What Does a HR Manager Do? (With Skills and Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Human resource (HR) management is the practice of managing people to maximise performance. An HR manager is a professional who helps oversee the HR team, department or process, and you may wonder, 'what does an HR manager do?' Learning about the roles and responsibilities of a human resources manager may help you to make an informed decision when contemplating this career path. In this article, we discuss what an HR manager does, how they support employees, their essential skills and their average salary.

Related: 15 Project Management Skills Every Manager Should Have

What does an HR manager do?

Human resources managers organise, supervise and direct an organisation's administrative operations. They handle the recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new personnel, discuss strategic planning with top executives and serve as a link between management and staff. Here are some tasks the human resources manager handles:

Recruit candidates

When recruiting for new positions, the HR manager may first learn about the organisation's needs and ensure that their team can address those needs. This means that it's important to research the market, involve stakeholders and manage finances. Once the organisation has publicised their vacancy, the human resources manager conducts additional research to ensure that the organisation can attract suitable candidates. Recruiting is an enormous task to undertake. That's why HR managers use current resources to attract qualified candidates that can rejuvenate the entire organisation.

Conduct disciplinary action

For instance, if an organisation observes that a specific employee is often late and continues to be late despite receiving multiple warnings, the HR manager may step in and examine the cause of the tardiness. It may be an opportunity to provide specific benefits to the employee, such as counselling or provide additional resources to help the person learn to be on time. Instead of incurring the expense of terminating and then seeking a replacement for that employee, it can serve as a learning experience that may help them develop their careers.

Sometimes, disciplinary action may not be the best option, and it may be better to let an employee go. The HR manager needs to have a strong enough relationship with managers and employees to determine a team's cohesiveness and health.

Policy revisions

As the organisation grows, policies may require reviews and revisions. The HR manager's responsibility is to make public policy updates and advise policy changes when they no longer serve the organisation or the employees. An HR manager may consult and notify team members about these changes.

Accurately recording employee records

It's important to store HR records correctly. These records assist organisations in identifying skill gaps to aid in the hiring process and analyse demographic data and comply with legislation. They also include personal information and emergency contact information for each employee.

Conduct a benefit analysis

When attempting to attract qualified candidates, being competitive is critical. If the benefits in another organisation are much more appealing, a candidate may accept another job offer, instead. HR managers may study similar organisations regularly to see if their benefits are suitable.

Related: What Does HR Do? (Responsibilities and Important Skills)

How to support employees as a human resources manager

HR managers exist to assist and support employees in achieving their full potential. Employees are an organisation's most valuable asset. As a result, safeguarding their well-being is essential. Here are four ways the HR manager may assist employees with their psychological and professional needs:

1. Providing opportunities for development

Development is essential for every business and can help in retaining your best personnel. The HR manager can create career paths to help guide each employee towards a successful future. The HR manager may then follow up with employees regularly to further guide them on their career paths.

2. Offering continuing education

Sometimes career growth necessitates further training. In most cases, a company may offer educational aid. The human resources manager can help determine which classes and training programmes are appropriate for an employee on their chosen career path. The HR manager can also collaborate with managers to verify that the employee's schedule is fluid enough to allow class attendance.

3. Training and supporting managers

HR managers can train and support other managers. The HR manager can assist managers in providing management help, ensuring that departments and teams are healthy and functional. This may entail sending managers to formal training and retreats regularly.

4. Supporting health and wellness

It's essential to remember that employees are human. They may require help in dealing with mental illness, health concerns, debt, pregnancy, adoption and various other life events. The HR manager can assist employees in dealing with any of these and different situations.

Essential skills for a human resources manager

As the HR manager of a company, you may be responsible for various tasks, including recruitment, the onboarding process, career development, performance reviews, compensation and benefits and employee relations. Here are five essential skills that human resources managers possess:

Agility

As an HR manager, you're likely frequently confronted with situations requiring rapid adaptation, such as filling a pivotal role when an employee leaves unexpectedly or preparing for unexpected workforce restructuring. Agility is a critical skill for any HR manager as business needs grow. Agility refers to an organisation's ability to adapt quickly to changing employee expectations, workplace conflicts and business needs. As an HR manager, one way to show agility is to promote a culture of talent mobility within your organisation.

You can achieve this by assisting employees in aligning their career growth, passions and skills with business requirements. Talent mobility describes an employee's ability to move between positions within their company. A well-executed talent mobility approach empowers you to respond to changing business requirements.

Analytics

HR managers who embrace innovative technology and have a firm grasp on analytics can help drive business efficiency and differentiate themselves from other candidates seeking new HR manager positions. As an HR manager, you utilise your analytical skills to extract relevant data, identify patterns that may contribute to employee turnover and highlight common trends and themes from employee feedback surveys. This data can ultimately assist you in increasing effectiveness and fine-tuning actions to safeguard your employer's brand and avoid negative reviews.

Communication

HR managers interact with a diverse group of people daily. This is why you need strong written and verbal communication skills. Human resources managers ensure that company policies are clear and concise and various other responsibilities that require effective communication skills, including interviewing candidates, leading presentations and resolving conflict.

Related: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

Compassion and empathy

In most organisations, the company views the HR manager as a dependable asset to whom employees can turn to with questions. Human resources managers typically maintain an open-door policy and foster an inviting, comfortable work environment that promotes employee safety and value. Being a good listener is a necessary component of demonstrating empathy and compassion as a human resources manager. Sometimes, an employee may approach you with a concern, hoping to use you as a source of support as they work through the issue independently. For instance, an employee may have difficulty trying to balance work and personal obligations.

If an employee approaches you with this concern and suggests workable solutions, such as more flexible work hours, actively listen to the employee's perspective before offering a solution. Empathy is necessary for trust to develop. By demonstrating an awareness of your team's feelings, you can help build a sense of trust.

Related: How To Build Relationships at Work: A Step-by-Step Guide

Prudence and ethics

Human resources managers have extensive access to sensitive information about employees' personal and professional lives. It's critical to exercise discretion when handling personnel matters, such as discipline, complaints, development and layoffs. To be an effective human resources manager, it's important to appropriately handle sensitive information and disclose it only to authorised individuals while keeping the employees' best interests in mind.

Average salary of a human resources manager

A variety of factors, such as years of experience and educational qualifications, may determine an HR manager's salary. After evaluating the salaries at the region's top organisations, the average salary for a human resources manager is $29,266 per month. In some situations, human resources managers may receive specific bonuses upon completion of certain milestones.

Situations where team members may contact the human resources manager

If you work outside of the HR department, there are several times where you may interact with an HR manager. While developing an onboarding procedure, the HR manager may educate new employees on when they can contact human resources. The human resources department can schedule one-on-one interviews with employees regularly to check in on their career advancement, comfort in their roles and any other concerns the employee may have. Given these responsibilities, employees can feel comfortable contacting their human resources departments in the following situations:

  • When you have questions about your benefits, such as company-provided health insurance or your legal rights

  • When your circumstances alter, such as having a child, needing to reduce your hours or needing accommodation for a disability

  • When you have questions about career development opportunities at the company, such as opportunities to take part in additional training

  • When you require an objective third party to assist you in resolving a work-related issue

Salaries reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.