What Is Human Resources Manager? – A Definitive Guide

The human resources manager is the liaison between an organization’s management and its employees. He or she is responsible for overseeing most functions in the organization, from hiring to firing and from promotion to employee development.

Working as an HR Manager is a serious responsibility. The diverse challenges you face on a daily basis make HR a challenging job. Beyond hiring and firing employees, there’s to human resources management or being an HR Manager.

In this article, I will show you exactly who an HR manager is, what their responsibilities are, the required skills of a human resources manager, what you need and how to become one, and also the challenges you should be ready to face.

Overview of a Human Resources Manager

The Human Resources Manager, or HR Manager is the one who is responsible for all the people working in an organization.

This includes recruitment, training, and development of the employees, handling their payrolls, and ensuring the legal compliance of all people-related issues.

The HR manager is typically tasked with developing and administering policies that impact employees within an organization. This often entails creating manuals on policies such as the code of conduct, anti-harassment, time off, and expense reimbursement.

This individual may also lead the human resources team members in resolving issues such as employee complaints or conflicts between employees or managers within the company.

Human resources managers are often involved in disciplinary actions when they are necessary; this could include counseling or terminating employees who violate company policy.

The HR manager has to be very organized in order to manage everything efficiently. The job requires him/her to handle a number of tasks at once. If you are planning to become an HR manager, then you need to be sure that you’re a multitasker.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Human Resources Manager?

The responsibilities of human resources managers differ according to the size of their company or organization. In small companies, they may be responsible for all aspects of human resources work.

In large organizations where there are several human resources specialists, each one usually specializes in one area such as recruitment or training, or compensation.

However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the responsibilities of human resources managers include the following:

1. Workforce planning to maximize employees’ talents

One of the responsibilities of a human resources manager is workforce planning to maximize employees’ talents.

Managers may plan for the short term, such as scheduling employees to work certain shifts, or they may plan for the long term, such as determining which employees are ready to move into supervisory positions.

By maximizing employee talent, the HR manager can put his/her company’s resources to their best use, which increases productivity and efficiency.

Human resources managers forecast an organization’s staffing needs based on a variety of factors. These include:

  • Environmental trends
  • Organizational goals and objectives
  • Turnover and retirement rates
  • Hiring needs due to internal promotions, transfers, or expansion
  • Decreases in business that result in layoffs.
  • And more

In many organizations, workforce planning is conducted at all levels from entry-level positions to top-level management.

An effective workforce plan should take into account both current and future requirements and present a holistic view of what is required to deliver an organizational strategy.

2. Link an organization’s management with its employees

As a Human Resources Manager, you are required to effectively link an organization’s management with its employees.

You must ensure the company is running smoothly and that there is proper communication between the two parties.

Your responsibilities include resolving disputes and counseling employees when necessary.

As a Human Resources Manager, you also act as a liaison between your company and outside agencies, such as insurance providers.

It is the duty of the human resources manager to create confidence between employees and their employers by helping to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings.

Human resources managers are not merely intermediaries; they are advocates for both sides: they listen to employee concerns while also ensuring that the employer’s expectations are met.

This position requires an individual who can think strategically but also relate personally with the staff.

3. Plan and oversee employee benefits programs

Human resources managers may also be responsible for developing and maintaining employee benefits programs that include health insurance, retirement plans, employee discounts, flexible spending accounts, child care reimbursement, paid leave, or vacation time.

The HR manager may also oversee the employee assistance program that offers financial counseling or stress management help.

Basically, a human resources manager is responsible for developing and implementing a plan to keep employees happy.

You must be knowledgeable about employment law and labor standards. You must also understand your company’s goals so that they can develop appropriate benefits plans for the company.

The benefits programs may include compensation, paid time off, health care, retirement plans, and training.

4. Work to build and maintain a strong company culture

Strong company culture is a strategic advantage that helps companies attract and retain talented employees.

A company’s culture influences how employees interact with one another, support each other and work together toward common goals.

As the intermediate between the management and staff, it is the responsibility of the HR manager to build and maintain a strong company culture.

Culture may seem like an abstract concept, but it’s not. It’s the feeling employees get when they walk into the office.

It’s what you hear when someone tells you about their job at your favorite coffee shop or when your friend who works at another company complains about “the way things are done here.”

A strong culture is one that people feel good about being a part of–one that aligns with their own personal values.

This might mean creating a set of core values everyone at a company can rally around, or it might be something more concrete, like helping employees understand how their efforts contribute to the company’s larger goals.

Other responsibilities of an HR manager include:

  • Coordinate and supervise the work of HR staff
  • Analyze job and design
  • Oversee training and development of employees
  • Oversee recruitment, interview, and hiring processes
  • Handle staff issues and disciplinary procedures
  • Monitor and measure staff performance
  • Advise company leaders on human resources issues
  • Ensure the health and safety of employees

What Are the Skills a Human Resources Manager Must Possess?

