Human resources is an essential part of both small and large businesses, and highly qualified human resources managers are needed to ensure these departments run smoothly.
Human resources departments serve a variety of functions including processing payroll, handling benefits, conducting employee training, handling conflict resolution, and administrative tasks. Since these large departments must have effective supervision and management, many inquire about the duties of a human resources manager. These professionals manage administrative aspects of an organization, such as supervising hiring and training of employees, managing human resources employees, directing payroll and benefits, consulting on strategic planning, and acting as a liaison between management and employees.
Hiring and Training of Employees
A human resources manager is responsible for supervising the recruiting, screening, interviewing, and hiring of new employees for an organization. He or she assesses vacancies in the company and creates recruitment opportunities, such as job fairs or ads on websites to bring new employees to a company. He or she also sets up the necessary screening procedures for applicants and oversees various types of interviews. Many HR managers also communicate with potential employees to extend offers and negotiate contracts and compensation. When new employees are hired, HR managers set up orientations and training tasks.
Management of Human Resources Employees
A HR manager makes sure human resources specialists and other employees are effectively performing their duties. He or she coordinates tasks, creates work schedules, and supervises human resources staff. He or she also analyzes training needs and conducts the necessary continuing education and training tasks to meet safety and development standards. He or she conducts performance appraisals and keeps track of absenteeism rates. An HR manager also performs challenging staffing duties, such as handling under-staffing and directing disciplinary actions. He or she also conducts exit interviews to determine why an employee is leaving the organization.
Payroll and Benefits
An HR manager oversees payroll procedures and benefits. He or she makes sure employees are compensated accordingly and supervises payroll software and processes. An HR manager also manages benefits and evaluates and modifies benefit packages according to both company and employee needs. He or she maintains complete records and reports of payroll and benefits.
An HR manager meets with higher professionals on strategic planning tasks for an organization. He or she recognizes ways to increase the value of employees and staff of an organization to make sure that all individuals are utilized efficiently. He or she evaluate work productivity and provide recommendations for modifications to meet budget objectives. An HR manager also evaluates statistical information and reports to determine causes of personnel issues and creates recommendations for improvement to present to upper management.
Liaison for Employees
When any type of issue or conflict arises, an HR manager handles communication between employees and management. He or she supervises employee relations by answering questions and helping resolve work-related issues. An HR manager provides information to managers and employees on company policies, including job duties, equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment policies.
Act as a Strategic Partner
A big part of what does a human resource manager do relates to forming strategic partnerships. A human resources manager often connects with local educational and vocational institutions in order to make sure that what they offer is in line with the skills that employers are looking for in workers. For example, a human resources manager may reach out to the provost of a community college and explain what knowledge or skills they can’t find in workers. They might offer to have a member of their organization speak at or teach a lecture at the educational institution. Human resources managers also act as strategic partners between their organization and other businesses, agencies or nonprofits that have related or overlapping missions.
Actively Support Employees
Another part of what does a human resource manager do involves their interactions with employees. Human resources managers can support employees throughout every stage of employment. When a worker first begins employment at the organization, the human resources manager may introduce them to general management, show them their work area and explain the company’s policies, procedures, benefits and expectations. Human resources managers also support employees by connecting them with all the benefits they are eligible to receive. They may explain how employees can attend training sessions in order to become more successful in their jobs. Human resources managers may also go to bat for an employee who files a complaint related to workplace harassment or another type of infringement on their rights. In some cases, human resources managers act as the mediator in disputes between two employees or an employee and a supervisor.
Sponsor Change Within the Organization
A part of what does a human resource manager do is sponsoring change within the organization. Many companies get stuck in a rut because something worked a while ago, so it should work now, too. However, old policies, practices and procedures might not be the most efficient method of doing business at this moment. When a human resources manager sees that efficiency or processes can be improved, they make the recommendations for change within the organization. For example, if the company has not yet started to use software to analyze applications, the human resources manager may recommend that the organization begin doing so in order to save time during the hiring process.
Recruit New Employees and Interns
A big part of what does a human resource manager do relates to recruiting new employees and interns. In many nonprofits and companies, interns are brought in during the summer months of the year. Some also have interns during the rest of the year. Summer internships are typically unpaid and span a length of three months. They give a student the chance to gain work experience and make connections that could help them find a job in the industry when they graduate. Some industries that offer internships include accounting, engineering and social services. Human resources managers also recruit new part-time and full-time temporary and permanent workers. In retail, a human resources manager may bring on a lot of new employees during the holiday season. In healthcare, many new employees are hired in the summer. Recruitment events are often held in convention centers, hotels and on college campuses throughout the year.
