What Does an HR Manager Do?

The HR manager supervises the human resources department and its practical functions daily. They are responsible for translating high-level HR strategies into actionable plans and guiding personnel through their implementation. The role is crucial since they have to ensure that an organization’s human resources department functions optimally.

Since it is a significantly important leadership position, the HR manager position demands a robust skillset. Specifically, the individual must have

excellent decision-making and strategic thinking capabilities, along with impressive ethical conduct and interpersonal skills. Additionally, they must ensure maximum productivity by using the right HR software tools to plan and automate mundane jobs.

The HR manager must constantly coordinate with higher-level HR professionals and junior personnel. With so many essential duties, it is worthwhile to dive into the role and take a closer detailed look so you can train better and become a talented HR manager successfully.

This article takes you through what an HR manager does within an organization, what duties they handle, and how integral the role is for the human resources department.

The HR Manager Role

Human resources managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing an organization’s administrative and human resources functions. The typical HR manager role involves addressing crucial HR aspects such as the following: 

  • employee compensation and benefits administration 
  • staffing and recruiting 
  • labor law and regulations 
  • training and development
  • employee wellness and safety

However, the roles of HR managers can be dynamic when it comes to different kinds of organizations. For example, in some smaller organizations, HR managers usually have to fulfill the functions of a human resources specialist, HR generalist, or HR director. However, HR managers have a well-defined role with specific responsibilities in medium-sized companies and above.

Some organizations require HR managers to act as compensation and benefits managers while also occupying the recruiting manager role and directly handling the hiring processes. At other times, they can be one of the top executives who solely focus on management practices and company-wide decision-making. Therefore, the HR manager role mostly depends on the size and management of companies. The image below shows the top qualities an individual needs to have to become a successful HR manager.

Regardless of their role within an organization, all HR managers need to have a solid understanding of human resource management concepts. If you aspire to be a successful HR manager, you should check out our HR certification at HR University to gain the necessary knowledge and skills.

Want to become a HR Manager

Responsibilities of an HR Manager 

All HR managers have duties that require them to be directly involved with the company’s employees, maintain employee relations, and take an active part in business administration. However, their role also depends on the company, and it can be complicated to summarize their duties. 

Nevertheless, the best way to understand the HR manager’s role is to consider the typical daily duties and tasks HR managers are responsible for.

Some of the essential duties and tasks a resources manager has to manage are described below:

Practice Effective Talent and Department Management

As an HR manager, you have to plan, coordinate, and manage the organization’s workforce to ensure adequate talent management. It also involves overseeing the employee benefits programs and making adjustments based on employee performance.

Additionally, the HR manager is responsible for the entire human resources department and has to maintain a positive work environment for all employees by taking an active part in deterring employee disputes, equal opportunity, and sexual harassment, among others. They have to supervise the work of all other HR staff and work with recruiters to oversee the hiring process and onboard new human resources employees using employee onboarding software.

Ensure Proper Communication 

The HR manager must create a dependable communication channel between an organization’s management and its employees to improve labor relations. In addition, they are responsible for forming implementation procedures and educating others about the execution of these plans. Therefore, the HR manager would need to have strong communication skills.

HR managers plan and build a two-way feedback communication loop for improved coordination. It helps ensure both sides understand each other and are comfortable with discussing critical issues.

Handle Compliance With Laws and Regulations

Organizational compliance with labor laws and regulations is crucial, and the HR manager handles much of this responsibility. First, they have to ensure that the company adheres to all the labor and employment laws and local, state, and federal regulations. Then, if there are any gaps in compliance, they have to plan and address them immediately.

Larger organizations tend to distribute the duties and tasks of HR managers among different types of specialized human resource managers. After all, it’s easier to manage larger workforces when there are multiple HR managers. These roles include employee relations managers, recruiting managers, payroll managers, compensation and benefits managers, and staffing managers, among others. In smaller organizations, one HR manager manages all of these roles.

Contribute to Strategic Planning

The HR manager is a significantly senior position within the organization. Therefore, they have to participate in higher-level strategizing and planning. Such strategic planning can focus on new hiring methods, employee retention programs, and other essential HR functions. Since they will handle the implementation, they have to make their voice count during the planning phase.


The HR manager is a demanding but worthwhile human resources position within an organization. If it’s a large company, you will have more responsibilities in your place, but your contribution to bigger matters may be limited. With smaller organizations, you have fewer obligations due to a smaller workforce, but you’ll have to play a more active part.

You need to understand the dynamics of your company if you wish to become a great HR manager. Possessing adequate work experience and knowledge about the human resources field further simplifies the journey towards becoming a great HR manager. 

If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an Human Resources manager, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after HR manager job.


Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.