Last updated on February 9th, 2024 at 01:35 pm

If you had to make a list of some of the most important elements of any organization, company culture is undoubtedly right at the top.

According to a recent study, employees that are engaged with the company culture tend to be 12% more productive than those who aren’t. These employees not only work harder on average, but they’re also more creative and they tend to exceed the expectations of those around them.

Helping to create and maintain a company culture is also a significant part of a human resource manager’s role within a company. They are tasked with being a proactive culture consultant and can empower that culture through communication, incorporating sustainability into the brand, including employees in key decisions, and more.

Of course, a human resource manager is responsible for other tasks, too. Whether you’re just curious about what these hardworking professionals do every day or thinking about entering into the world of HR yourself, there are a number of things you should know.

Key Responsibilities of a Human Resource Manager

While the roles and responsibilities of a human resource manager will naturally vary depending on the organization they work for, most will still be directly involved with a few critical aspects of any business’s daily operations.

Recruitment and Selection

One of the most important areas that human resource managers oversee has to do with the recruitment and selection of new employees. They must understand what an “ideal candidate” looks for in the context of the role to be filled and streamline the process by looking for new hires quickly and in the right areas.

Employee Orientation and Onboarding

Equally important is a human resource manager’s ability to contribute to the successful orientation and onboarding of any new hire. New employees need to be given the resources they need to “hit the ground running” from a productivity standpoint. If any specialized training or education is required, the HR manager will help facilitate it. If the employee has questions, they will have answers. All of this is to allow new employees to get comfortable as quickly as possible and start productively contributing just as fast.

Employee Retention and Engagement

Human resource managers significantly contribute to the overall engagement of employees as well. Happy employees don’t typically go looking for new places to work, which is a big part of why engagement is so important. When you also consider that it is estimated to cost between 50% and 60% of an employee’s salary just to fill that vacant position, it’s easy to see why this is pivotal to a business’ bottom line.

Performance Management

Many HR managers also work with team leaders and various department heads to monitor the ongoing performance of employees on an individual basis. Anyone who isn’t meeting expectations will be given access to training and additional resources or replaced with a more viable candidate.

Training and Development

Many human resource managers will also plan and coordinate skills and knowledge-based enhancement programs, if not executing the programs themselves. This is to help make sure that all employees have the special skills necessary so the entire business can remain competitive in an ever-changing marketplace.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Another important role of human resource managers involves making sure that a business’ workforce reflects the diverse nature of not only the target market they are trying to serve but society as a whole. They can strive to ensure that traditionally underrepresented groups have a voice and access to opportunities within the company.

Compensation and Benefits Administration

HR managers help to plan, develop, and oversee the various programs within a business regarding compensation and employee benefits. Benefits are particularly important, as many potential candidates report placing a higher value on benefits than salary when deciding where to work. Therefore, the right employee benefits program can be a great way to attract and retain top talent for a business.

Compliance With Employment Laws and Regulations

Finally, human resource managers will help make sure that a business complies with all employment laws and regulations that may be relevant to a business. Not only is this critical because protecting the rights of employees is the right thing to do – remaining in compliance is also the only way to avoid significant fines and other penalties should a violation be discovered.

Required Skills and Qualifications for a Human Resource Manager

If you’re considering becoming a human resource manager throughout the course of your own career, there are several important skills to prioritize. These include but are certainly not limited to the following.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Human resource managers will need to be adept at communicating between departments and with employees on a one-on-one basis. They need to understand the diverse needs of the workforce, both as a collective and as individuals, to best serve them.

Strategic Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

Human resource managers must be strategic in their thinking, seeing the “bigger picture” of the business in a way that allows them to collaborate and overcome challenges. HR managers need to think critically about complex challenges and develop creative solutions to ensure that their organization can attract, retain, and develop top talent. They must also be able to anticipate future workforce needs and develop strategic plans to meet those needs. With effective strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, HR managers can navigate the ever-changing business landscape and help their organizations achieve long-term success.

Knowledge of Employment Laws and Regulations

Especially in the world of business, ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it. Hefty fines and other violations can be and often are levied against businesses who violate the rights of workers and human resource managers are often the first line of defense to help prevent that from happening.

Experience in HR Management or Related Field

If someone applying to become a human resource manager doesn’t have experience in HR directly, it is recommended that they have related expertise like in labor relations.   They should also be able to demonstrate their ability to act as an organizational leader.

