In a world of flourishing digital and remote industries, a need for people-focused careers is essential. One of the most necessary positions exists in human resources, where the needs of the employees and staff are a top priority. A human resources manager is a crucial component as the responsibilities extend far beyond keeping the peace; the best interests of individuals and groups at large fall under the breadth of responsibilities fulfilled by an HR manager.

To understand the importance of HR professionals in every workplace, as well as learn about the human resources manager scope of duties and requirements, explore this comprehensive guide.

What Is a Human Resources Manager?

The human resources department is responsible for managing the formalities of employee onboarding, benefits, and payment. Coursera describes a human resources manager as the touchstone for organization and training across the company and its employees. Sometimes, additional representatives will work underneath an HR manager.

What Does a Human Resources Manager Do?

The functionality of an internal team is overseen by a human resources manager. Smaller businesses might have a single position handling all aspects of employee relations, while corporations with large employment bodies could branch out to specialized HR positions that handle benefits, payroll, and other designations.

Concrete tasks that human resources managers might be expected to do include a variety of administrative duties, along with preventative policy implications and employee management.

What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Human Resources Manager?

Unlike other management roles, HR managers work with forward-facing situations and the staff body on a variety of levels. O*Net Online notes that necessary responsibilities include:

  • Acting as a connection between management and employees to provide solutions for work-related problems
  • Provide advising service to employees in management roles
  • Fulfilling challenging staff duties that includes hiring adequate staff numbers, terminating current employees, quelling disputes, and delivering disciplinary action
  • Create and modify policies and proceedings to maintain legal compliance
    Act on behalf of the organization for personnel-related appearances
  • Deliver compensation, administrative leave, and performance management systems
  • Engineer, oversee, and control training and labor activities of the company or business

While this list is extensive, each business is unique in its requirements for staff to fulfill on a consistent basis. For a comprehensive list of work expectations for an HR position, consult the O*Net Online database.

What Skills Do You Need To Be an HR Manager?

Understanding the needs of staff is one of the main roles of a human resources manager. No matter the size of the company or industry in question, every human resources representative is expected to maintain a collective, transferable skill set.

According to O*Net Online, the following skills are essential to an HR manager’s role:

  • Active listening: Understanding the flow of conversation and using effective listening skills is a crucial component to human resources responsibilities.
  • Judgment and decision making: HR managers know when to make decisions about various instances, whether the action is affirmative or disciplinary.
  • Complex problem solving: Understanding pertinent information to make an informed decision is a necessary skill for human resources management.
  • Monitoring: Staying alert to the performances of other individuals or entities helps take action for improvement or correction.
  • Persuasion: Convincing relevant individuals to correct or change their behavior maintains a delicate and necessary component for HR management.
  • Time management: Maintaining a productive timetable for themselves and others keeps staff on track is paramount for successful operations.
  • Speaking: Discussing pertinent matters with others to convey information can be a daily requirement for HR professionals.
  • Systems evaluation: Monitoring performance in correlation to preset systems assists with identifying improvements or amendments.

How Long Does It Take to Become an HR Manager?

Like many professional ventures, various higher education components can provide the necessary foundation for a career as a human resources manager, making the time frame allotted to receiving the proper training and experience subjective by years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) handbook notes that a bachelor’s degree is a helpful tool when searching for that particular job, but other roles may require a master’s degree for consideration. While said degrees in human resources are helpful, areas of study, including communications, business, and psychology, are also advantageous for seeking an HR career.

Other external programs can provide additional credentials and experience, especially in specialized areas of human resources, and work experience is highly recommended. For more information on additional requirements and helpful qualifications for a career as a human resources manager, please visit the Department of Labor information page.

How To Be a Human Resources Manager

Like almost all professional roles, a certain level of work experience is helpful when pursuing a human resources manager role. There are multiple avenues to pursue in human resources that extend beyond the traditional all-encompassing role, many of which fall into specialty positions.

Some potential careers you may consider with a degree include:

  • Labor resources directors (employee relations managers) that play an advanced role in contract development and incidental complaints
  • Payroll managers that oversee a company’s payment systems and all procedures of the department
  • Recruiting managers, or staffing managers, that assist with onboarding employees and seeking out qualified candidates to bring into the company

It is important to note that industry knowledge is a paramount component of high-level human resources management. Since HR representatives need to communicate laterally with other staff members and oversee daily operations, the BLS handbook recommends experience with transferable systems in a chosen field to bolster chances of employment. That involves familiarity with online systems such as:

  • Accounting software
  • Human resources software
  • Financial analysis software
  • Office suite software
  • Time accounting software
  • Word processing software
  • Document management software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Data management reporting software

Tools for Human Resources Managers

While human resources can be a singularly fulfilled role, this position is a widespread commodity with various outlets for education and mentorship. Additional certifications are helpful when entering the workforce. Networking can also help you gain colleagues and mentorship in the human resources field. Consider utilizing these resources for research and certification pursuit:

  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): With nearly 75 years of servitude to human resources professionals, SHRM is an all-encompassing resource for HR managers at every professional level.
  • Achieve education and certification through and its wide database of training programs and learning modules.
  • Public Sector HR Association: Media outlets like the Public Eye magazine and podcast offer additional insights into the human resources position.

Overview: Becoming a Human Resources Manager

HR positions are some of the most necessary roles in business. The fulfillment of meeting a company’s needs through employee engagement is one that human resources managers experience across the professional plane. When employees and management demand seamless communication, and essential processes demand completion, a competent HR manager will complete the necessary scope with efficiency and success.

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