GUIDE 2022

What Does an HR Project Manager Do?

Do you want to know what the role of an HR project manager involves? The HR project manager plans, operates, and delivers projects designed to improve human resource function in a company.

HR project managers hold a deep understanding of all aspects of HR at the management level with the vision and drive to generate positive outcomes in an efficient manner as possible. They lead the workplace revolution and are responsible for smart hiring, workplace culture initiatives, and day-to-day operational excellence.

Considering their level of responsibilities, HR teams need assistance with hiring, employee communication, and retention. In this post, we’ll discuss the role and responsibilities of HR project managers and some excellent tips for beginner-level managers.

HR Project Manager Role and Responsibilities

The HR project manager is responsible for the project management and the delivery of the human resources work streams resulting from the conducted HR review. They create, manage, and execute different projects to standardize and strengthen HR practices across the company and define new processes for the management of consultants involved in commercial contracting. Their duty involves working together with the Head of HR, HR Business Partners, and Regional HR Managers to ensure streamlined delivery of major HR processes.

Here are the key role and responsibilities of the HR project manager:

  • Planning, supervising, and performing HR processes, such as recruitment, training, briefings, evaluation, and development of staff.
  • Researching, evaluating, and analyzing HR business needs and processes that have a potential impact on operations and creating reports that summarize business or financial data for discussions and strategic recommendations in response.
  • Establishing and communicating job duties and performance expectations to their team to ensure a mutual understanding of desired results and resolving internal or external barriers that prohibit unsuccessful goal achievement.
  • Taking part in the development, implementation, and maintenance of objectives, policies, and short- and long-range planning and developing and implementing projects and programs to assist in the accomplishment of established goals.
  • Administering and monitoring cross-functional and global HR projects that will span the entire HR suite from initiation through implementation, including scope, changes, risks, and quality.
  • Establishing projects in accordance with approved protocols and methodologies that ensure delivering projects on time and within budget while meeting high-quality standards and stakeholders’ expectations.
  • Facilitating project delivery satisfaction by engaging with stakeholders in a positive way, reviewing feedback, building trusted relationships, and supporting colleagues in benefiting from trusted relationships with internal resources.
  • Supervising or performing payroll procedures, ensuring that all data related to salaries (salary advances, overtime, holidays, unpaid leave, sick leave, overtime, and so on) and payments are made on time.
  • Interacting with project sponsors, project stakeholders, and multiple business and technical teams to ensure tasks and deliverables get delivered on time.
  • Participating in the development, coordination, and implementation of changes and improvements in HR and other management systems for the department.
  • Providing management and coordination in planning and implementation of employee benefits programs, including insurance, retirement savings plans, and paid leave time for vacation or illness.
  • Working as a leader of project teams and project team members and providing oversight, guidance, and direction. Also, guiding and directing in alignment with governance, project plan actions, and tasks and motivating and driving results from the project team.

HR Project Manager Qualification

HR project managers oversee the implementation of human resources-related projects within their organization. Since it is an important position, it demands a lot of skills and experience. The main qualifications include:

  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience in human resources with expertise in training and development, performance management, compensation, and leadership consultation related to HR matters
  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in business management, finance, human resources, or a related field from a credible university
  • Strong understanding of human resources responsibilities, processes, operations, and policies and knowledge of how to establish and manage a project’s budget
  • Proven ability to build and maintain work relationships and credibility with stakeholders and cross-functional partners and translate business and technology requirements into well-designed project approaches
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including solid meeting facilitation
  • Strong organizational and leadership skills
  • Results-driven and capable of working unassisted, as well as a part of a cross-organizational team
  • Solid proficiency in standard office and project management software, such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, and Visio

Best Tips for New HR Project Manager

HR professionals are valued in a business because of how much information they have and how much they need to manage it. To succeed as an HR professional, having sharp project management skills can make a significant difference. Whether there are large-scale or ad-hoc projects, you must know how to handle them.

Here are some major tips to help new human resource professionals handle project management:

Lead and Organize Your Team

Make sure every employee working in the organization knows the objectives and their role in the project. Capture that on a detailed schedule where everyone will have a duty and time allocated to get their part done with success.

