Human resources directors play a critical role in your company's employee management process. They plan and lead all facets of your company's HR system. Recruiting, hiring processes, developing orientation and training programs, coordinating benefits and participating with other executives in strategic planning are common director responsibilities. A bachelor's degree is a common requirement, although some director positions expect a master's degree. Median HR manager pay in 2010 was $99,180, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


An HR director who shares focus with other executives on the company's vision and objectives is increasingly important in the early 21st century. HR directors commonly sit on company management teams and participate in strategic planning processes. They offer perspective on how to align hiring and employee management systems with profit and revenue goals of the business. For this reason, HR directors need to start with an emphasis on the bottom line and build HR processes centered on that goal.

Business Acumen

Great HR directors have a strong business acumen that extends well beyond the human resources area. Like other department directors, HR managers need to understand the basics of profit and loss and how to operate an efficient employee system. Since labor is one of the most expensive costs of doing business, the HR director's budgeting demands are especially important to company success. Great human resource directors see the correlation between effective hiring and training and the return on investment talented employees provide to the bottom line.


All HR directors need some level of leadership ability, but great directors need especially strong personality traits, emotional intelligence and concern for employees. Within their department, directors must guide and motivate other HR staff to work diligently to oversee compensation and benefits programs and training and motivation systems. HR directors also regularly interact with other company leaders and front-line managers and employees. They need a total understanding of the role all employees play and the ability to provide departmental leadership and inspirational leadership as a company executive.


Because of the collaborative nature of strategic human resources, great HR directors in successful companies need to be team-oriented. HR directors are part of many teams. They must take on an executive team role, a department team leadership role and a team-orientation role as a key figure in building the company culture. HR directors are essentially leading a team of internal customer service reps whose role includes developing a motivated workforce that achieves optimal performance.