Human Resource Management (Executive Master Class)

Vlerick Business School Executive Education

Vlerick Business School Executive Education


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Who should attend

We target the Executive Master Class in Human Resource Management to HR professionals working in an organisation’s HR department. Every year, we welcome participants from a variety of professional, educational and cultural backgrounds. An incredible group of people from a wide range of sectors – including pharmaceuticals, telecoms, financial services, … – and whose roles range from HR Managers and Directors to more specialised HR functions.

About the course

The 'Executive Master Class in HRM' inspires you to position HR as a strategic partner within your organisation. We offer you a conceptual toolbox with which to critically analyse and improve your own HR expertise.

Why This Programme?

What is the added value of the 'Executive Master Class in Human Resource Management'?

Create and sustain added value in your organisation via an HR policy that goes beyond the traditional HR domains. This programme gives you the tools to strengthen your credibility as an HR professional – in both local and international contexts – and to become a true strategic business partner in your company. The goal is to support you in this learning process, offering answers to all your strategic HRM questions.

Alongside this strategic focus, we offer you a conceptual toolbox to enable you to talk the language of the business, add value to your organisation as a true business partner, and optimise your own performance as an HR professional, within and outside the boundaries of your HR department.

By participating in the 'Executive Master Class in Human Resource Management', you will:

  • Develop high-level expertise in all strategic and operational aspects of HRM
  • Understand and leverage connections between the HR function, the organisation and social trends impacting HRM
  • Construct an analytical framework to position the various HRM functions to clear bottlenecks in your organisation
  • Add value to the HR function by adding value to your organisation
  • Have direct impact on your organisation’s HR policy by conducting an HR project within your organisation
  • Join the activities of the Executive Master Class in HRM alumni as a Vlerick Alumnus

Detailed Programme

The Executive Master Class in Human Resource Management (EMC HRM) starts with 4 core modules. Each core module focuses on a critical aspect of human resource management – so that you'll gain a deep understanding of the issues and be able to take strategic decisions. You’ll develop your theoretical, conceptual and practical knowledge of all aspects of human resource management during hands-on sessions, where the emphasis is on making it work in real life. And remember, the door is always open. You’ll have every opportunity to discuss ideas and challenges with faculty and your fellow participants.

Core Modules

MODULE 1: Strategic HRM


The greatest challenge for HRM is to align HR policy, tools and initiatives with the organisation’s strategic objectives in order to speed fulfilment of those objectives. This is where HR can define its added value.

To be able to reach this goal, it is essential for an HR professional to know how organisations are structured and managed. You will be confronted with the following topics:

  • HR as a strategic business partner
  • Types of organisations and organisational design
  • 'HR shared services' and outsourcing
  • HR metrics: how do they add the realisation of your business goals?

During this webinar, we will discuss 10 trends in Learning and Development. We will also introduce the preparations for the L&D workshop in Module 2.


HR does not operate in a vacuum. Economic, social, demographic and organisational changes each have their own impact on HR’s role in an organisation. In this module, we examine a number of fundamental HR models that shape the HR function of today and tomorrow:

  • Social-economic challenges and their impact on HR
  • Different generations and their influence on today’s workforce
  • The labour market today

Teambuilding activities give you the opportunity to get to know each other in an informal way.


  • Distinguish the dynamic relationship between organisational behaviour, organisational design and HRM
  • Analyse the current dominant HR models and trains of thought in HR
  • Evaluate the power and limitations of evidence-based HR
  • Critically reflect upon the way your HR department is organised in your organisation
  • Appraise socio-economic and labour market evolutions and their potential impact on HR

In between module 1 and 2: webinar on Learning and Development

During this webinar, we will discuss 10 trends in Learning and Development. We will also introduce the preparations for the L&D workshop in module 2.

MODULE 2: Talent and Career Management


As an HR professional, attracting talent with the right competencies and attitudes – to have ‘the right people at the right place’ – is still one of your fundamental objectives. In this module, we place the recruitment and selection process within a strategic organisational perspective, starting with a job opening and ending with the new hire.

  • Selection techniques
  • How attractive are you as an employer today?
  • Internal and external employer branding as a recruitmnt tool
  • New recruitment media


Once you have them on board, you need to give good employees the opportunity to grow. This means that you need a career management system that matches the needs of the employees with the needs of the organisation:

  • Career self-management: understanding your employees’ individual professional needs
  • Career systems: high potentials, retention management, succession planning, …


Developing, coaching and training employees is a strategic issue within every organisation. A good strategic development policy uses and develops talent to the maximum.

  • Link between training and development of the HR strategy
  • ROI for training and development


  • Analyse and evaluate your current recruitment and selection policies
  • Examine new recruitment and selection approaches based on the use of social media and artificial intelligence
  • Illustrate how employer branding could be applied in your organisation to develop a concrete employer value proposition
  • Evaluate recent HRD tendencies and apply them in your own organisation
  • Understand the link between training and development and the HR strategy
  • Determine the ROI for training and development
  • Evaluate your own self management triangle when making career choices
  • Advise others within the organisation concerning career options
  • Apply the political metaphor on career systems by recognising dominant coalition dynamics

MODULE 3: Competence and Performance Management


How does HRM ensure that employees perform optimally and are evaluated fairly? How do you motivate employees to reach the organisation’s objectives? To what extent does higher motivation contribute to better performance? How do you create challenges in a job, and what are the effects of satisfaction and engagement on your organisation’s performance? In this module, we examine all of these questions, and we also discuss how Competence Management is linked to all aspects of your organisation’s HR policy and how to tackle it in light of performance management.


