What is a human resource manager?

7 steps in the recruitment process


Human resources managers are leaders within HR departments, overseeing the functions of an organization that takes care of its workers. The role can vary depending on where you work, but many of the core responsibilities of human resources managers are consistent across organizations.

By overseeing the administrative tasks of the HR department, HR managers are the specialists in charge of luring, inspiring, and keeping the best people. Human resource managers are expected to manage employee-related services, regulatory compliance, and employee relations in addition to many other duties because of the supervisory nature of this position.

Responsibilities and Job description for a Human Resources Manager

The administration, coordination, and assessment of human resources plans and initiatives are the responsibility of human resource managers. Therefore, their primary work duties are as follows:

  • Creating and managing human resources policies and procedures related to employees of the company
  • Planning, coordinating, and managing the HR department’s operations and actions
  • Supporting the growth of the HR department goals, objectives, and systems
  • Conducting new employee orientations and employee relations counseling
  • Overseeing exit interviews
  • Maintaining department records and reports
  • Participating in administrative staff meetings
  • Maintaining company directory and other organizational charts
  • Recommending new policies, approaches, and procedures

Functions of a human resources manager

functions of Human Resources manager

Finding and Training New Employees

An HR professional working in management is typically in charge of the recruitment, orientation, and training of new employees. This suggests that finding candidates who are qualified for an organization’s open positions and thoroughly evaluating new hires fall under the purview of the HR department.

Human resource managers are also expected to support and promote employee diversity, integrate new team members into existing work environments, and promote good communication between employees and organizational management.

However, what precisely does a human resource manager accomplish in terms of hiring and training? Several of the standard duties for this type of HRM

Keeping employees content and safe

Another duty of a human resources department is to maintain the wellbeing, security, and happiness of its employees. If HR is managed well, risk can be reduced for both the organization and its employees. Workplace regulations can support the implementation of the necessary safety precautions as well as provide answers to issues that may arise amongst team members.

The following duties could be assigned to a human resources manager (HRM) in employee relations on a daily basis:

  • establishing procedures for worker safety; ensuring that the business conforms with federal and state occupational regulations;
  • addressing the complaints and issues of employees;
  • preventing and eliminating workplace harassment and discrimination;
  • Managing relationships with employees
  • facilitating dialogue between management and workers.

Always put the needs of the employees first. As a human resources manager, you’ll spend a lot of time conversing with staff members, listening to their issues, and handling interpersonal situations. The main goal of an efficient, strategic HRM should be to ensure that employees constantly feel safe, valued, and heard.

Managing Commercial Risk

The HR division works with the company’s top leadership to manage risk and compliance. Human resource managers should be versed in corporate law, ethics, statistics, and problem-solving in order to help manage risk for their company.

As an HR manager, you can be given the following risk management responsibilities:

dealing with and avoiding potential lawsuits

keeping an eye on the firing process and effectively training other managers

preserving the privacy of confidential data and that of the organization

evaluating prospective employees

As a risk management specialist, you’ll use statistical analysis, business legal knowledge, general practice improvement, and policy development to help lower the risk to your company.

  • Negotiating for Benefits and Pay for Employees
  • Monitoring employee pay and benefits is one of HR’s main responsibilities. High levels of employee satisfaction are maintained by efficient pay, leave, and insurance administration.
  • As a human resource manager, you will be in charge of assigning, promoting, and improving compensation and benefit packages. Among the tasks performed by this department:
  • organizing employee records
  • contracting for insurance with suppliers
  • describing benefits to new hires and keeping track of payroll
  • describing benefits to new employees (for payment and taxes)
  • arranging paid time off, vacations, and sick days
  • deciding on raises and incentives for the personnel;

This is possibly one of the most crucial facets of HR management, since many job seekers base their employment decision on wages and benefits. You’ll have the option to create these packages and improve employee perks as the company grows. Good HR leadership includes negotiating insurance contracts, making sure payments are delivered on time, and improving and developing employee benefits packages.

Managing the Employee Lifecycle from Entry to Exit

If we examine each of these operations individually, we discover that hiring is carried out in coordination with the line managers, who publish their requirements on the type and quantity of recruits they desire on a regular basis. The HR manager must search the market for possible hires after receiving the request.

Typically, the HR manager outsources this task to a placement firm rather than performing it themselves. Following the completion of the shortlists, the HR manager will either personally conduct the interviews or assign the duty of evaluating the prospective hires to the staffing team.

