Human Resources (HR) Manager
Human Resources (HR) Managers help organisations to find and employ the right people and manage them effectively. They deal with issues such as training and development, employee relations, health and safety, rewards and benefits programmes, and planning future recruitment needs. Some HR managers have a general role, while others specialise in a particular aspect of the work.
Also known as
- Personnel Officer
- HR Business Partner
- Human Resource Officer
Video: - Elaine: Human Resources Officer
As a Human Resources Manager, you could have a wide variety of tasks, depending on the nature and size of the organisation you work for.
Sometimes your role might be described as a HR Business Partner.
Larger companies often have specialist HR Managers in areas such as:
- employee relations
- health and safety
- training and development
- human resource planning
As a Manager employed by a smaller organisation, you are likely to have more general duties, such as dealing with all personnel issues.
You will work closely with other Managers to help with recruitment and selection. For example you might:
- draw up a job description and person specification
- advertise the vacancy
- check application forms
- devise the interview procedure and questions
- organise tests for candidates
- explain conditions of service, for example, holidays and pensions
- sometimes help to select the successful applicant
- obtain references
- send an offer of employment letter
- draw up a contract
You might advertise vacancies on your organisation's website or through social media, and you could also be involved in contacting recruitment agencies, newspapers, specialist journals or Jobcentre Plus offices, to place job advertisements with them.
In employee development, you will analyse the training needs of groups and individuals; you'll plan, and put into practice, suitable activities that will develop people and give them the opportunity to develop new skills.
As a HR Manager, you might plan an induction and skills programme for new staff, or a regular appraisal system to make sure staff are working effectively and feel satisfied. You will possibly also organise personal counselling sessions for your staff.
Sometimes, you will carry out training sessions yourself; more often, you'll arrange training by other staff or with outside training providers. You will also need to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of training and its benefits for the organisation.
You might be responsible for employee (or industrial) relations. This means that you will help to promote good working relationships among employees, and between employees and their Managers.
You might also be involved in dealing with disputes over issues such as:
- wages and salaries
- unfair dismissal
- sexual or racial harassment
- age discrimination
- working hours
- health and safety
The work might involve discussing and negotiating with individuals and groups, sometimes including Trade Union Officers.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Human Resources (HR) Manager, you'll need:
- excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills
- the ability to relate to people from many different backgrounds
- strong problem-solving and negotiating skills
- a friendly, approachable manner
- an understanding of the need for confidentiality
- good number skills, to analyse statistics, for example
- the ability to work well in a team
- good organisational skills
- an interest in, and an awareness of, how organisations work
- IT skills
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £34,500 - £40,000
- With experience: £44,000 - £52,000
- Senior HR Managers earn £57,500 - £64,500
Hours of work
You will usually work 35-40 hours, Monday to Friday, with occasional extra hours required.
Where could I work?
Employers are firms in industry and commerce and public sector organisations such as the health service and local and central government.
HR Managers are also employed by charities.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).
Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.
Take a look at our General Information Article
Entry Routes and Training
Employers might require you to have a degree before you can enter this career. But experience is also highly valued. You may be able to enter this career at a lower level and work your way up - the career progression is as follows:
- HR Administrator
- HR Assistant
- HR Officer
- HR Adviser
- HR Manager
Experience of working within a business environment in a role such as an Account Manager, will also help you to get into this career.
A Higher Level Apprenticeship is also great place to start. Take a look at our information article
Graduates in any subject can enter HR work, although subjects such as business studies, law and psychology are particularly relevant. There are specialist degrees in human resources management, and also courses combined with business.
Entry might sometimes be possible for holders of HNDs. There are also foundation degrees in business and in human resource management, with full-time and part-time study options.
There are some relevant postgraduate courses in human resource management.
Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), although not essential for entry, is generally looked on as an asset by employers in this competitive area.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
If you would like some training, CIPD offer some short courses, which include:
- workplace well-being strategy
- an introduction to workforce planning
- essential interviewing skills
- HR in practice
Take a look at the website for dates and availability.
Other courses could be available in your area.
The CIPD also offer awards, certificates and diplomas at foundation, intermediate and advanced levels, leading to Associate, Chartered Member and Chartered Fellow membership.
HR Managers can progress to senior management and Director posts after further training and experience.
Some applicants have skills and/or qualifications in other fields, for example, management, law or senior administrative work. This would be really useful for this career.
To get onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship, you will need at least two A Levels, or an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.
Many entrants are graduates.
The usual academic entry requirements for a degree in any subject are:
- 2/3 A levels
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects
Depending on the course, you might need GCSEs in English at maths at grade C/4 or above. For some courses, you might need grade B/6 or above.
Alternatives to A levels include:
- BTEC level 3 qualifications
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma
However, course requirements vary, so please check college/university websites very carefully.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Some applicants have skills and/or qualifications in other fields, for example, management, law or senior administrative work.
If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in.
These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) offers distance learning and flexible study programmes for its qualifications. All of its qualifications are available to study part-time.
Candidates who have relevant skills, but not formal qualifications in personnel and management, can be assessed against the CIPD's standards, leading to membership.
Many centres offer CIPD qualifications via the CIPD Flexible Learning scheme. This allows students to study at home and attend roughly one monthly tutorial. See the CIPD website for a comprehensive list of centres.
A few postgraduate qualifications in human resource management are available by distance learning. For information about which are currently accredited, contact the CIPD.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Local government vacancies
myjobscotland: Scottish local government vacancies
Specialists in graduate careers
Address: Unit 6, The Quad, 49 Atalanta Street, Fulham, London SW6 6TU
Tel: 020 7565 7900
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Address: 151 The Broadway, London SW19 1JQ
Tel: 020 8612 6200
Publisher: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844
People Exchange Cymru (PEC)
Public sector recruitment portal for Wales