Strategic Human Resources Leadership


Certificate Overview

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

The role of today’s HR manager demands broad responsibilities that include organizational leadership and strategic thinking. As the profession evolves, HR departments are being called upon to make bigger-picture decisions and to execute well-defined HR strategies that align with larger organizational strategies.

As an HR manager, can you articulate your company’s business goals and strategy? Do you know how best to align your human resource tools and expertise—from recruitment, to talent management, to engagement—to support this strategy?  Upon completion of this online certificate program, you should be able to speak and understand the language of your business leaders with ease.

This certificate consists of six two-week courses. This advanced HR management certificate program provides a broad organizational perspective, laying the foundation for you to identify, develop, and measure HR initiatives critical to your firm’s bottom-line success.

  • Describe three major roles you can play as an HR leader
  • Effectively influence business strategy as an HR leader
  • Discuss factors that may derail leaders and strategy along with how to prevent that from happening
  • Develop a plan to structure an organization’s people, processes, and technologies to create maximum value for stakeholders
  • Distinguish between diversity and inclusion
  • Describe methods to reduce prejudice and improve psychological safety in work groups
  • Develop a model for talent management that attracts and retains talent
  • Revise your employer brand when internal and external changes to the organization diminish its effectiveness
  • Explain how and why an organization uses metrics and analytics; assess measurement requirements tied to the organization’s needs
  • Persuade business leaders at your organization that engagement is critical to business success
  • Lead an effort to build employee engagement at your organization
  • HR Managers
  • HR Directors / Supervisors

Faculty Authors

Christopher Collins
Lisa Hisae Nishii
John Hausknecht

Certificate Courses

Develop strategies that improve strategic, ethical, legal, and financial outcomes for your organization. Manage the complexities of interpersonal dynamics at the most senior levels to nurture strong leaders.

Course Description

Effective HR leadership goes beyond managing all the tasks and responsibilities carried out by the HR function. It also requires the critical soft skills needed from any leader—courage, judgment, influence, political agility, effective communication—all of these applied to the unique position that HR occupies in an organization.

Written by Cornell University’s Christopher J. Collins, Associate Professor and Director of CAHRS, ILR School, this course will teach you to assess competencies for great HR leaders. You’ll learn how to provide value to leaders at all levels by supporting and advising them as they execute their strategy. Discover new effective coaching techniques and learn how to become a leader in the unique position that the HR function occupies.

Create a vertical-alignment strategy to improve decision-making, people outcomes, processes, and profits. Align HR functions with the organization to execute strategies.

Course Description

A thorough understanding of your organization's value creation model and ability to develop competencies through processes, technology, and people are essential to ensuring that the HR organization is aligned vertically and horizontally to produce superior results. With this understanding, HR will be able to articulate how it can improve processes, people and customer outcomes, and financial results.

This course, based on the research and expertise of Christoper Collins, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Executive Education for Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, develops the skills needed to assess how organizations create value and to align the HR function to execute the organization's strategy. Participants analyze the Balanced Scorecard approach as a means of vertically aligning the HR system with organizational objectives. They learn how to create a vertical-alignment strategy and use it to improve HR decision-making, people outcomes, processes, customer outcomes, and financial results. And they learn the skills required to plan and assess horizontal alignment of HR systems and practices. Finally, the course discusses best practices related to workforce partitioning, performance variability, value identification, and employee impact.

Diversity and Inclusion has shifted from "counting the numbers" to "making the numbers count." This course describes the shift from diversity to inclusion and how to assess the three levels of inclusion for an organization.

Course Description

The management of diversity and inclusion has evolved from "counting the numbers" to "making the numbers count." Organizations that no longer look at inclusion as having a good mix of diverse people, but as a way to fully engage employees, partners and customers have an opportunity to compete globally. Diversity and inclusion must be embedded in an organizational culture to make a positive impact on performance.

This course, based on the expertise of Cornell University Professor Lisa Nishii, differentiates diversity from inclusion and how organizations often miss the real opportunity. Students assess three levels of inclusion and identify evidence that can be used for each level to assess presence and effectiveness. HR executives and leaders share their perspective on diversity and inclusion and how they made the shift to inclusion at organizational, managerial and work group levels.

In order to succeed, your organization needs to attract and keep top talent. Learn ways to address talent management challenges and how to create and enhance your talent management system to ensure that your organization is properly staffed.

Course Description

Organizations today face a multitude of challenges when it comes to effectively managing their talent.  In mature markets, demographic trends are forcing companies to accelerate their efforts to build a pipeline of future leaders. In emerging markets, companies must develop talent strategies that are both nimble and effective at engaging and retaining key human capital. To achieve these goals, companies need an integrated, systematic approach to attracting, developing, engaging, and retaining critical talent.

Cornell University Professor Brad Bell offers a learning experience that challenges students to dig deeper into understanding their organization’s key talent management challenges and uncovers solutions that can be used to overcome these challenges. This course adopts a systems view of talent management in order to demonstrate that various talent practices and processes need to be aligned to create effective solutions. It also examines current trends and cutting-edge thinking in the talent management field.

Use HR data, metrics, and analytics to guide decision making and support the strategic goals of your organization.

Course Description

HR leaders help drive business performance by delivering competitive advantage through people. Performance relies on measures, so you need to be adept at planning and interpreting your organization's "people metrics." This requires a solid grasp of HR analytics: the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data designed to improve decisions about talent and the organization as a whole. The use of analytics is changing the way HR professionals quantify the value that people—our biggest asset—have on the organization's ability to succeed in the market or in its mission.

In this course, based on the expertise of Cornell University Professor John Hausknecht, you take a strategic view of your organization's use of HR data and its measurement systems. The course prepares you to determine the HR metrics that align with your company's strategic goals. It explains the characteristics of high quality data and equips you to find and collect that data, inside or outside your organization. It provides a high-level introduction to common analysis techniques and some mistakes to avoid when interpreting data, or when assessing reports and interpretations offered by others. In the final section of the course, you will learn to take the results of your data collection and analysis and communicate your findings in a compelling manner so that change follows.

Your ability to think strategically about people analytics will help you capture and keep the attention of your senior leadership, and will support more informed, evidence-based decision making in realms that extend well beyond the human resources office.

Learn the difference between an average, generic engagement effort and one that has the potential to really drive superior organizational performance through a research-based learning experience.

Course Description

In recognition of the strong association between employee engagement and performance, many companies have used or considered using engagement surveys. However, many of these efforts are off-the-shelf engagement surveys that are not fully leveraged or tailored to an organization’s specific wants and needs or tied into performance management. The purpose of this course is to help managers understand the difference between an average, generic engagement effort and one that has the potential to really drive superior organizational performance. Students will explore the importance of aligning engagement with the organization’s strategic goals, review data collection and analysis considerations, and will analyze methods of using engagement data to drive organizational change at the line manager and broader organizational levels.

In this course, you will examine how organizations that are recognized as leaders in this field integrate practices that heighten employee engagement, and find ways to adapt those best practices for your own use. Cornell University Professor Lisa Nishii offers a research-based learning experience that can position leaders to more effectively better navigate the popular (but often misunderstood) area of employee engagement.