Course in Essentials of Human Resources

Female student making a presentation around a conference room table
5-week Online Course – All Books and Materials Included

Boost Your Employee Management Skills

Human resource issues impact every company in some way. That’s why it’s important to understand the fundamental issues surrounding HR today. American University’s introductory course offers a complete overview of human resource roles and responsibilities.

Developed by leading HR experts, HR practitioners, and legal counsel, the SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course covers introductory HR topics in a condensed, easy-to-understand format. The straightforward format ensures that HR concepts can be mastered and applied to real-life situations.

Along with classroom interaction with peers and the instructor, case study exercises threaded throughout the program provide opportunities to practice applying newly acquired HR skills during training prior to using them on the job.

Whether you are new to HR, or it’s one of the many roles you fulfill at your company, Essentials of Human Resources covers the key HR topics you need to know.

Course Benefits

  • Time-efficient and comprehensive: One training program covers vital HR topics in less than 20 training hours.
  • Exceptional instruction: Learn from an HR expert who provides insight and one-on-one guidance.
  • Networking and peer interaction: share experiences, discuss topics, and gain real-world insights into HR.
  • Stay on track: Structured times, dates and assignments help keep you motivated and on track.
  • Expertise from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): SHRM is the world's largest association and leading advocate for HR professionals.

Designed For

Who can benefit from the SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course? Designed as a thorough introduction to HR basics, the SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course provides a solid foundation in human resource management and is effective training across multiple job responsibilities and career paths.

  • New and junior HR practitioners who need to increase their knowledge base
  • Small business owners or office managers who perform the HR function for their company and business managers who want to learn basic HR best practices to avoid costly litigation
  • New or experienced managers interested in learning more about employee management skills
  • Representatives selling or supporting HR systems and services
  • International HR personnel wishing to increase their knowledge of U.S. HR practices
  • Job seekers who are investigating HR as a new career option or want to enhance their resume with HR skills

SHRM Essentials of Human Resources Program

This course will give you a solid overview of the key aspects of HR and provide tools you can immediately put to use in your organization. The content is newly updated with the latest HR regulations, trends and best practices. Case studies, competency connections and SHRM Body of Competencies and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) principles are incorporated into the material to illustrate how HR helps drive overall business success.

Course Materials

Each SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course participant will receive two printed books.

Participant's Reference Book:

The reference book covers six key human resource topics.

  1. Human Resources. Gain a clear understanding of the HR function.
  2. Talent Acquisition. Develop important skills for attracting and selecting employees.
  3. Total Rewards. Learn the key elements of a total compensation system.
  4. Learning and Development. Obtain an understanding of orientation, development, and training.
  5. Performance Management. Discover the purpose and process for performance evaluation.
  6. Employment Law. Enhance your ability to apply key HR legislation.

The Participant's Activities Book:

The workbook reinforces content and classroom learning.

  • Course content slides with notes section
  • Application activities

Society for Human Resource Management textbook beside an open laptop computer

The Web-based tools are designed to support the print materials, provide added opportunities to review and master HR concepts, and gain confidence. The tools are available to all SHRM Essentials of Human Resources program participants.

EVALUATE your current knowledge

  • Pre-test to gauge current knowledge
  • SmartStudy tool to develop a study plan
  • Reports that measure progress

LEARN about key HR topics

  • Module-specific test for each module to check mastery of key information
  • Glossary of key terms for quick reference
  • Resource Center that includes additional resources and reference material

Apply your HR understanding

  • Threaded case study featuring real-life scenarios to apply concepts learned throughout the course
  • Post-test to assess learning gain
  • Certificate of Achievement awarded to those who pass the post-test with a score of 80% or higher

Fall 2023 Session

Essentials in Human Resources
Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9:20 p.m.
5 Sessions | 100% Online
Cost: $769
Request Info Enroll Now



Hear from Michelle Kissler, SHRM-CP, who decided to pursue certification to establish that she had the HR expertise necessary to succeed as an HR consultant.

In Partnership with SHRM: Better Workplaces, Better World 2021