There are specific teams for each of these tasks in huge firms like Fidelity and Microsoft, and we will go into more detail on this in upcoming blogs. The crucial work of determining the pay and perks for the selected individuals must be completed after the interview stage. The HR manager typically plays a crucial role at this point in the hiring process because they must assess whether a candidate is a good fit for the position, decide on the amount of compensation and benefits that are appropriate for the position, and do so after looking over the budgets for those things.

Exit interviews and the evaluation process

The HR manager is also involved in conducting the last stage of appraisals or analyzing the appraisals after these actions. The latter approach has gained increasing popularity in recent years, where the HR manager in charge of the business unit reviews the appraisals rather than taking part in them directly. This is done in order to calculate the amount of a pay raise or bonus while keeping in mind the same ideas that were covered throughout the hiring process. This means that in order to accomplish this, the HR manager must collaborate closely with the line managers.

If an employee is dissatisfied with their pay raises or the amount of benefits, they can voice their concerns to the HR management in many firms. Additionally, they have the option of making a private and confidential complaint about their management.

Conducting exit interviews for departing employees is the last task the HR manager is responsible for. This procedure, which is typically carried out on the employee’s last day of employment, involves an open and honest talk regarding the employee’s feelings toward the company and the reasons for his or her decision to leave.

Related: Functions of Human Resource Management

Skills of Human Resources manager

Henri Fayol asserts that human relations expertise is significantly more important for an HR manager to have than other managerial abilities. He categorized the skills required of an HR manager into the following groups:

  • physical stamina, health, and address;
  • Mental capacity for comprehension and learning, as well as judgment, mental acuity, and flexibility;
  • Moral vigor, tenacity, acceptance, initiative, initiative, loyalty, tact, and dignity;
  • education and general familiarity with topics not just related to the role performed;
  • Technical specific to the job 
  • Experience gained through employment.

Here  are other skills a Human resources manager should have:


As an HR manager, you likely often run into scenarios in which you must adapt to change quickly – such as backfilling a critical role when an employee suddenly leaves the company or preparing for unexpected workforce restructuring. As business needs evolve, agility is a key skill for any HR manager. What we mean by agility from an HR perspective is the ability to efficiently respond to changing employee expectations, workplace disruptions and business requirements.

One way to display agility as an HR manager is to encourage a culture of talent mobility at your organization – which has been proven to drive positive business outcomes. Data from the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute found that 80% of HR leaders believe increased talent mobility leads to significant benefits including lower recruitment costs, faster times to fill open positions, faster time to productivity for new hires, higher retention, improved career satisfaction and better culture fit.

A strong talent mobility strategy enables you to adapt to changing business needs by helping employees align their career growth, passions and skills with business requirements. Employees often perceive their careers as a straight path; yet, a career is often a lattice, where employees gain new skills and experiences across different roles and functional areas. HR managers play a critical role in developing internal talent mobility initiatives that enable employees to continually expand their skills and experiences and to move fluidly throughout the organization in a way that matches skills with work to be done.

Some examples of talent mobility solutions include career development and internal redeployment and even outplacement. Career development programs are often the first step in preparing employees to be ‘future ready.’ By providing career development opportunities to all employees, HR managers can build and sustain an adaptable workforce primed for innovation and change. Redeployment can help your team move current employees to other internal roles or assignments, either on a temporary or permanent basis, based on which areas of your business are seeing increased or decreased demand. An essential element of both career development and redeployment is employee reskilling and upskilling Whether through courses or experiential learning opportunities such as stretch projects, internal gigs or team projects, skill-building enables you to provide a culture of continual learning to help your employees develop and maintain a growth mindset, expand their skills and ensure these skills align with your evolving business needs.

Not only does talent mobility include internal fluidity, but it also incorporates solutions to help employees successfully transition to roles outside the company. While workforce reductions are often the last step employers want to take, the best HR managers recognize that it’s wise to have a plan in place and be prepared for potential layoffs. According to our ‘2021 Guide to Severance & Workforce Transition,’ 63% of employers began offering outplacement in the past two years. Additionally, our ‘Skilling Today’ global survey found that 55% of organizations offer skilling resources to employees during outplacement. While respondents were split on this result, of the employers that provided skills to displaced workers in 2020, 85% said they believe it helped impacted employees find new work.

Organizations that value their employees understand the importance of offering team members affected by layoffs an effective outplacement solution, which enables departing employees to find new jobs sooner.


In recent years, business leaders have increasingly turned to technology to make their organizations run more efficiently. HR managers that embrace the latest technology and have a grasp of analytics can help drive business efficiencies and stand out from other candidates when looking for new HR manager roles.

