Human resource managers are responsible for leading entire human resources departments for large businesses.
They are responsible for ensuring that a business is using their staff effectively by managing recruitment, job design, employee relations, training and development.
This in-depth guide includes a full HR manager job description and covers all the key information about human resource managers, including average salaries, job requirements, employers and more.
- HR manager job description
- How much do HR managers earn?
- What does a HR manager do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs HR managers?
- Which junior jobs progress to HR manager roles?
HR manager job description
HR manager | The Care Company
About The Care Company
The Care Company is a nationwide primary provider of care services across the South of England, delivering quality care and support to elderly and disabled people within their own homes and within care accommodation.
About the role
We’re looking for an experienced Human Resources Manager to join our head office on a full-time basis. Our staff are at the core of our success and your role will ensure that the best talent is attracted, developed, supported and retained in every area of the business.
- Line managing, training and developing a team of four HR administrators and assistants
- Developing and implementing effective HR policies and procedures
- Managing and monitoring all employee absences, sickness and leave
- Assessing staff performance and creating effective training and development plans
- Coordinating the end-to-end recruitment process, from preparing adverts to conducting interviews
- Overseeing the preparation of offers of employment, job contracts and other employee-related paperwork
- Investigating and managing all disciplinary and grievance hearings and finding appropriate solutions
- Keeping up to date with employment law and ensuring the company is legally compliant
Location & commitments
- Full-time, permanent role based at our London head office
- Monday – Friday 9–5 with half an hour for lunch, totalling 37.5 hours per week
- Weekend and evening work rare but may occasionally be necessary
- Some travel to care accommodation required
- 3+ years of experience of working in an HR position with sound knowledge of general principles and practices
- Proven experience of managing redundancies, disciplinaries, grievances and performance-related issues effectively
- Sound and up-to-date knowledge of employment law and compliance
- Strong communicator with the ability to build strong relationships and establish interpersonal connections across all levels of the company
- Able to work sensitively and discreetly with extremely confidential information
- Tech-savvy with the ability to get to grips with new programmes and software quickly
- CIPD qualified or highly willing to work towards the qualification
- A degree (or equivalent) in HR or a relevant subject is preferable
Contact us to apply
To apply, contact our current HR manager, Jane Smith at email@example.com. Make sure to attach an up to date CV and a short cover letter, telling us why you would be a great fit for our HR team!
How much do HR managers earn?
At £31,926, the average human resource manager salary sits just above the UK national average.
Human resources manager salaries in the UK
- Low: £23,000
- Average: £31,926
- High: £42,500
HR manager salaries will vary hugely depending on:
- Whether the employee is CIPD qualified – Being qualified with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) can increase salary
- The industry of the employer – HR salaries are typically highest within banking, finance and professional services and lowest in charity and not-for-profit, where budgets are tight
- The HR specialism of the employee – Salaries vary depending on the specialism of HR managers, for example talent management, information systems, learning and development or people analytics
For example, a HR information systems manager working in banking will typically earn more than a generalist HR manager working in the charity sector, where budgets are often limited.
The figures above are taken from a range of job ad samples, so do not include extra benefits, such as bonuses, holiday allowance and private health insurance.
What does a HR manager do?
