SHRM's Essentials® of HR

Now offering in person courses.

SHRM's Essentials® of HR provides you with a solid overview of the key aspects of HR. It gives you practical tools you can use immediately in your organization. The knowledge you gain will help you reduce potential lawsuits and handle challenging issues effectively.

You'll learn about six key human resource management subjects:

  • Human resources: understanding the HR function.
  • Talent acquisition: attracting and selecting employees.
  • Total rewards: key elements of a total compensation system.
  • Learning and development: orientation, development and training.
  • Performance management: purpose and process for performance management.
  • Employment law: application of key HR legislation.

This course is NOT a preparation for the HR certification exam.

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

Topics include:

  • Employment law
  • Selecting qualified employees
  • Compensation basics
  • Orientation and training of employees
  • Performance management

This program blends instructor-led classroom learning with online learning activities, quizzes and a final post course assessment. Online reference tools and resources are available for use in your workplace.

Participants are required to attend the two-day interactive course and complete post classroom online learning activities and final course examination for award of CEU's/Certificate of Completion. Students will receive an e-mail communication from the SHRM Distribution Center 3-5 days prior to class start with details related to setting up a personal user id and password for the online component of the course.

Students will need to complete a brief online pre-course assessment to gauge current level of knowledge prior to coming to the live classroom session.

You must attend the two-day course and complete online activities and a final course examination to earn CEUs/certificate of completion.

When you register, you understand once the course begins, if the course format must be changed from in-person to virtual meetings due to health and safety considerations for Restore Illinois, you will fulfill your attendance requirements in our online course format. Online meetings will still be instructor-led. Transfer to a future course session or cancellations will be honored only before a course's start date.

Students are required to have Internet access, and use a web camera and microphone to participate in the online live sessions. This equipment is not provided by the university.

The course costs $800. SHRM members and NIU alumni receive a discount.

Please note that the charge to your credit card will appear on your statement as "University Outreach, DeKalb, IL.

  • For 21 or more calendar days in advance of start date: Full refund, no fee.
  • For 15 to 20 days’ notice in advance of start date: Cancellation fee of 30% of regular registration price.
  • For 8 to 14 days’ notice in advance of start date: Cancellation fee of 40% of regular registration price.
  • For 7 or less days’ notice prior to start date: Cancellation fee of 50% of regular registration price.
  • No show, no contact, contact after course begins: No refund.
  • All cancellation requests must be in writing to: or fax 815-753-6900.

NIU CPE reserves the right to cancel courses within 14 days of class start and prior to shipment of materials if enrollments are not sufficient.

The registration fee includes SHRM's Essentials® of HR course materials and online resources, continental breakfast, lunch and break service. Books will be distributed at the first class session.  Participants will receive an e-mail communication from SHRM/Holmes Corp with instructions for accessing the online component a few days prior to the class start. If not received within 48 hours of class start, check your spam filter first, and contact Jennifer Kopecky, phone 815-753-0771 for assistance if you don't find it there. Students registering within 5 days of class start may not have immediate access to the online resources.

  • Both our in-person and online courses are taught by experienced, professional instructors. They are real people doing real human resources work and they've earned professional certification in human resources. They're here to support you.
  • Our classes are structured with set meeting times, so you can stay on track to program completion.
  • Because you will be led by an instructor, you can ask questions easily and learn from the questions your fellow classmates are asking.
  • In fact, you'll be growing your network of HR professionals as soon as you start the course, because your classmates (soon-to-be certified) are learning right alongside you.
  • Taking a face-to-face course? Our clean, modern facilities are conveniently located in the Chicago suburbs, so you don't have to spend time commuting far from home. We're adhering to the strict CDC guidelines for cleanliness and safety in all of our buildings.

John Newton, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

Areas of instruction: human resources
Current position: president, John Newton and Associates


John has over 21 years of experience in human resources leadership roles in the education and healthcare industries. John holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Elmhurst University and is a SHRM-Senior Certified Professional. John is ppassionate about Human Resources and believes that proper training is the foundation for employee success in the workplace. 

Stephanie Gambro, MBA, PMP, S-CP, SPHR, SSGB

Year became a Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR): 2014
Areas of instruction: human resources, project management
Current position: business transformation director, ADP


Stephanie has over eighteen years of experience driving strategic changes within multiple large multi functional organizations. Working with Executive Leadership teams she helps develop and lead strategic programs to improve organizational effectiveness and profitability. Stephanie holds a BA in Business from DePaul University and a MBA from Northern Illinois University. She also holds the following professional certifications; Project Management (PMP), Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR), Society for Human Resources Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.

  • 24/7 access to video presentations of each topic of study.
  • A case study to apply your theoretical studies to practical solutions.
  • Test preparation, interactive games and in-class learning activities to improve understanding and retention.
  • Ability to share resources and network with instructors and classmates through a secure learning management community.
  • Optional four-hour final review session at the end of the semester.
  • Courses offered at convenient locations throughout northern Illinois.
  • A variety of course formats to accommodate your schedule and learning style.
  • A team of certified practitioner instructors who bring a wealth of real-world, practical experience to the classroom.
  • Cost-effective learning - course fees include all instructional materials.
  • Ability to earn continuing professional development units and certificates of completion.
  • Certification preparation courses are approved for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding for qualified unemployed candidates.
  • New and junior HR professionals.
  • Business owners and office managers.
  • Managers and supervisors with employee management responsibilities.
  • Job seekers wanting to transition into a career in HR.
  • HR professionals seeking to update current HR knowledge.

NIU's HR certification programs are one of SHRM’s “Top 20” university programs with pass rates that consistently exceed national averages.

This program is awards 12 hours of professional development credit for retention of certain HR-related certifications.

Course Overview

Price: $800

Discounts: SHRM member, NIU alumni

Modality: Instructor-led, in-person at NIU Naperville.

Materials: Course materials and online resources included.

PDC Credit: 12 hours of professional development credit available.

Contact Us

NIU Continuing and Professional Education

Connect with us on


* indicates required
Back to top