Program Overview

SHRM Essentials of HR Management Certificate

Human resource issues impact every company in some way. That's why it's important to understand the fundamental issues surrounding HR today. Offered in partnership with the Society of Human Resource Management, the SHRM 201-0 Essentials of HR Management course provides an introductory overview of the human resource function.


Knowing the basics of HR can make you a better manager, improve workplace morale and employee performance, and protect your organization from needless litigation. This course addresses the complex, real-world, and legal issues you face and is a must for anyone in the business of managing people.


This course will be offered again in the fall. Please check back for the fall schedule.

SHRM 201-0 Program Audience

Designed as a thorough introduction to HR basics, the SHRM Essentials of HR Management course provides a solid foundation in HR management across many different job functions and career paths, including:

  • New and junior HR professionals who need to increase their knowledge base.
  • Small business owners or office managers who perform the HR function for their company.
  • 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.

The SHRM Essentials of HR Management course is approved for Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credentials and recertification credit hours for HR Certification Institute credentials.

SHRM 201-0 Course Content

Human Resource Management

  • Roles and responsibilities of HR professionals
  • Strategic planning and HR planning

Employment Law

  • Key provisions of legislation that affects HR activities
  • The role of the EEOC
  • The purpose of affirmative action

Recruitment and Selection

  • Recruiting methods and their effectiveness
  • Biases in the interview process and how to eliminate them
  • The selection process and key selection tools

Compensation and Benefits

  • Basic elements of a total compensation system
  • Base pay, incentives, and differentials in employee compensation
  • The compensation system design process
  • Benefits commonly offered by employers

Employee Development

  • Learning styles and adult learning principles
  • Orientation, onboarding, development, and training
  • On-the-job and off-the-job training strategies
  • Professional development tools

Performance Management

  • Performance evaluation process and systems
  • Effective disciplinary meetings
  • Legal issues to consider during employee terminations
Print Materials:
Each SHRM Essentials of HR Management course participant will receive two printed books. The Participant's Reference Book includes the printed content of the course. It addresses six key human resource management practices, compiled into one comprehensive course book for easy reference.

Online Study Tools:
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 HR Management program participants.

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Program Completion

Certificate Requirements

To earn a "SHRM Essentials of HR Management" certificate from Northwestern University, students are only required to successfully complete the SHRM 201-0 Essentials of HR Management core course.

The SHRM 301-0 SHRM Certified Professional core course is a separate program and is NOT required for this certificate.

Core Courses:

  • SHRM 201-0 Essentials of HR Management
  • SHRM 301-0 SHRM Certified Professional