what is an HR manager?

Human resource managers contribute to the success of a business by handling issues related to employees and maximising their value in a company. In your HR manager role, your job involves recruiting new employees and managing the workers to ensure they become valuable assets to your employer. Aside from performance management, you also handle promotions, training and development of all the staff in the company.

To do an excellent job, you need to focus on individual employee needs and the work environment. For instance, it is vital to ensure workers have a conducive work environment to boost their productivity. Aside from supporting the company's staff, your role entails dealing with uncomfortable aspects of employment. You will handle human resource violations, laying off workers and disciplining employees.

Your specific responsibility varies depending on the size of the company. Small businesses usually have one HR manager to cover all the roles, while in a large company, you are likely to handle one aspect of employee management.

Would working as an HR manager suit your enterprising personality? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an HR manager role.

HR manager roles

average salary of an HR manager

According to National Careers, the median annual wage for HR managers starting their career is £28,000. However, your salaries and benefits vary based on the company's size, industry and experience level. As you increase your expertise and provide specialised services, your average salary can increase to £50,000 per year. The types of benefits also affect your compensation package. For instance, some employers provide a healthcare cover, transport allowance and bonuses, while others only offer a basic salary.

what factors affect your salary as an HR manager?

As an HR manager, your salary is based on your experience and qualifications. Entry-level positions pay less, but you will gain invaluable experience that builds your career. With expert knowledge and specialised skills, your compensation package reflects your qualification levels. It is crucial to gradually grow your skills to scale the heights in human resources and increase your compensation package.


types of HR manager

In a small business, you will handle all HR tasks alone, but in large companies, an HR manager focuses on one of the following areas:

  • employee relations HR managers: the responsibility of a labour relations HR manager is to oversee employment policies and ensure the company complies with the legislation in union and non-union settings. You will coordinate grievances and handle labour complaints affecting the organisation. Labour relations also involve negotiating labour contracts, including wages and benefits.
  • job placement specialist: when you are in charge of job placements in the human resource department, your job is to match skills with job roles. The process starts with recruitment and selection to identify the best candidates for a position. During promotions, you use the performance management details to promote employees according to expertise.
  • compensation and benefits HR managers: as a compensation HR manager, your primary role is to ensure employees are compensated for the services they provide. You also ensure your employer keeps up with workers' health insurance payments and the vital benefits required by the law.

working as an HR manager

To become a successful HR manager, you should have a knack for recognising talent and expertise in organising personnel in a company. Some of the responsibilities and your daily tasks as an HR manager are explained below.

HR manager job description

When you are an HR manager, your responsibility revolves around the human capital in your company. That means you need to match the company's workers to the task based on their skills and competency. The main responsibilities of an HR manager include:

  • recruitment and selection: you will work with various stakeholders to fill your employer's business vacancies. Your primary role is to ensure internal hiring policies are adhered to, and the company complies with the regulations.
  • handling compensation and administrative tasks: as an HR manager, your administrative tasks include scheduling employees, running payroll and storing employee records. When scheduling employees, you should allocate equal work hours based on job groups and ensure everyone gets time-off and adequate breaks at regular intervals. Keeping records and employees' files also ensures compliance with the regulations.
  • ensuring health and safety: HR managers ensure employees have all the safety equipment they need to complete their tasks. By complying with work environments' health and safety standards, HR managers minimise risks from workplace accidents. Ensuring workplace safety also reduces turnover and productivity problems.

HR managers and technology

Nowadays, HR managers perform minimal administrative tasks due to human resource software and technologies available. For instance, payroll processing is now automated with payroll systems and HR managers can keep all records in one system and use it to perform all functions. Scheduling software has also automated employee scheduling, while performance management software streamlines performance appraisals and employee monitoring.


education and skills

Become an HR manager by gaining the following educational qualifications and certifications: 

  • bachelor's and master's degrees: the first step in your journey to becoming an HR manager is getting a degree in business and HR management or psychology. Once you complete your undergraduate, you can look for an entry-level position in human resources to improve your skills and experience. A postgraduate degree will also propel you to a managerial position faster.
  • apprenticeship: you can start your career in the human resource field through apprenticeship programmes such as senior people professional degree apprenticeship and HR consultant partner higher apprenticeship. Employers offering HR apprenticeships set entry and on-the-job training requirements.
  • certifications: the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) certifies all HR professionals in the UK. CIPD offers entry-level to senior-level professionals training and awards them certifications for the specialist skills attained during the training.

skills and competencies

Aside from academic qualifications, you need exemplary technical and soft skills to become an HR manager. Some of the skills include:

  • communication skills: you should have excellent communication skills since you link the company with the best talents in the industry. Your communication ability will help you provide clear instructions to employees and report the progress in your department to stakeholders. Knowledge of various modes of communication is crucial to your success and promotes transparency.
  • administrative expertise: since your role involves scheduling and filing, administrative skills will help you manage your tasks efficiently. You should organise your tasks to avoid missing deadlines or forgetting important details.
  • proactive: if you are not proactive, you will miss the red flags and signs of problems until they escalate. You should pick up employee issues when they arise and deal with them promptly. With proactivity, you can keep up with emerging trends in the work culture and technology.
  • coaching skills: employee training and development ensure growth and motivate workers. You need coaching skills to train employees and organise workshops for professional development. The skills are also helpful for onboarding.


FAQs about working as an HR manager.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.