Human Resources Essentials

Human Resources Essentials

Certificate Overview

  • 3 month duration
  • 6 two-week courses
  • 5-7 hours per course

Human resources is a broad topic that touches on many facets of any organization. But there are some core concepts that all HR practitioners should know.   This certificate in Human Resources Essentials will discuss those concepts and give you the set of skills you need to get started.  Whether you are new to HR, perform the HR function in addition to other roles, or need to have an understanding of the HR role, this certificate will give you a strong foundation to make a difference in your organization.

Developed by Cornell University professors, the six courses in this certificate will equip you with a variety of skills—from understanding how to hire the right team, learning how to communicate effectively and knowing how to handle any workplace issues that may arise—all of which will help you succeed in your role.

  • Train managers to deliver effective performance feedback, rate employees accurately, and mitigate legal risk
  • Critically assess whether the organizational and HR practices in place are likely to exacerbate or reduce the negative outcomes associated with unconscious bias
  • Familiarize yourself with the employee development landscape at your organization
  • Diagnose the root causes of a situation and determine who in the organization will be the primary focus of an intervention
  • Assemble the different dimensions of interpersonal communication and apply them to difficult conversations
  • Determine current workforce needs with an eye to future changes and skills that might be needed
  • Develop a hiring plan that maximizes your likelihood of a good hire and communicate effectively with job candidates
  • Create a workplace atmosphere that reduces the occurrence of behavior issues and resolve issues as they arise
  • Line-level HR professionals
  • People who are seeking to enter the HR field or anyone serving in a role such as an office manager who performs HR functions or has a reach into HR.
  • Global professionals from a diverse range of organizations, NGOs, and governmental agencies would benefit as well.

Faculty Authors

Diane Burton
Alex Colvin
John Hausknecht
Beth Livingston
Lisa Hisae Nishii
Pamela Stepp

Certificate Courses

Develop the skills needed to assess and address the performance management needs of your organization.

Course Description

Based on the research and expertise of John Hausknecht, Ph.D., you will evaluate the possibility of working with or without a system, identify the properties and benefits of different systems, and explore different approaches to performance management. Steps to mitigate risk will be outlined, common rating and feedback errors will be examined, and support in delivering feedback will be provided using tools such as a Communication Plan. With the completion of an action plan at the end of the course, you will be ready to apply what you learn to your own organization.

Despite decades of legal and social reform aimed at reducing discrimination in the workplace, inequality continues to be a significant problem in all societies and most workplaces. Learn how to address and bridge that gap.

Course Description

In this course, you will learn about perceptual and psychological processes that impact the way that individuals interact with people who are demographically dissimilar from them. You will examine psychological processes that impact personnel decision making within organizations. This understanding will help HR professionals to design better practices and will help line managers to more effectively leverage the potential among employees from diverse backgrounds.

The course will also help you understand why “Diversity” is now often referred to as “Diversity & Inclusion” by explaining what inclusion is and how it differs from diversity. Why is inclusion so important, and what are its building blocks?

Besides technical and legal responsibilities within an organization, human resources staff have a moral responsibility to the individuals in the organization they serve.

Course Description

In this course, developed by Professor Diane Burton, Ph.D. of Cornell University’s ILR School, you will learn the skills necessary to reassert your HR role as a trusted, neutral advisor to employees at all levels within your organization. Students will develop coaching skills and learn how to foster a coaching culture while managing organizational HR needs with the most effective response for each situation.

To be the best manager you can, you must have good interpersonal skills. Learn what those skills are, how to evaluate your proficiency in each, and how to bolster them if needed.

Course Description

Interpersonal communication is built on the bedrock of confidence, presence, social and emotional intelligence, and being open with others and yourself. This course will cover all of these dimensions, including how they play into your management style and your workplace actions like holding difficult conversations.

Professor Pam Stepp, Ph.D., of Cornell University’s ILR School will guide you as you discover how interpersonal communication will impact your team. In the course project you will assess yourself and others on the aforementioned key dimensions. You will reflect on your past performance, analyze your strengths and weaknesses, and determine an actionable plan for future performance.

In today’s business environment, front-line managers are being asked to attend to personnel needs in the workplace, including hiring and firing. Learn the skills needed to effectively manage these responsibilities in ways that will benefit your team and your organization.

Course Description

Instead of HR professionals, front-line managers are now being asked to assess their personnel needs in the workplace and make hiring —or firing—choices that fit those needs. Many managers have not been trained on how to decide among candidates to make the best choices to fit their team. These choices are not just about creating test questions or reading resumes, but also about managing the interpersonal communication that must occur between hirer and candidate.

Cornell University’s Professor Livingston’s teaching combines well-supported theoretical evidence with real-world examples and case studies to make the subject matter both understandable and easily applicable to a wide variety of managing environments. She focuses not just on the “how” of hiring and interviewing, but on the “why” so that individual managers and decision makers can be flexible and agile in changing environments and with changing needs.

Learn how to effectively manage workplaces issues—including bullying, harassment, terminations and accommodation requests—in order to foster a healthy, productive work environment for your team.

Course Description

Managers must foster a good workplace atmosphere and be able to deal effectively with behavior issues as they arise. Doing so improves productivity and employee engagement and helps an organization avoid costly legal liability.

Professor Alexander Colvin, Ph.D. of Cornell University’s ILR School explains how new and aspiring managers can prevent or reduce the occurrence of behavior issues. His lessons will show you how to asses issues as they arise and provide guidance and best practices on resolving behavior problems, primarily through the proven principles of progressive discipline. Professor Colvin draws on his legal and research credentials to provide guidance in dealing with harassment and bullying, planning and carrying out terminations when required, and managing requests to accommodate special employee needs and practices.

Throughout the course, you’ll remain engaged as you participate in interactive discussions and complete a five-part course project, applying the key concepts to your own situation.