HR Course for New Managers: Meet the Instructor, Explore the Training

Posted by Herzing Blog on Nov 19, 2021 2:22:52 PM

New managers are often on their own when it comes to navigating minefields like hiring, firing, and employee relations. And a misstep in any of these areas can have a serious impact on a business.

That’s why Kompass developed the Human Resources Management certificate. It’s designed to give new managers the tools and skills they need to embrace their new challenges with confidence.

Instructor Debra Wilson has 25 years of experience in numerous aspects of the human resources field.

We spoke with her recently to see what students can expect from the HR course and how the field is growing and changing.

Here’s what she had to say.


Q. Debra, can you give us some background on your professional experience in human resources? What specific areas have you worked in?

Debra: I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s in human resources, and a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology.

For 25 years, I’ve helped clients in executive management effectively organize and manage their human resources strategies. I’ve been involved in creating and restructuring HR departments from the ground up, in both private and publicly traded companies.

My work has spanned all areas of HR, including recruitment and retention, compensation and benefits, training and staff development, and performance management.

I own and operate a private consulting practice (DW Strategic Inc.), helping clients who want to create, restructure, or fine-tune their HR systems.


Q. Is this your first foray into teaching?

Debra: No, I used to be on staff at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). I spent three years teaching courses in human resources management, organizational behaviour, and research methods.

I also developed and delivered various training modules and programs to hundreds of individuals in organizational settings.


Q. Can you give us an overview of the HR Management certificate? What key skills do students learn?

Debra: The HR Management certificate teaches students how to analyze and administer their organization’s HR policies, and ensure they are compliant with the respective legislation.

Students learn how to strengthen their strategic planning skills and develop their own personal leadership style.

They also learn how to design competitive compensation and rewards packages, use effective methods for recruitment and hiring, foster good employee relations, and support employee learning and development.


Q. Who would be a good fit for this HR course?

Debra: The program is specifically designed for people who are transitioning to a career in HR, or who are taking on HR responsibilities as part of a new leadership role.

It’s aimed at giving those individuals the practical knowledge they need to make the most effective decisions and recommendations regarding recruitment, compensation, training, and employee relations.


Q. How does the online format work?

Debra: The program is delivered in an instructor-supported format with asynchronous classes. So students don’t have to be online at a specific time.

They have the flexibility to access recorded presentations and online classroom discussion postings and complete readings and assignments at their own convenience within a certain time frame.


Q. What are some of the fastest-growing positions within HR right now?

Debra: With recent pandemic challenges, the apparent lack of qualified candidates, and general trends toward decreases in long-term employment, the need for skilled HR professionals is at an all-time high.

The demand is across all levels: HR manager, HR generalist, HR business partner, and chief HR officer.


Q. Is it possible to build a career in this field without a degree in human resources? Are there other pathways into the career?

Debra: The human resources field is full of professionals who have a variety of different educational paths and backgrounds.

For example, teachers could transition into HR by becoming trainers, while law school graduates may find positions as labor relations specialists.

Many people start out in other administrative or operations positions and move into roles that include HR accountabilities.

Completing a program like the Human Resource Management certificate from Kompass is an excellent way to acquire a strong foundation of HR principles and best practices.


Q. From a business perspective, why should companies invest in HR training for managers and team leads? What are the biggest benefits?

Debra: Most new managers get promoted because of their technical competence. But they often lack the basic leadership skills, and new manager training is not always available.

Investing in HR training provides managers with the tools to successfully gain and retain top talent, increase employee engagement, and improve productivity. That can boost organizational performance.


Q. How do you see the field of HR evolving in the coming years? What major shifts are coming our way?

Debra: HR should continue to help create, deliver, and capture value for internal and external stakeholders.

With demographic changes and the massive shift to working at home vs. the office, HR will play a pivotal role in helping organizations manage those challenges.


Q. What are some of the core skills and characteristics required to become a successful HR professional?

Debra: To become a successful HR professional, you need to be able to:

☑️ Build credibility

☑️ Think critically and strategically

☑️ Champion culture change

☑️ Manage talent and develop employees

☑️ Resolve conflicts and solve problems


Q. What have you found most rewarding about working in human resources management?

Debra: I have had the incredible fortune to have witnessed many talented HR professionals successfully grow and develop their competencies and confidence in their roles. As a leader, I cannot think of anything more rewarding than seeing members of my team move up into senior HR roles.

I joined Kompass as an instructor so I could continue to be part of developing the HR leaders of tomorrow.



The Human Resources Management certificate from Kompass is designed for busy professionals. The program is delivered entirely online and can be completed in just three to six months.

Need more information? An Admissions Advisor can answer all your questions and help you determine if the HR course is a good fit for you.

Click below to get complete program details and chat live with an Advisor.

Explore the Human Resources Management Certificate

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