What Does an HR Manager Do? [Ultimate Guide]
The human resources department plays a significant role in making sure a company stays afloat. Human resource managers typically tend to head the HR department or sections of it. Many people ask, what does an HR manager do exactly, and the answer isn’t as simple since various organizations have different takes on human resource management.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look into the question and explore what an HR manager does in an organization.
Let’s dive right in.
What Does an HR Manager Do? Typical Roles in Organizations
Human resources managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing all the administrative functions of organizations. The typical HR manager job description would include things such as compensation & benefits administration, staffing & recruiting, labor law & regulations, training & development, and employee wellness & safety.
However, the roles of HR managers can be dynamic when it comes to different kinds of organizations. In some smaller organizations, HR managers usually have to fulfill the functions of a human resources specialist, HR generalist, or HR director. In medium-sized companies and above, HR managers typically have a well-defined role with specific responsibilities.
At times, HR managers may also act as compensation and benefits managers, recruiting managers, and be directly involved in hiring processes. At other times, they may be one of the top executives who solely focus on management practices and company-wide decision-making. The HR manager role mostly depends on the size and management of companies.
In any case, HR managers have to be directly involved with the employees of a company, have to maintain employee relations, and take an active part in business administration.
What Does an HR Manager Do – Duties and Tasks
Considering the changing roles of HR managers, it can be complicated when someone asks, what does a human resources manager do. The best way to find a definite answer is to consider the typical duties and tasks HR managers are responsible for and carry out on a daily basis.
The following duties and tasks are what the typical human resources manager has to manage:
- Plan, coordinate, and manage the organization’s workforce to make sure there’s adequate talent management.
- Maintain a positive work environment for all employees by taking an active part in deterring issues such as employee disputes, equal opportunity, and sexual harassment, among others.
- Create a communication channel between an organization’s management and its employees to improve labor relations.
- Plan, manage and oversee the employee benefits program, and make adjustments based on performance management.
- Work with recruiters to oversee the hiring process and onboard new employees using employee onboarding software.
- Make sure all the labor and employment laws, along with local, state, and federal regulations, are taken care of.
- Supervise the work of all other HR staff and other related technical services.
- Take part in the strategic planning of new hiring strategies, employee retention programs, and other similar HR functions.
Larger organizations tend to distribute the duties and tasks of HR managers to different types of human resource managers. It’s easier to manage larger workforces when the HR manager role is spread across several roles.
Some of these roles include employee relations managers, recruiting managers, payroll managers, compensation and benefits managers, and staffing managers, among others. One HR manager usually manages all of these roles in smaller organizations.
If you're interested in learning more about the HR role in an organization, then take a look at our HR Certification Courses.
What Does an HR Manager Do – Skills and Abilities
Any person with a management role needs a few critical skills, including leadership skills, excellent decision-making, strategic thinking capabilities, ethical conduct, and excellent interpersonal skills.
What does an HR manager do that requires all of those skills? HR managers need to play a leadership role in the HR department to make sure all HR functions run smoothly. A poorly run HR department can lead to bad hires, payroll issues, and loss of motivation in employees, among other things.
HR managers also have to make decisions on things like recruitment, employee benefits programs, compensation, and disputes, among other situations. Such situations require quick and effective decision-making to minimize any negative impact and maximize a positive response.
Furthermore, strategic thinking helps HR managers plan out HR functions with the help of HR automation tools. A good HR manager tries to reduce costs by automating mundane HR functions.
Lastly, every HR manager needs to be strictly ethical in their practices to make sure they adhere to all the laws and regulations while also making sure the workforce is satisfied. Good interpersonal skills help develop better connections with the employees to make sure they’re getting what they want.
Most HR managers build a two-way feedback communication loop. It helps make sure both sides understand each other and are comfortable with discussing critical issues.
How to Become a Human Resources Manager
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 150,000 HR manager jobs in the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the average median HR manager salary to be around $116,720 per year.
HR professionals typically need at least a Bachelor’s degree and preferably a Master’s degree in human resources management or related fields. Most organizations require at least five years of work experience, and larger organizations may require more experience in management positions.
It’s best to familiarize yourself with some HR resume examples if you’re early in your career. It will help in creating a path towards a management position in human resources departments.
Another way of furthering your HR career and moving one step closer to becoming an HR manager is to opt for an SHRM certification (Society for Human Resource Management). You can also improve your job opportunities by taking other HR courses and certifications to solidify your understanding of HR management.
Becoming a Great HR Manager
If you’re qualified and ready to be an HR manager, the next logical step is to understand how to become a great HR manager. How well you adjust to the HR manager role depends on the organization you’re working at.
If it’s a large company, you will have more responsibility, but your duties and tasks 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.
Becoming a great HR manager is about understanding the dynamics of your company. That, along with adequate work experience and knowledge can help you become a great HR manager. And you can always learn more about the HR role and functions to increase your knowledge further.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a HR management role, we recommend taking our HR Management Certification Course, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.
Josh Fechter has worked in the HR benefits and payroll software industry for the last several years.