Duties and responsibilities
The overall responsibilities of a human resources (HR) manager is to lead the HR team and to oversee and resolve all employee-related issues. This includes things such as job design, recruitment, employee relations, performance management, training and development and talent management. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Developing and implementing HR strategies and initiative aligned with the overall business strategy
- Managing the recruitment and selection process of potential employees
- Encouraging positive relations between management teams and employees by addressing all demands, grievances and complaints fairly
- Using various techniques to promote a positive working environment and company culture
- Overseeing and managing performance appraisals. These should be designed to be highly engaging and to promote performance
- Maintaining and regularly reviewing pay plans and benefits programs
- Assessing the need for training and to implement these training programs (or, to source out a third party who can help with training)
To become a HR manager, the most common route is to achieve a bachelor’s degree in psychology, businesses or a similar field (e.g., education or a social science). Although not a necessity, it is highly advisable to obtain a master’s degree in human resource management, business administration or a related field. Most employers will also look for candidates who have at least five years of experience working in HR.
Skills and relevant work experience
- Leadership skills are essential as HR managers will be responsible for leading a team. They will also have to conduct and lead training and development sessions.
- Communication skills are also key to being a HR manager as you need to be able to clearly express yourself to both HR team members, employees and manager in other departments.
- Active listening skills are essential as HR managers will spend a lot of their time working with people and need to build their trust and confidence to improve interrelationships in the workplace
- Organizational skills are key for HR managers as they manage a team of people and oversee many different functions (e.g., recruitment, training, performance appraisals). They must work in an organized and timely manner in order to meet deadlines
- Technology skills are important as HR managers will have to work with a wide range of software and computer applications
More often than not, HR managers tend to work full time (around 40 hours per week). However, there are also part time HR manager roles available in some companies.
According to The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for a human resources manager was $116,720 as of 2019. The lowest 10% earned less than $68,300 and the top 10% earned more than $205,720.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment of HR managers is projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth of the industry depends greatly on the performance and growth of companies because as companies form or expand, they will need more HR managers (and other HR professionals) to oversee this process.
HR managers tend to have progressed from other roles, such as a HR generalist or HR supervisor. After experience as working as a HR manager, it is possible to progress to become a HR director, Chief HR officer or Vice president of HR. Some HR managers may also specialize in a certain areas of HR, such as a staffing manager, benefit administrator, employees relation manager or development manager.