Managing people with different backgrounds and beliefs is not an easy feat, but it is rewarding.

An effective human resources manager will foster an enthusiastic and motivated workforce for the company to succeed. Therefore, it’s important to have certain skills in other to function efficiently in such a capacity.

Below are the essential skills should have as an HR manager:

  • Interpersonal
  • Administrative planning and computer skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Good negotiation skills
  • Management of multiple priorities at once
  • Being a team player
  • Working well under pressure
  • Credibility and trustworthiness
  • Good communication skills

How Can You Become Human Resources Manager?

1. Earn a Bachelor’s

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources, or other fields related to management is the first step to becoming an HR manager.

A bachelor’s degree in human resources is one way to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to become an HR manager.

Coursework may cover topics such as employment law, payroll policies, training, compensation, and benefits.

Many schools also offer internships through which students gain hands-on experience at businesses or organizations that need HR managers.

2. Apply for internships

If you want to become an HR manager, take advantage of internship opportunities while you are completing your education.

Your courses may require that you complete an internship. Even if it is not required by your school, seek out and apply for internships with organizations that interest you.

You can start by applying for internships at companies of your choice. This will help you gain some experience and practical skills.

The Society for Human Resource Management is a good resource for finding information about internships and employment opportunities.

3. Gain more hands-on experience with entry-level jobs

You can get a temporary job at a staffing firm and gain experience in recruiting and hiring with entry-level jobs within the HR field. These may include payroll clerks, benefits administrators, personnel clerks, or recruiting specialists.

Often this experience can be gained through on-the-job training at your place of employment, attending seminars and trade workshops, or joining professional associations. I will recommend you specifically keep an eye out for the HR Assistant position.

In this role, you’ll be responsible for handling employee relations, benefits, payroll, and training.

This will give you the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to be an effective HR manager while gaining additional hands-on experience.

3. Earn a Master’s Degree in Human Resources

After gaining some experience through internships and entry-level jobs, the next smart step you should take is to earn a Master’s degree in HR management or a related field.

As a matter of fact, this is the easiest way to advance in your career as an HR manager.

In addition to earning a master’s degree, you should consider attending seminars and conferences about new trends and developments in the HR industry as well as expanding on your knowledge of business practices as they apply to HR management.

4. Consider HR Certification

For those already working in HR, certification can be helpful for obtaining higher salaries and positions with more responsibility.

While there are no formal requirements for becoming certified for most HRM jobs available, it is a good step to take in reaching the peak of your career.

The more experience and education that you have, the better chances you will have of getting a job as an HR manager. It is also important that you look for opportunities that are right for your skillset and career goals.

After obtaining certification and gaining sufficient work experience, you may be able to apply for a promotion or for other jobs as a human resources manager.

How Much Does a Human Resources Manager Earn?

Following BLS data, you can make a median annual salary of $121,220 as an HR Manager. However, the data further showed that this varies with the industry in which you work as an HR manager:

  • Professional, scientific and technical services: $138,030
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $133,860
  • Manufacturing: $119,880
  • Government: $105,830
  • Health care and social assistance: $101,990

Where Can You Work As a Human Resources Manager?

The most interesting about becoming a human resources manager is that it’s a profession every company, enterprise, or business needs.

It doesn’t matter the size or industry of the company, whether education, entertainment, media, engineering, health, finance, or marketing.

In fact, it could be government or privately owned, in as much as there are employees, then there’s definitely a need for an HR manager to manage them. You can work in any setting where the employees work to achieve a collective goal.


What is the one skill you need to become a human resources manager?

A good skill to have is the ability to solve problems.

Human Resources Managers are the ones who create the policies of their company, so they must be able to find solutions in specific cases or by creating new policies for awkward situations that may arise in the future.

How long does it take to become a human resources manager?

A qualified human resources manager can be obtained in as little as 5 years of study and experience.

The quickest path is to get a bachelor’s degree in human resources and then work for a year in HR before taking the certification exam.

Despite the fact that certification is an optional qualification, it may be advantageous and provides conventional paths to becoming an HR manager.


Overall, the best way to get your feet wet in human resources is to start by getting some experience in HR, whether it be internships, entry-level jobs, or with a more senior practitioner.

It’s important to learn about the industry from someone within the field; don’t rely solely on advice from recruiters.

However, you must know, the path to becoming a human resources manager is a bit winding, but with the right educational background, plenty of experience in HR, and the right attitude it can be done.

Most importantly, one must have patience, as the route will likely be a long one.

In addition to this article, other similar topics I will encourage you to read and share with your friends are, what to do with a philosophy degree, what to do with a healthcare administration degree, and the most marketable degrees you can get online.

I hope you found this article helpful.

Thanks for reading.