What does an HR manager do?

As a human resources manager, you are in charge of operations related to a company's staff. You work with other managers to develop recruitment strategies, implement onboarding systems for new employees, and create benefit strategies for workers. Additionally, you handle employee issues related to other staff or management. 

Staff management

In many cases, as an HR manager, you supervise a staff of representatives that cover day-to-day human resources and administrative tasks. For instance, you assign them to distribute worker payments, train employees about new requirements, and monitor absences. As an HR manager, you also delegate staff to work with employees if they need to file complaints.

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What is the average salary of an HR manager?

Nationwide, the salary of an HR manager is higher than leaders in other industries. Your median hourly pay as an HR manager is $60.69. This calculates to an annual total of $126,230. At the low end of the scale, you earn $75,000. At the top level, an HR manager makes more than $208,000 annually.

Factors related to salary

How much you receive as an HR manager depends on several factors. The size of the company is certainly one, as a small- to medium-sized business tends not to have the budget. The company's location is also part of salary determination because the cost of living is higher or lower in some regions. 

Experience and education

Experience and education also factor into your salary as an HR manager. The more training you have in managerial and human resource roles, the greater your ability to receive median or upper rates. Education in HR-related fields also increases your overall salary.

HR Manager

Working as an HR manager

You have plenty of advantages as an HR manager. The next sections detail the position's typical responsibilities, equipment, environment, and schedule. You’ll also learn a bit more about your colleagues.

What are the responsibilities of an HR manager

As an HR manager, you're responsible for plans related to the personal development of the company's workforce. You must develop your ideas and transform them into polished policies and procedures applicable across all other departments. Beyond this, the daily tasks you're involved in include the following. 

  • Supervise HR communications, requests, and document creation that your team performs
  • Ensure all employees follow your company’s adopted policies and procedures
  • Recommend changes to policies and procedures based upon emerging employee and company needs 
  • Assess reports about employee performance from your team, supervisors, and operations managers
  • Review salary and other compensation standards set by your industry and governing agencies to create new benefit structures 
  • Create recruitment plans, interview schedules, and onboarding processes per labor laws and company methodologies
  • Participate in training sessions to further enhance your skills as an HR manager
  • Oversee exit interviews and report the results to the team leads and operation managers 
  • Attend interdepartmental meetings where you present about new HR programs 
  • Report and follow-up on employee complaints related to managers and co-workers

What type of equipment does an HR manager use?

Today, HR managers rely on digital equipment to master their daily tasks. Thus, they use a desktop computer or laptop with industry and department-related applications. They also operate mobile devices outside of their office. Applications on these devices are similar to those on their computer. As many are based in the cloud, you access the same data from any device. 


The applications you work with as an HR manager relate to productivity. For instance, you may use items to produce reports, spreadsheets, and slide presentations. You also use applications to virtually communicate with your team and operations managers.

HR management system

Another virtual tool you’ll regularly use is a human resources information system (HRIS). This comprises modules that cover major employee aspects. It starts at the level of resume submission and follows the employee through onboarding, career evaluation, promotion, and exit interviews. An HRIS application is incredibly useful because it allows managers to review non-confidential information about workers to determine salary increases or promotions. 

What is the work environment of an HR manager?

Your work environment as an HR manager is within the company space. You have your own office and participate in meetings via digital tools or in person. Conversely, if your company is virtual, then you work from a remote location. This is either your home or a quiet space like a library with a strong internet connection.

Who are your colleagues as an HR manager?

Normally, your colleagues as an HR Manager are other operational managers. These are individuals you spend time with to discuss personnel issues within their teams. It's the responsibility of these managers to inform you about their workers' performances and subsequent rewards or promotions. You also work with recruiters, with HR assistants and people in charge of the payroll department. If you work for a larger company, you may have a dedicated administrative assistant working for your team.

The HR team

Beyond operations managers, your colleagues are your HR representatives. They regularly contact you about standard and unusual operations. Furthermore, they ask questions about policies and procedures or information about an employee. You speak with them in person or through secure digital means if not nearby. 

The consulting firm

When you work for a human resources consulting firm, your colleagues are the other HR managers. You're sent to different organizations to establish new departments or cover shifts when a business' HR manager has left. You're either an interim employee or asked to stay on as a contractor. 

What is the work schedule of an HR manager?

Normally, you work the same hours as most of the company's staff as an HR manager. This typically means Monday through Friday from eight or nine in the morning to five or six at night. You may work overtime for off-hours meetings or when a project deadline must be met. This schedule may change seasonally or if operations are down due to equipment replacement/overhaul.

Schedule for an international organization

When your staff is based across the globe, you may still maintain a standard schedule. In this situation, there are HR supervisors that work under you in different regions. They report information to you on new hires, exit interviews, and other issues. Here, you end up coming in early or staying late to meet with these individuals.


What is the career outlook for an HR manager?

Despite automation and remote operations, the outlook for HR managers is still positive. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for HR managers is expected to grow almost 10% between now and 2030. On average, close to 15,000 positions will open each year with many of them due to retirements and transfers.

The importance of HR managers

The reason for the solid career outlook is the need for human interaction. Although there are automated HR management tools, they only report on skill sets. They do not address emotions or other qualitative characteristics of a qualified candidate. Thus, organizations still need an HR manager and their team to handle these high-touch interview phases. 

Next career steps

The knowledge gained from your role as an HR manager can lead to other, more challenging and well-paid positions. For instance, you become a consultant for firms that require help in refining their interview and qualification processes. Furthermore, you work for a multinational company as a director of human resources. Here, you oversee an international staff of HR managers and their employees. 

What are the advantages of working with Spherion as an HR manager?

Whether you're actively looking for an HR manager job or just reviewing the field, Spherion is the answer. We assist in your employment search by connecting you with a position that matches your skills. Because Spherion is one of the U.S.’s leading staffing companies, we have a large number of connections within a wide range of businesses. Whether you prefer employment with a small family business or a major corporation, Spherion has options for you. We offer several advantages as part of our process. Among them are:

  • A quick and seamless interview process
  • A project lead you can always ask for help
  • Weekly pay
  • A flexible schedule to maintain a proper work-life balance
  • Plenty of training opportunities
  • A wide range of jobs in your area

What education do you need as an HR manager?

In addition to a high school diploma, you need a bachelor's degree in human resource management or a similar field. The skills learned help develop your skills in workforce management, economics, statistics, and project management. Expand your skills for advancement by obtaining a master's in management & leadership. Here, you gain knowledge in finance, operations, and account management.

Additional education

An advanced degree can help you as you continue your role as an HR manager. This involves regular in-person and online training programs. Some of these are found in our Career Resources pages. Also, attend training programs related to recent governmental policy changes that affect how you work with your employees. Finally, you should consider joining a professional association such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to meet and learn from other HR professionals, and to stay updated about HR management trends and regulations.

Skills & competencies

The skills & competencies needed to be a successful HR manager include:

  • Effective management of a company’s workforce
  • Strong interpersonal communication to correspond with team members, managers, and employees and establish a strong sense of teamwork
  • The knowledge to properly staff a company with the right employees for long-term success 
  • Confidence to delegate tasks to HR employees 
  • The ability to create proper work schedules to maximize a company's productivity 
  • Technical knowledge of computers, mobile devices, production software, and HR-based applications




As an HR manager, it's your job to manage your organization's workforce. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about this role.

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