Of the HR leaders who indicated HR will change substantially in a recent Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report, 75% indicated that change would be an expansion of HR’s accountability. One way to hold yourself accountable for driving results is by leveraging data.

As an HR manager, you use your analytical skills to tap into impactful data and understand the total time and cost to hire employees, identify patterns that might cause employee turnover and point out common trends and themes from employee feedback surveys. When employees leave your organization and are offered outplacement services, you can also leverage analytics to gain real-time insights into outplacement program engagement, the efficiency of your outplacement investment and alumni sentiment. This data can ultimately help you improve effectiveness and adjust actions to protect your employer brand and avoid unfavorable reviews.

With the right analytical skills, you can be better equipped as an HR manager to improve the employee experience and show your leadership team how HR is leveraging data to drive business results.


HR managers communicate with a diverse set of individuals daily from prospective employees to executive-level management so it’s beneficial to have strong written and verbal communication skills. HR leaders are responsible for ensuring company policies are clear and concise and have many other responsibilities that require effective communication skills such as interviewing candidates, leading presentations and managing conflict resolution, among others.

In all communications, one of the most important things you can do as an HR manager is maintain transparency. For example, if your organization is going through restructuring or a workforce reduction, communicate any anticipated changes early and often with employees both verbally and in writing. Even if you don’t have all the answers or details right away, update employees frequently on any workforce changes, rather than leaving them guessing. Transparent communications can help you build loyalty and trust with employees, which can ultimately help drive productivity and long-term business success.

Empathy and compassion

At most organizations, an HR manager is seen as a trusted resource to whom employees can turn when they have questions or concerns. Top HR managers typically maintain an open-door policy (even a virtual one) and create an inviting, comfortable atmosphere that encourages employees to feel safe and valued.

Part of showing empathy and compassion as an HR leader is being a good listener. In some cases, an employee might approach you with a concern in the hopes that you will be a sounding board as they figure out the problem on their own rather than expecting you to share an immediate solution. For example, an employee might be facing challenges balancing their work and personal responsibilities such as caring for a child or other family member. If an employee approaches you with this concern and offers possible solutions, such as more flexible working hours, actively listen and consider the situation from the employee’s perspective before offering a solution.

Empathy is a precursor to trust. Whether you’re speaking to an employee one-on-one about a specific concern or delivering tough news such as announcing a reduction in force, when you show that you are aware of your employees’ feelings, you establish trust. Building trusting relationships with employees leads to increased engagement, collaboration and productivity.

Discretion and Ethics

HR managers have access to a significant amount of sensitive information related to employees’ personal and professional lives. As an HR manager, it’s critical to manage personnel matters – such as discipline, complaints, development and layoffs with complete discretion. To be an effective HR manager, you must be capable of handling sensitive information appropriately and only divulging it to authorized people while keeping the employees’ best interests in mind. Not only can mistakes related to confidentiality erode employee trust, but they can also lead to compliance issues and even legal repercussions.

In January 2020, The World Economic Forum predicted that by 2022, approximately 133 million new jobs will be created to meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and 42% of core skills needed to perform existing jobs will change. The HR manager role is no exception. The skills listed here are just a few examples of the many traits needed to succeed in the role and as the world of work continues to evolve, it’s beneficial to have an ‘always learning’ mindset when it comes to your professional skills.

Related: Human Resource Management: Complete Guide

Traits of Human Resources manager

Traits of Human Resources manager

Quick Decisions

A human resource manager should be able to make choices quickly. Let’s say that there is a dispute within the company between a supervisor and a worker. The HR manager may need to make some quick decisions in order to mediate and resolve the conflict. He ought to be mentally vigilant so as not to be caught off guard.

Related: Important Leadership Skills for Managers


An HR manager should act honorably as the department’s head of personnel or human resources. The qualities of a successful human resource manager include honesty and forthrightness. The employees can never have any reason to question the honesty of the personnel management.


He needs to have a lot of patience and not be easily irritated. Being a good listener is crucial when working with staff members, especially when they are sharing their concerns. Additionally, listening well calls for a lot of patience. Additionally, because employees frequently discuss their issues with the HR manager, they may become irritated and verbally aggressive. The HR manager must maintain composure and maintain control in these circumstances.

Official Permission

Through his interpersonal abilities, a competent HR manager acquires his informal authority to influence others.


To lead the team members toward attaining the organization’s goals, a leader must possess strong leadership qualities. Additionally, he needs to maintain employee motivation and exhort them to use their talents for the benefit of the company as a whole.

Social Responsibility

As an HR manager, having a feeling of social responsibility is crucial. He must also encourage workers to fulfill their social duties to all facets of society. After all, managing human resources effectively involves more than just the corporation. He must also consider the bigger picture of human resources.

