Program Overview

SHRM Essentials of Human Resources

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 Human Resources course provides a solid overview of the key aspects of HR and provide tools you can immediately put to use in your organization.


A strong foundation of HR knowledge and competencies 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.


Registration is open for the Fall course:

Fall 2017 course dates: October 3 - November 7, 2017; Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Register by Tuesday, September 19 to save your seat!

SHRM 201-0 Program Audience

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, 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 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.

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.

We also offer the SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP Certification Prep course. Not sure which SHRM course is right for you? Compare programs and find out more.

SHRM 201-0 Course Content

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.

Human Resources

  • The HR profession
  • Strategic planning and human resource planning

Talent Acquisition

  • Formulating a talent acquisition philosophy
  • Recruiting
  • Selection

Total Rewards

  • Total Rewards
  • Compensation system design
  • Pay increases and incentives
  • Benefits

Learning and Development

  • Training program design
  • Orientation, onboarding, and professional development
  • Training evaluation

Performance Management

  • Performance management systems
  • Performance evaluation process
  • Performance improvement
  • Termination

Employment Law

  • Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action legislation
  • Total rewards legislation
  • Other federal employment laws
  • Employee handbooks

Print Materials:
Each SHRM Essentials of Human Resources 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 topics, compiled into one comprehensive course book for easy reference.

The Participant’s Activities Book reinforces the content and classroom learning with copies of classroom slides and application activities.

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 Human Resources program participants and now offer fully integrated mobile capabilities to study on-the-go.


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Program Completion

Certificate Requirements

To earn a "SHRM Essentials of Human Resources" certificate from Northwestern University, students are only required to successfully complete the SHRM 201-0 Essentials of Human Resources 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 Human Resources
  • SHRM 301-0 SHRM Certified Professional