Companies and organizations of all sizes, including not-for-profits, employ human resource employees. Some HR professionals work in-house, while others may be employed on a contract basis, especially for small companies with fewer than 10 employees. Qualified HR professionals are in high demand.

While the list of responsibilities of an HR team is broad and varied, the most important role is to act as a link between upper-level management and the employees within an organization. HR departments are heavily involved in staffing decisions, especially recruiting and hiring new employees.

Human resource managers typically oversee a staff of employees within their department; thus, they have administrative and management duties to perform, such as ensuring tasks are finished on time and accurately. Other responsibilities include oversight of compliance issues and employee payroll, training and benefits.

Some HR managers have the duty of acting as a liaison with top-level management to assist with strategic planning. They consult with executives on how an organization can most efficiently use and get the most value from their employees. They make recommendations on how to motivate employees to be more productive, improve workplace morale and create and maintain a balanced budget.

Other duties include:

  • Advising on issues like equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment
  • Mediating disputes and handling disciplinary actions

Since human resource managers are oftentimes involved with hiring and firing employees, they are usually very familiar with the roles within the organizations they represent, and they know what skill sets are necessary for each job. By the same token, human resource managers must also have a certain skill set to perform the functions the role demands. They must be:

  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • Able to multitask and negotiate
  • Comfortable dealing with sensitive issues
  • Excellent communicators
  • Discrete and ethical
  • Great problem solvers

Career Growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for human resource managers are expected to grow 9 percent by 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Salary Potential

HR managers usually earn a high salary; the median annual wage is $104,440. Other benefits are that the position requires little travel, and HR managers are usually able to keep regular business hours.

Education Required

To become a human resource manager, candidates must have a combination of the right education and several years of experience working in the field. A bachelor’s degree is often required, but candidates can stand out from the competition by earning a master’s degree in human resource management. Certification is not necessary, but it’s an attractive asset; the Society for Human Resource Management is a well-known professional organization that offers certification.