The typical duties, tasks and responsibilities found in the average HR manager job description include:
- Coordinating recruitment – Overseeing the recruitment process, including job advertisements, reviewing and shortlisting applications and interviewing candidates
- Inducting new staff – Designing processes to Induct newly recruited staff and contractors (supporting them to adjust to their new responsibilities and working environments)
- Coordinating and delivering training – Regularly assessing training needs and developing and delivering training programmes
- Monitoring performance – Managing staff performance by clarifying expectations and setting objectives and goals with business leaders, as well as providing feedback and reviewing results
- Monitoring attendance/absences – Keeping accurate records of employee attendance, scheduled time off and sick leave
- Carrying out salary reviews – Conducting regular salary surveys and reviews (meeting with individual employees to assess their pay and decide whether they’re due a salary increase)
- Overseeing payroll – Organising the timely payment of all employees for the hours that have been worked, usually by delegating to junior HR staff
- Managing benefits – Designing and advising the company and its staff on benefits packages (a collection of perks and benefits that supplements an employee’s salary)
- Dealing with grievances – Addressing staff grievances (a formal way for staff to raise an issue or complaint with their employer) by setting up meetings to discuss concerns and taking further action if necessary
- Developing long-term strategies – Developing and implementing long-term human resource strategies, plans and procedures which support the wider business goals
- Ensuring legal compliance – Working to ensure that all company policies and procedures are up to date and in line with employment law and legislation
- Managing HR team – Overseeing the performance of in-house HR team including work distribution, training and development
What do HR managers need?
The human resources industry is known to be competitive. In order to reach management level, HR professionals will need to build a wide range of skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications.
While specific requirements will inevitably vary from role to role, as well as the HR specialism of the job, here’s what’s generally required:
Human resource manager jobs will usually require the candidate to have gained between two and five years experience within a junior HR role, such as human resources administrator, assistant, advisor or coordinator.
As the job market can be competitive, those with some form of management experience in a previous role will be at an advantage in the recruitment process.
HR manager skills
In order to thrive within the role, human resources managers need a range of qualities, skills and capabilities, including:
- Communication: Clearly and confidently communicating with management, potential employees and current employees
- HR knowledge: Confidence in handling a wide range of HR issues including learning & development, recruitment, payroll, reward schemes, disciplinaries etc.
- Organisation: Working methodically and juggling a wide range of time-sensitive tasks, requests and priorities
- Decision making: Analysing information quickly and using it to make robust decisions regarding recruitment and grievances
- Conflict management: Solving problems and managing conflicts in a calm, civil and professional manner
- Approachability: Creating a comfortable atmosphere where employees feel comfortable and safe sharing their problems and concerns
- Negotiation: Negotiating offers for employment so that both the employee and the company are happy
- Discretion: Handling confidential information appropriately and never divulging company information to any unauthorised person
- Employment law: Understanding the basics of employment law, such as employment contracts, statutory pay and dismissal procedures
- Tech-savvy: Using a range of visual planning software, digital spreadsheets, online databases and workplace analytics software to support the role
HR manager qualifications
While experience is generally favoured over qualifications, employers are increasingly stating a formal qualification as an essential requirement for mid and higher-level HR roles.
The following qualifications are recognised across the HR sector and can significantly boost a candidate’s chances of securing a role and performing better on the job:
Although a degree isn’t always essential for working up the HR ladder, some employers will prefer candidates with a degree-level education.
Graduate jobs and schemes in the sector are generally open to graduates from all subjects, as long as their degree is a 2:1 or above. However, for the most competitive roles, a relevant subject can be an advantage — for example:
- Human resources management
- Business or management subjects
Additionally, a foundation degree or HND in a relevant subject can provide entry into the field.
Masters degrees in HR
Organisations in the UK and internationally are increasingly seeking applicants with the advanced knowledge that a postgraduate HR degree brings. As well as speeding up progression within the sector, masters graduates can generally expect a higher salary.
Courses generally take a year to complete full-time and normally leave graduates with full CIPD membership.
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualifications
For middle and higher management HR positions, some employers expect candidates to become fully professionally qualified with the CIPD. As well as helping HR professionals to develop advanced workplace skills, they bring professional credence within the industry.
Employers often sponsor their HR staff to complete CIPD qualifications, though they can also be studied independently.
CIPD offer a wide range of qualifications, but the two most advantageous options for HR manager roles are:
- CIPD Level 5 Intermediate qualification: Equivalent to graduate level
- CIPD Level 7 Advanced qualification: Equivalent to postgraduate level
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)
Human resource professionals with a particular interest in recruitment may wish to develop their skills on a REC course. Their professional qualifications provide in-depth knowledge and the necessary practical skills to succeed in recruitment.
