Human resources (HR) managers have a wide range of duties in their role overseeing the administrative functions of an organization. Most of their responsibilities revolve around personnel functions, such as recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training.
They also formulate policies and procedures; assist with strategic planning regarding staffing needs and organizational structure; ensure company compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and match the organization’s needs with employee talents and experience. In addition, they often oversee compensation, payroll and benefits administration.
Managers who need support with applying or interpreting organizational policies, resolving employee issues or administering employee services typically rely upon HR managers. When disputes arise or disciplinary action is required, HR managers may serve as mediators between supervisors and employees.
In larger organizations, different HR managers generally are responsible for specific functions, such as recruiting, staffing or payroll. Other HR managers may specialize in areas such as labor relations.
Job Outlook and Salary Range for Human Resources Managers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of HR managers is expected to grow by 9% nationally between 2014 and 2024. That’s faster than the average job growth rate projected for all occupations.
Job growth for HR managers depends in large part on the overall growth of companies. New or expanding businesses may need HR professionals to help with their hiring needs, and in order to stay updated on changes in regulations, recruiting techniques and the overall employment landscape.
Nationally, HR managers earned a median annual wage of more than $104,440 in May 2015, with the top 10% earning more than $187,200.
Applicants should be aware that salary potential and job opportunities will vary based on their experience and educational qualifications, as well as on local market conditions.
Education and Training for Human Resources Managers
Although a master’s degree in business administration or human resources may be a requirement for employment with larger organizations, most HR managers need a bachelor’s degree, according to the BLS. Individuals with experience and/or degrees in other fields, such as information technology, finance and education, may be able to transition to a career in HR management.
In order to successfully perform their varied duties, HR managers must be adept at delegating and overseeing tasks, and communicating, both verbally and in writing. They must also be willing and able to handle potentially unpleasant tasks, such as disciplining employees.
Given the changing nature of employment regulations and benefits options, HR managers need to regularly update their knowledge. Certification and other training programs offered through organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management are among the options for professional development.
Military Occupational Specializations
Numerous functions associated with HR management, including staffing, payroll and conflict resolution, are likely familiar to many members of the armed forces.
In particular, servicemembers assigned to military occupational specializations such as human resources specialist in the Army, personnel specialist in the Air Force and human resources director in the Navy may find similarities in the civilian role of HR manager.