputes and grievances between unions and management, and assists in contract negotiations by researching issues and providing information and support. Researches past arbitration decisions and grievances and analyzes their effect on pending negotiations. Keeps informed and up-to-date on changes to labour laws, arbitration decisions and anything else that may affect union-management relations. Reviews, interprets, and administers contracts for management. Provides contract interpretation information to line managers.

Labour Relations Manager

Establishes and maintains satisfactory labour-management relations. Formulates and administers labour relations policy, subject to top management guidance and approval. Represents management in labour relations, including negotiation, interpretation, and administration of collective agreements. Participates in or advised on grievances and arbitration issues.

Trade Union Official

Trade unions are in many ways like any organization. They hire people, have objectives and require an administrative team to implement those objectives. The job of a trade union official could be quite varied ranging from public relations to research on collective agreements in preparation for a round of bargaining. If you are yourself already a member of a union then enquire with your local union representative about what opportunities may exist within union following an MIRHR degree.

2. Human Resources Management (HRM) and HRM Consultancy Careers

Human Resources Generalist/Co-ordinator

Accountable for carrying out the human resources policies and programs of an organization by providing support activities to several of the following functions: compensation, benefits, recruitment, training, development, human resources planning, record-keeping and HRIS systems. May provides support to other functional areas such as employee and/or labour relations, employment equity and affirmative action programs. Assists in the development and implementation of human resources policies and procedures and their dissemination through employee booklets, communications, and/or meetings.

Compensation Analyst

Assists in the design, implementation and administration of compensation programs. May prepare occupational classifications, job descriptions and salary scales. Provides support in the administration of performance appraisal and incentive programs.

Employment/Recruiting Representative

Interviews prospective employees, administers pre-employment tests, checks references, makes job offers and conducts orientation programs and exit interviews. Visits colleges, universities, job fairs, and related functions as part of the organizations recruiting efforts.

Human Resources Manager

Develops, implements and coordinates policies and programs covering the following: compensation, benefits, recruitment, training and development, and human resources planning. May supervise a team of human resources professionals and support staff. Normally reports to a senior executive. In a plant environment, procures human resources, training, compensation and other activities needed to carry out human resources objectives and programs.

Compensation Manager

Plans, develops and implements the overall job evaluation, performance appraisal, and wage and salary management programs for the organization. Develops and administers all incentive programs within the guidelines of established policies. Conducts or participates in wage and salary surveys and recommends changes to ensure the maintenance of the organization’s compensation objectives and competitive position in the marketplace.

3. Labour Market and Social Policy Careers

Labour Policy Analyst

Conducts research, develops policy initiatives and implements or administers programs in areas such as employment and labour issues. Labour policy analysts are employed by government departments and agencies, consulting firms, professional associations, and other organizations.

Think Tank or Not-for-Profit Agency Researcher

Conducts research on behalf of third-party organizations such as foundations, non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations (NGOs) and think tanks. There is a growing network of foundations that are sponsoring studies on the labour market and also NGOs that are involved in advocacy for disadvantaged groups that are looking numerate and research driven candidates to put forth policy options for governments and private sector organizations.