Exceptional Communication Skills

Good communication skills are yet another crucial trait of a human resource manager. Being an effective communicator is actually essential for his position because it includes him communicating with management, unions, and employees on a regular basis.

Careers in the Human Resource Management

Those who take pleasure in assisting others in finding happiness and fulfillment in their work may discover that human resources management is a fulfilling career. Compliance with current employment laws and the development of a business culture where employees feel valued are two benefits of effective human resources management.

A human resources manager needs to have experience, training, and certification in the field:

1. Continue your education

Gain a degree in human resources or a comparable field from a four-year institution or university. To ascertain whether graduate or postgraduate education is required, research the educational requirements for human resources managers at the companies you are interested in.

2. Acquire practical experience

As a human resources assistant or associate, you can get your start in the field. By exposing you to the various expertise in the area, this experience might assist you in determining whether you want to pursue a career in human resources. You can choose to specialize in one area of human resources or to be a generalist with a foundational understanding of the various operations of the industry because the sector offers a variety of expertise. Whether you select a specialty or not, the greatest route to become a human resources management is to accumulate significant industry experience.

3. Obtain professional credentials

To qualify for highly sought-after professional credentials like a senior professional in human resources, you must have experience and education in human resources management. Your marketability as a human resources manager will enhance with these accreditations. To find a certification that supports your work goals, research many options. You can apply for the certification once you have the necessary training and experience, then prepare for and pass the test.

4. Direct or oversee programs involving human resources

While holding junior positions, look for chances to oversee various human resources management initiatives for your company. To advance as a human resources management specialist and show your abilities to senior managers in your company, suggest and manage smaller initiatives and tasks inside a larger role.

5. Create a resume.

On a resume, you can list your highest level of education, any technical or other relevant certificates, and your prior relevant employment. Your job experience section should include the names of the companies you’ve worked for, the dates you were employed there, and an overview of your duties, contributions, and accomplishments. You can get the human resources management job you want with an outstanding CV.

6. Apply for a position as a human resources manager.

After acquiring schooling, credentials, and experience, research the current work market for the employers and regions of your choice. Based on the number of required years of experience, level, and type of education, choose jobs for which you are qualified. By taking this action, you can optimize your job search and raise the possibility that potential employers will contact you for an interview. Use your well designed CV along with a cover letter that highlights your qualifications for that particular position and business.

Human resources management careers

Human resource managers typically possess a bachelor’s degree and human resources experience, although many employers prefer their human resource managers to possess a master’s degree in human resource management.

Bachelor’s degrees in human resources may be structured as:

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that candidates who possess professional certification or a master’s degree (particularly those with a concentration in HR management) likely have the best prospects to become human resource managers. Further, candidates with a solid background in policies, employment law, and human resources are also expected to enjoy more job opportunities.

As such, popular graduate degrees for human resource managers include:

  • Master of Arts/Master of Science in Human Resource Management
  • Master of Arts/Master of Science in Management with an HR concentration
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in:
  • Human Resource Management/Organizational Leadership
  • Leadership Development
  • Human Capital Development
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Labor Relations
  • Industrial Relations

Most people who want to work in HRM need at least a bachelor’s degree in HRM or a closely connected discipline, like business management. A master’s degree in business administration, human resources, or labor relations may also be required by some employers.

Although it may not always be essential, specialized certification can make applicants stand out, and some companies may even demand it. These certificates are provided by several professional groups, including:

The SHRM Certified Professional and SHRM Senior Certified Professional programs are provided by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Associate Professional in Human Resources, Professional in Human Resources, Senior Professional in Human Resources, and Global Professional in Human Resources are just a few of the credentials that are available from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). HRCI offers numerous micro-credential programs as well.

Additionally, World at Work offers a number of qualifications in the fields of benefits, compensation, executive compensation, and sales compensation.

Aside from benefits and health and welfare programs, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans also offers credentials in a variety of other subjects.

The level of experience required varies according to the employer’s preferences, although the majority of manager-level HRM positions call for several years in the industry.

Leadership, communication, decision-making, organizational, and interpersonal abilities are among the soft qualities that companies typically look for in HRM applicants.

Here are some examples of careers in human resources management to help you choose the path that is best for you:

  1. Human resources assistant
  2. Benefits administrator
  3. Payroll specialist
  4. Training coordinator
  5. Compensation specialist
  6. Training manager
  7. HRIS specialist
  8. Employee relations manager
  9. Benefits manager
  10. Human resources manager

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