Education and Certification Requirements

Most organizations require some type of degree before they hire someone as a human resource manager. This can be in human resources or another field like business, communications, or even psychology. It is also helpful if they have experience with tools like a human resources information system, otherwise known as an HRIS for short.

While certification is voluntary, there are several organizations that an HR manager can go through to obtain this status and make themselves more competitive. This includes the Society for Human Resource Management, the HR Certification Institute, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, among others.

Challenges Faced by Human Resource Managers

As is true with most jobs, especially in a corporate environment, there are a few challenges that human resource managers must overcome in order to successfully contribute to the company as a whole.

Balancing the Needs of the Organization and the Needs of Employees

Obviously, an HR manager exists to serve the mission of the business they work for – but they should be top advocates for employees, too. Sometimes, those two goals can conflict with one another and bridging them together can be a definite challenge.

Managing Conflicts and Difficult Employee Situations

Employees don’t tend to enlist the help of a human resource manager when things are going exceptionally well. Instead, it’s when there is a conflict – be it with another employee or with the leaders of the business itself. Because of that, human resource managers can find themselves directly involved in conflict and difficult employee situations on a regular basis, which can be hard for many people.

Keeping Up With Changing Laws and Regulations

Simply put, it can be difficult to make sure that an organization is following all employment laws and regulations when those laws and regulations are constantly in a state of flux. If you fall behind with current events and are unaware of a law change that now applies to you, that is no defense in a court of law. That’s why it’s incumbent upon HR managers to keep themselves updated on the latest updates to HR and employment law.

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent in a Competitive Job Market

According to one recent study, about 250 resumes are submitted on average for each new job posting. Obviously, they are not all equally qualified for the position. Part of a human resource manager’s job is to wade through that pile of resumes, whittling things down to a few core candidates to help find the right person for the right job.

They also lead company culture initiatives like those outlined above to help retain top-tier talent, thus avoiding the need to go through this lengthy and expensive process with undue frequency.

Benefits of Effective Human Resource Management

Overall, there are many clear benefits that come with hiring an effective HR management professional that most organizations simply won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Improved Employee Morale and Productivity

Not only are happy and engaged employees more productive on average than those who aren’t – improved employee morale directly contributes to approximately 21 percent higher profitability for the business as well.

Reduced Turnover and Recruitment Costs

High employee turnover isn’t just an inconvenience – it’s also an enormous expense. If an employee makes $100,000 per year, for example, it can cost between $50,000 and $60,000 just to find the ideal candidate to replace them – and that’s before you consider things like their salary, ongoing education, training, and more.

Compliance With Employment Laws and Regulations

To get an idea of just how important it is to stay in compliance with all employment laws and regulations, consider the significant penalties that you might be subject to if you’re found in violation of something like OSHA. Here, you can get charged a penalty of $15,625 per violation as of 2023. If you fail to correct the issue beyond the date you are told, that will be an additional $15,625 per day. If it is found that the violation was willful in origin or repeated in nature, you can get charged up to $156,259 per violation.

These are enormous expenses for any business to have to contend with, to say nothing of how quickly these things can add up when you also consider potential lawsuits. A big part of what a human resource manager does every day is prevent this type of thing from happening, much to the benefit of everyone involved.

Increased Profitability and Success for the Organization

Finally, the human resources career path gives businesses access to professionals who help further their mission in the most efficient way possible. It isn’t just about recruiting, although, as stated, “best fit” employees who are also happy with where they work will typically be more productive and more profitable. HR professionals also ensure that the training programs are available to help increase efficiency across the board. They help eliminate waste and cut costs in a way that few others can match, and they’re a big part of creating the leanest and most effective business possible – which is how organizations remain competitive and thrive, even as the market evolves around them.

Importance of Investing in Effective HR Management

All told, investing in effective HR management helps a business in virtually all areas. Not only does it make it easier to find and recruit top talent, but it also helps prevent these high-value individuals from looking elsewhere for work. From employee engagement and job satisfaction to performance management, diversity and inclusion, all of these areas would be difficult (if not impossible) to adequately address without the right HR management professional on staff.

Pursue a Career in Human Resources Management With Salem University

At Salem University, we pride ourselves on our ability to help instill students with the skills, knowledge, and passion they’ll need to excel while earning an MBA in Human Resource Management. We are also prepared to assist students applying for federal aid or research scholarships.

To learn more about what a human resource manager does or to get answers to any other important questions you may have, feel free to contact the team at Salem University today or begin your application process today.

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