Organize Volunteer Activities
Many organizations want to foster community involvement. To that end, part of what does a human resource manager do involves organizing volunteer activities so that employees can participate on behalf of the company. For example, a large clothing retailer may give employees a paid afternoon off if they volunteer at the local food bank. Some companies encourage employees to volunteer in their local schools, community centers or parks. Human resources managers may coordinate incentives and encourage employee participation in these events.
Hire New Employees
The most recognized aspect of what does a human resource manager do is hiring new employees. The human resources manager may direct human resources specialists on how to post new jobs or design a new job description. The managers may be responsible for filling leadership roles within the organization. For example, a human resources manager may be the person who recruits the new CIO for the organization. They may leave the human resources generalists for the hiring of standard jobs, such as information technology support desk workers.
Some human resources managers conduct employee training sessions. They may hold an orientation session for new employees. At these sessions, employees receive their work identification, facility access, email and other account information and documentation for setting up paychecks, direct deposit and withholding for tax purposes. Human resources managers may also train workers on specific issues, such as racism or sexual harassment in the workplace.
Administer Disciplinary Procedures
If an employee is recommended for discipline, the human resources manager is often the one who administers it. The recommendations typically come from the employee’s manager and are sent to human resources to be added to the employee’s personnel file. Human resources managers may handle minor to major disciplinary actions, including firing the employee and alerting the authorities if the employee is being disciplined for an illegal activity.
Manage Employee Performance
Most organizations require employees to undergo periodic performance reviews. If an employee does not meet expectations in one or more areas of performance, their manager might speak with or refer the issue to human resources. The human resources manager would work with the employee and their supervisor in order to create a plan for action. For example, an employee at a grocery store who has had customer complaints about speed might be given a two-week probationary period to improve their performance or be fired. The human resources manager would monitor and manage the probationary period.
Issue Official Communications
Many human resources managers issue official communications about policies, procedures and other information that directly affects employees. For example, if the organization is going to have a holiday party for employees and their partners, communication about the event would be sent out by the human resources manager. If the organization will be bringing in a new CEO, that information would also come from the human resources department’s manager.
Human resources managers recommend policies for the entire organization. For example, they may recommend a policy that all employees must be subjected to random drug testing as a condition of employment. They may also enforce existing policies within the organization. If there already is a policy around an issue, and an employee doesn’t comply, the human resources manager may recommend dismissal of the non-compliant employee. An aspect of what does a human resource manager do also relates to soliciting policy changes from workers. Employees may suggest that the organization allow employees the flexibility of a 30-minute or 60-minute lunch break. The human resources manager would listen to the employee request and present it to the rest of the organization’s management team as a possible policy change.
Promote Team-building Exercises
Human resources managers may promote team-building exercises for parts of an organization, such as an accounting department or communications department. They may also create team-building activities for the organization as a whole. For example, they might organize a day trip to a retreat where employees will go through an obstacle course that requires each member of a team to depend on the other in order to get to the end of the course. These activities foster cooperation and help people work with others who think differently or take a different approach to doing a task.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment of human resources managers will grow by 6% from 2019 to 2029. This is faster than the national average of 4% for all occupations. This growth can be attributed to several factors. One is a growth in large, multinational corporations. Another is the merging of companies. Baby Boomers who retire will need to be replaced by new human resources managers. Some people who currently work as human resources managers may change jobs to another field of expertise, which will also create new job openings.
In May 2019, the median annual pay of a human resources manager was $116,720. This means that half of all people employed as human resources managers earned more than this amount, and half earned less. The lowest-paid 10% of human resources managers earned less than $68,300, and the highest-paid 10% earned more than $205,720 per year. The industry with the highest median wage for human resources managers is professional, scientific and technical services. Human resources managers who work in that economic sector earned a median annual salary of $131,340. The industry with the lowest median wage for human resources managers is social services. The median annual salary of human resources in that sector was $99,380.
To become a human resources manager, a person needs a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in human resources or relations. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business, labor relations or human resources. Five years of experience is typically required to become a manager in human resources. There are also certification programs for people who want to become a human resources manager. The Society for Human Resource Management, HR Certification Institute, World at Work and International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Once a person has the required education and experience to become a human resources manager, there are several career options. Both public and private sector companies and organizations hire these people. However, most human resources management jobs will be in mid- to large-size organizations. They work in professional, technical and scientific industries, government, sports, manufacturing, healthcare and social service organizations. Some human resources managers go off on their own and work as life coaches or executive assistants to CEOs.
Since HR managers work in almost every industry, the employment of these professionals is expected to increase faster than average. Working as a human resources manager is an excellent choice for individuals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and sufficient work experience in the field.
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