What is expected of HR managers?
Human resource managers will generally be expected to commit to the following:
- Full or part-time hours – The majority of HR roles are full-time (35 – 40 hours per week), but some part-time and job share opportunities are available
- Possibility of extra hours – Hours may sometimes be extended to meet deadlines and demands — for salaried roles, this may be unpaid
- Possibility of shift work – While most HR jobs are 9am – 5pm, certain sectors (for example, those who operate 24 hours a day, such as factories) may require shift and weekend work
- Office-based work – Normally based within the employer’s office
- Regular travel – Some roles may require regular travel to other premises, such as factories, hotels and retail outlets
HR manager benefits
Human resource managers generally work for larger companies, meaning benefits packages can be generous. Though they’ll vary between companies, perks may include:
- Bonuses (based on performance)
- Generous holiday allowance
- Private healthcare
- Pension contributions
- Car allowance
- Corporate discounts
- Flexible working options
Who employs HR managers?
Human resource managers can work in any business or organisation that employs large numbers of staff. Employment is available in private firms and organisations, within the public sector (for example, local government or the civil service) and within the not-for-profit and charity sector.
Smaller companies may not need a full-time HR professional — or be able to afford it. Therefore, generally speaking, the larger the business, the more likely they are to have a dedicated HR team.
As the management of employees is a crucial aspect of any business, the number of advertised HR roles has increased in recent years. While opportunities exist throughout the UK, senior roles are normally in larger towns and cities due to the location of head offices and headquarters.
As any company with staff has the need for a human resource manager, employment opportunities spans across all industries and sectors. Typical employers include, but are by no means limited to:
- Financial services
- Utility services
- Health services
- Oil and gas
Which junior jobs progress to HR manager roles?
There are a growing number of HR apprenticeships and graduate schemes available, which are a great way for new starters to enter the human resources industry and develop their skills.
However, aside from these trainee/apprenticeship schemes, there are a number of junior roles that can see employees naturally progress up the HR ladder. These include:
Most entrants to the HR world start off as assistants or administrators. These are junior roles focusing on administration and clerical tasks, such as updating staff records, preparing reports and screening job applications. They tend to report to (and support) the HR manager, making them an excellent way to get a foot in the door and learn the ropes.
Internal recruitment consultant
Recruitment consultants are responsible for finding the right candidates for jobs and the best talent for employers. This includes creating job advertisements, networking, screening candidates, interviewing and running background checks. Recruiters draw upon similar skill sets to human resource professionals, making it a common platform for a move into HR and HR management.
Which senior jobs do HR managers progress to?
While a career as a human resources manager can be a rewarding career choice in its own right, the skills and experience developed within the job can bring upon a range of higher-paying job opportunities:
After gaining exposure to various speciality areas over time, some human resource managers decide to specialise in a particular HR function. Due to the specialist knowledge and training required, specialist HR professionals often command higher salaries — though this will vary between functions. Common specialisms include:
- Learning and development: Coordinating and supervising employee training and development
- Compensation and benefits: Managing a company’s salary and benefits packages
- Employee relations: Overseeing and managing employee issues
- Talent acquisition: Finding and hiring specific types of employees
- HR information systems: Overseeing and maintaining technologies used by the HR department
For those who wish to follow a more traditional, generalist career path, HR managers can eventually be promoted to a director of HR role. HR directors take full responsibility for all human resource issues within a company (usually large well known companies) and are normally required to hold full CIPD training and membership.
HR manager job description – conclusion
Companies of all shapes and sizes require knowledgeable professionals to help manage employees effectively, meaning HR professionals are in high demand.
There are growing numbers of HR apprenticeship and graduate schemes available, as well as numerous junior roles that can eventually allow hard working candidates to springboard into management positions.
The role of human resource manager offers a challenging, fast-paced yet rewarding work life, as well as a salary above the national average.