Become Tech-Savvy

Since there is so much involved in human resource management for professionals, you should take any help that is available to you. Instead of hiring an assistant to help you reduce your workload, make technology your best friend when it comes to project management. Certain project management software enables you to consolidate information in an effective manner. After becoming tech-savvy, you can improve the processes and effectiveness of HR.

Improve Your Communication

The difference between a good professional and a great leader is communication ability. As an HR project manager, you are the voice of your company’s culture, so work to fill that role using these tactics:

  • Follow the style of a speaker you admire. Practice out loud, stand up at each employee gathering, and report on the good stuff your HR team does. 
  • Use your skills to enable others to communicate in an effective manner during meetings, at company and community events, and in new-hire orientations.
  • Try attending Toastmasters meetings. This kind of training goes a long way in making you a commanding communicator.

Be Flexible

First of all, show curiosity to discover anything you need to know. It is easy to do something we are comfortable doing, but you must learn about new things that are happening as a result of changes throughout the industry. Try to uncover new issues and the best practices others suggest to deal with them. Consider sponsoring industry meetings at your company site to enable your staff to interact with others. Suggest new and better ways of performing usual human resource management tasks.

Next, suggest wise changes. Your HR position gives you the ideal platform to study, lead discussions about and influence changes. Strict adherence to the past prevents adopting new and good things in the future. That’s where an open mindset serves HR professionals well. Planning for the expected and unexpected is a smart way to act.

To end, manage these changes in an effective manner. Learn the best practices of project management so you can lead all these changes. Learn what is available, use the tools you can find, and take the leading position in the implementation of your HR plans.

Think in a Strategic Way

All top companies need HR leaders who align with their objectives by learning about them and supporting them. Since it is important for HR to be a lot more than a department, employees at every level should know and understand their part in supporting the company’s culture and HR philosophies. For an empowered team, project managers and employees should use HR tools to enter and retrieve their own HR-related information. You should know how to use them and monitor their effectiveness. Having these self-service tools enable you and your team to become strategic partners rather than transactional clerks.

Assign Roles

Though you are a leader in project management, you should avoid taking the burden of all the workload. Give training to other employees in the company they need to help the project get done in time. Make sure you communicate with them in a proper way through regular email updates related to the project. In case of any sort of miscommunication occurring, encourage others to speak about anything concerning. Having hands on deck for your project management responsibilities means you can get it all done on time with ease.

Prioritize Data-Driven Decision Making

Proper decision-making is important – you should base your actions on proven methodologies and techniques to align your team and guide them to success. Instead of relying on guesswork, use data analytics for data exploration and visualization, such that you have actionable insights to boost important project decisions. When you rely on effective and sophisticated data strategies, you can help your team fast-track projects while decreasing the time and resources spent on less valuable tasks and processes.

Be a Complete Partner

To have a seat at the table, you should earn it. That means people see you as a clear thinker, a great leader, and a smart business person, which is important for a successful career. Here is how you can do this:

  • Team up with each department head on an individual basis to learn what their requirements and expectations are from HR. Collaboration is useful for the acceptance and implementation of HR ideas and practices in your company.
  • Work in every department, conduct focus groups, run trial programs to decide acceptance and usability of your ideas, and begin an advisory group to give input to your planning process. 
  • Designate department training managers and supervisors who take on the responsibility of determining what training these areas need and how they should get training and monitor attendance and post-training performance and behaviors.

This type of collaboration gives the HR department great insight into the thinking and context of all areas of the organization and helps with knowing if you are providing everything required.

Have a Vision

Instead of waiting for your company to define what HR should be like, know what you want to achieve. With a little research, you can explore a number of examples available. Study everything you can find and connect with others to become an expert. If you are already working, outline your goals every time you get a chance. Discuss your thoughts and ideas with your leadership team to get their input.

Ending Note

Working as an HR project manager can help you get started in the field of human resources. HR project managers have experience managing complex projects like creating new employee onboarding processes and creating compensation plans. To become an HR project manager, you must have strong organization and multi-tasking skills and should work with people from all levels of the organization, including executives, managers, and employees.

You can start taking online courses or attend workshops on project management, in addition to following the above-mentioned tips. Also, you can gain experience by volunteering to help lead small-scale human resource projects at your current job or another company.