Human resources managers plan, coordinate, and direct the administrative functions of an organization.
What they do
Human resources managers oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.
Human resources managers typically do the following:
- Plan and coordinate an organization’s workforce to best use employees’ talents
- Link an organization’s management with its employees
- Plan and oversee employee benefit programs
- Serve as a consultant to advise other managers on human resources issues, such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment
- Coordinate and supervise the work of specialists and support staff
- Oversee an organization’s recruitment, interview, selection, and hiring processes
- Handle staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures
Organizations want to attract, motivate, and keep qualified employees and match them to jobs for which they are well-suited. Human resources managers accomplish this aim by directing the administrative functions of human resources departments. Their work involves overseeing employee relations, securing regulatory compliance, and administering employee-related services such as payroll, training, and benefits. They supervise the department’s specialists and support staff and make sure that tasks are completed accurately and on time.
Human resources managers also consult with top executives regarding strategic planning and talent management. They identify ways to maximize the value of the organization’s employees and ensure that they are used efficiently. For example, they might assess worker productivity and recommend changes to help the organization meet budgetary goals.
Some human resources managers oversee all aspects of an organization’s human resources department, including the compensation and benefits program and the training and development program. In many larger organizations, these programs are directed by specialized managers, such as compensation and benefits managers and training and development managers.
The following are examples of types of human resources managers:
Labor relations directors, also called employee relations managers, oversee employment policies in union and nonunion settings. They negotiate, draft, and administer labor contracts that cover issues such as wages, benefits, and union and management practices. They also handle labor complaints between employees and management, and they coordinate grievance procedures.
Payroll managers supervise an organization’s payroll department. They ensure that all aspects of payroll are processed correctly and on time. They administer payroll procedures, prepare reports for the accounting department, and resolve payroll problems.
Recruiting managers, sometimes called staffing managers, oversee the recruiting and hiring responsibilities of the human resources department. They often supervise a team of recruiters, and some take on recruiting duties for filling high-level positions. They must develop a recruiting strategy that helps them meet the staffing needs of their organization and compete effectively to attract the best employees.
Human resources managers work in offices. Some managers, especially those working for organizations that have offices nationwide, travel to visit other branches, attend professional meetings, or recruit employees.
How to become a Human Resources Manager
Candidates typically need a combination of education and several years of related work experience to become a human resources manager. Although most positions require a bachelor’s degree, some require a master’s degree.
Human resources managers usually need a bachelor’s degree. Candidates may earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources or in another field, such as business management, education, or information technology. Courses in subjects such as conflict management or psychology may be helpful.
Some jobs may require a master’s degree in human resources, labor relations, or business administration (MBA).
To demonstrate abilities in organizing, directing, and leading others, human resources managers must have related work experience. Some managers start out as human resources specialists or labor relations specialists.
Management positions typically require an understanding of human resources programs, such as compensation and benefits plans; human resources software; and federal, state, and local employment laws.
Although certification is voluntary, it shows professional expertise and credibility, and it may enhance job opportunities. Employers may prefer to hire candidates with certification, and some positions may require it. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), HR Certification Institute (HRCI), WorldatWork, and International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans are among many professional associations that offer certification programs.
The median annual wage for human resources managers was $116,720 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $68,300, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $205,720.
Employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
Employment growth depends largely on the performance and growth of individual companies. As new companies form and organizations expand their operations, they will need more human resources managers to administer and monitor their programs.
Similar Job Titles
Employee Relations Manager, Human Resources Administration Director, Human Resources Director (HR Director), Human Resources Manager (HR Manager), Human Resources Operations Manager, Human Resources Vice President
Compensation and Benefits Manager, Training and Development Manager, Social and Community Service Manager, Human Resources Specialist, Training and Development Specialist
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration
- Association for Talent Development
- College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
- International Public Management Association for Human Resources
- National Human Resources Association
- National Management Association
- Society for Human Resource Management
- WorldatWork - The Total Rewards Association
Magazines and Publications
Whether they’re negotiating a contract with union leaders, or interviewing a hopeful job applicant, Human Resources Managers combine the qualities of leadership and initiative with steadiness and perseverance. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, since the responsibility for overseeing layoffs, or firing an employee, usually lands in their hands. These managers work both to attract qualified candidates, and to ensure they are productive and fairly-treated once they’re hired. They also develop recruiting and training programs, and administer employee pay and benefits. Human resources managers make sure employment policies are followed throughout an organization. They help managers and employees understand work contracts and resolve discipline issues or conflicts. They may facilitate important conversations about equal opportunities, and preventing sexual harassment. Sensitivity to others’ perspectives is important. Human resource managers work in business, government, education, and non-profits. Some positions require travel, especially to recruit applicants from college campuses, or to attend conferences. Typically, though, this is an office-based career with 9-to-5 hours and the possibility of good benefits. A career as a human resources manager usually begins with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, business, communications, or a related field. A good human resources manager is pivotal to the morale and success of an organization.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org