Consulting with management and overseeing assistants and specialists, human resources managers work to not only acquire and maintain the strongest workforce but also to reduce workplace conflict. Their role requires focusing on the company's strategic vision and considering long-term efficiency and effectiveness when hiring new employees and when creating compensation packages and training workers. Depending on the organization, some HR managers focus more on a specialized area, like staffing management or employee relations, while many others have a generalist role that requires performing tasks related to all HR functions. Workforce planning, benefits and compensation management, dispute resolution and employee development are all common roles and responsibilities of HR managers.
A key role of an HR manager is to obtain, manage and develop effective employees who can help the company meet its long-term goals. In addition to handling workforce planning and onboarding, HR managers work to quickly resolve workplace conflicts that can create a hostile work environment, lower productivity and decrease employee morale. This role requires not only understanding the processes of acquiring, developing and managing workers but also understanding the legal concepts which apply to these processes. When effective, HR managers help a business to reduce its turnover, improve worker attendance and avoid legal issues, all of which help the company save money.
While they usually designate the actual screening and interviewing tasks to HR specialists and assistants, HR managers work with management to determine the company's staffing needs. This involves developing detailed job descriptions and determining the proper skill set, education, personal qualities and experience necessary for each role. For example, an HR manager for a company hiring a software developer would meet with the development team to determine the programming languages and tools its developers use. Knowing the specific job requirements helps HR managers develop screening techniques and create skills assessments and interview questions to determine if prospective employees are a good fit.
HR managers ensure employees receive the proper training to do their jobs well and to develop new skills. They develop onboarding programs that familiarize new employees with workplace policies and provide any specific training needed for the role. For example, an effective onboarding program for new salespeople would provide training on effective sales techniques and explain expectations for employee performance and call etiquette. In addition to helping develop onboarding programs, HR managers create opportunities for ongoing education as job duties expand or processes change, as well as offer additional help to struggling employees. They also work with management to create programs for employees who are interested in moving to another department or taking on a managerial role.
Developing attractive and effective compensation and benefits programs is another one of the responsibilities of human resource management. This task requires HR managers to consider the company's budget, research salary trends in the company's industry and look for competitive benefits (such as insurance, tuition reimbursement and time off) that can make the company stand out. When determining the pay for each role, HR managers consider the responsibilities, education and experience required along with the company's size and location. For example, HR managers may set a higher salary for a marketing assistant working in a large company in California than for one working in a small company in the Midwest. HR managers also develop the company's structure for pay increases based on performance, seniority and experience.
Resolving disputes, offering advice to management on employment legal issues and disciplining employees are additional roles and responsibilities of HR managers. When an employee does not get along with a coworker or supervisor, the HR manager serves as a mediator to determine the cause of the conflict and takes steps to prevent problems in the future. Likewise, when an employee reports that someone in the organization has harassed him, the HR manager reviews relevant company policies and employment laws to determine if there is a potential legal issue and meets with everyone involved to discuss the issue. Also, HR managers provide counseling, give warnings, issue suspensions or even terminate employees who do not meet performance standards or who display inappropriate behavior.