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What Is the Scope of an HR Manager?

by Rose Johnson

Effective and skilled human resources managers are critical to the success of businesses. Employers understand that an effective HR manager can help reduce employee turnover and increase productivity, which ultimately affects profitability. If you enjoy working with people and desire a career in management, understanding the responsibilities and requirements of an HR manager can help you decide if this is a career you should pursue.

HR Manager Responsibilities

The broad responsibility of an HR manager is to decide and plan how to best use the talents, skills and knowledge of the employees within a company. In small companies, an HR manager may oversee every component of the human resources department, such as training, compensation and development programs. Most large organizations divide these responsibilities between human resource specialists. General duties of an HR manager overseeing the entire department may include advising managers on the company’s human resource policies, recruiting and interviewing job candidates and handling staff issues, such as disciplinary actions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HR managers coordinate with top executives to develop ways to maximize employee productivity and implement the organization’s strategy.

Education Paths for HR Managers

Most HR managers possess at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. Some colleges and universities do not offer undergraduate degrees in human resources. As an alternative, some students major in labor relations or organizational development, and take courses in human resources. Most HR manager positions require job candidates to have experience working in human resources departments. Many companies prefer candidates who possess a Master of Business Administration degree for higher-level positions. Although a certification is not required to work as an HR manager, individuals desiring to differentiate themselves from other job candidates and hone their human resources skills can pursue a variety of certifications from the Society for Human Resource Management.

Skills Critical to Managing Human Resources

HR managers spend a great deal of time working with job candidates, employees, department managers and executives. They often make decisions that affect workers and operations within an organization. HR managers supervise staff and must ensure that HR employees carry out their duties and responsibilities. At any given time, an HR manager may work on several tasks or projects, so the ability to organize and prioritize is critical. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, effective HR managers should possess decision-making skills, interpersonal, managerial, organizational and speaking skills.

Future Employment Opportunities

A 13 percent growth in HR manager jobs is expected through the year 2020. The success of individual companies and the overall economy play an important role in employment growth. As new companies are formed, organizations will look to hire HR managers to oversee their HR departments. In contrast, an increase in the use of computerized human resources information systems is one reason why HR manager jobs are not expected to grow at a faster rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the most employment opportunities will be found in technical consulting, professional and scientific firms. In 2012, the average annual salary for HR managers was $109,590.

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