How to reward optimally? How does Reward Management impact performance? And how can we align both so that we reach our strategic goals? Special attention is given to the match between compensation & benefits policies with HR policies and the vision of the entire organisation.


  • Performance Management Systems
  • Link between motivation and performance management
  • Competence Management Systems
  • Competence Management and their link to talent manegement
  • Strategic and competence-based rewarding
  • Impact of rewarding on the motivation and satisfaction of employees


  • Explain competence management within the field of HR
  • Compose competency profiles based on jobs and people in the organisation
  • Determine how purple management can be deployed in your organisation
  • Assess your organisation’s approach to managing employee performance in the light of new trends
  • Design a performance management approach fitting organisational maturity and culture
  • Customise performance management based on the contribution and growth potential of individual employees
  • Illustrate the basic ingredients of total reward management
  • Analyse and identifying opportunities to strengthen your organisation’s total rewards approach

MODULE 4: HR reaching out

The first 3 modules enriched your knowledge and skills in essential HR topics by positioning them in the wider strategic and organisational context. In this module, we discuss some broader themes that give you the credibility you need to position yourself as a strategic partner within your organisation:

  • New ways of working: Recognise the implications of the new ways of working and assessing whether this can be implemented within your organisation.
  • Burnout: from reaction to prevention. What does ‘burnout’ mean? What is the link with company culture? What can HR do to become a positive influencer in the prevention of burnout?
  • Managing social relations within an organisation: How do you negotiate with social partners? We explain the rules of the game and the instruments of social negotiations and link these to practical tips.
  • International HRM: In an international context, an effective HR policy is still the key to competitive advantage. Within this context, HR managers must be able to work in different organisational cultures. In this module, we spotlight the most important principles of intercultural management.


  • Recognise the implications of the new way of working and assess whether this can be implemented in your organisation
  • Interpret your organisation’s mind-set, climate and conflict behaviour in order to optimise social dialogue in your organisation
  • Identify measures and practices to prevent burnout
  • Illustrate the most important principles of intercultural management within an international context


After you have completed the core modules, your in-company project, and (most of) your electives, we meet each other again to put all the pieces of your learning trajectory together. We’ll discuss the future of HR and your view on HR’s strategic added value.


When you’ve successfully completed your core modules, you’ll design and deliver a project that tackles a real-life HR challenge within your organisation. Throughout the learning journey, you’ll receive project coaching from your Vlerick supervisor and from sounding boards composed of your fellow participants.


With your small project group, you will organise a first sounding board, through which you can give and receive feedback on the status of your in-company project. The focus of this meeting is on the project’s content. This project peer coaching will help you decide on the next crucial steps for your project.


The focus of this sounding board is on impact coaching - we will work on presenting your project. The goal is that you create an inspiring presentation about the project you have been working on, in order to convince all the parties involved of your project’s relevance. As preparation for this sounding board, you will be asked to follow an online course on ‘theory of pitching and presenting’ and to prepare your project presentation. You will receive inspiration from Professor Peter De Prins, and then you will coach each other in small groups. A presentation coach will also give you feedback.


  • Assess recommendations and actions providing solutions to an HR problem or opportunity of strategic relevance
  • Produce an impactful written report
  • Prepare and deliver a compelling presentation
  • Experiment to receive and to give feedback in a lab environment


When you’ve completed the core modules, you decide what you want to focus on next. Based on our experience, we recommend 6 possible electives. You choose the one that best fulfils your – and your company’s – needs. Choose up until min 4 and max 6 days of electives out of the following list:

  • Leading Change (5 days)
  • Self Leadership (2 days)
  • Strategy Formulation(3 days)
  • Understanding Annual Reports & Budgets (2 days)
  • Compensation & Benefits Management (4.5 days)
  • Negotiating to create value (5 days)

In the past participants often chose one of the following two elective paths:

Business Path:

  • Strategy Formulation (3 days)
  • Understanding Annual Reports (2 days)

Expert Path:

  • Compensation and Benefits Management (4.5 days)


Dirk Buyens

Dirk is an authority on strategic HR and can bring out the best in you and your organisation when it comes to people management, career management and organisational development. Dirk has carried out numerous teaching and advisory tasks for organisations such as the Ministry of the Flemish Commun...

Koen Dewettinck

Koen Dewettinck obtained his Master in Organizational Psychology and PhD in Applied Economics at Ghent University. He has been an ICM doctoral fellow and was research fellow at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Currently, he is partner, MBA director and profes...

Xavier Baeten

Xavier is an expert in how rewarding can help organisations achieve their strategy and give  them a competitive advantage. Xavier Baeten obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from Ghent University in 1991 and a Master in Tax Legislation and Accountancy from Vlerick Business School in 1...

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Human Resource Management (Executive Master Class) at Vlerick Business School Executive Education

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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