A Human Resources Manager is often the head of the HR management department, usually reporting directly to the President and/or CEO. Depending on the organization’s structure, HR Managers could, instead, report to the Marketing and/or Human Resources VP, or to anyone administering the HR department. They work closely with the management team, building strong partnerships with business leaders in order to have a thorough understanding of the given obligations as well as the department cultures.
In most cases, HR Managers are responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, and improvement of HR strategies, programs, and policies. As team leaders, their primary focus is to plan, direct and evaluate all the HR department operations, including, but not limited to, the following: recruitment, training and development activities, performance management, labour relations and employee records, compensation, benefits and payroll administration, as well as budget administration and tracking.
The HR Manager analyzes its team’s observations and then makes recommendations to improve the employee’s productivity, ensuring all human resources are being utilized as efficiently as possible.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks HR Managers are required to complete.
- Being the firm’s culture and brand ambassador for both external and internal purposes:
- Gaining influence, trust, and credibility within the organization to build collaborative working relationships between management and employees; and
- being the point of contact for third party claims.
- Providing ongoing coaching and guidance for all HR-related policies, procedures, and practices:
- Participating in administrative staff meetings, providing consulting support to the management team on all HR-related matters (e.g. employee relations, talent management, and career development planning); and
- managing daily departmental operations and providing guidance to HR staff business planning and budget development of HR programs.
- Keeping track of department records, reports, and other documentation:
- Ensuring all files are kept up to date and confidential;
- ensuring policies, procedures and programs are consistently aligned with organizational goals and are following professional standards, as well as provincial, federal regulatory requirements and laws;
- developing and revising job descriptions, including role definition; and
- maintaining the company directory and other organizational charts.
- Developing, analyzing, implementing/updating and revising the organization’s policies, approaches, and procedures (e.g. salary budget, compensation program, and evaluation program) and recommending ways to improve them:
- Developing and maintaining proactive metrics that drive forecasting capabilities and strategic insights.
- Defining action plans to drive employee engagement and developing retention strategies:
- Developing and executing learning and development strategies to ensure employee growth; and
- building programs and distributing communications that support organization goals and reinforce a collaborative, engaged and high performing culture (e.g. annual surveys, internal events, reward and recognition initiatives, orientation programs, etc.>).
- Managing employee performance and any relation issues by providing internal communication processes to improve feedback for individual and team performance:
- Providing employee relations counselling; and
- working with all employees to resolve personal issues.
- Overseeing the recruitment process:
- Implementing the best practices for developing and deploying talent acquisition strategies and ensuring these strategies will meet current and future business needs;
- managing and recommending the best practices around student recruitment initiatives, including building a campus strategy based on practice area needs and organizing campus visits and recruitment events;
- being the liaison with recruiting agencies and attending networking events;
- creating and posting job openings; and
- interviewing candidates.
- Overseeing the new hire process:
- Developing effective strategies for onboarding new hires and orienting new employees to the organization; and
- managing the organization’s mentorship program.
- Overseeing grievance and employee records:
- Overseeing the grievance resolution process;
- preparing reports which display turnover, absenteeism, and other related activities;
- tracking operational tasks such as service anniversaries and contract deadlines;
- administering the disciplinary action process through coaching and counselling to improve performance or terminate employment; and
- overseeing exit interviews and implementing succession plan strategies to ensure smooth role transitions within the organization.
- Administering payroll and benefits:
- Performing benefits administration (hourly and salary benefit plans) including compensation process management to ensure alignment of rewards with performance;
- administering and coordinating employee illness claims, ensuring the success of “return to work” programs as applicable;
- providing appropriate salary treatment of employees, both internally and externally;
- identifying opportunities to enhance payroll processes while ensuring compliance with payroll legislation; and
- negotiating collective bargaining agreements.
- Managing the financial aspects of HR operations, including the successful identification of expense reduction through cost efficiencies.
- Managing the health and safety committee:
- Ensuring compliance with all health and safety legislation, regulations and directives; and
- actively participating in health and safety initiatives, taking a lead role in safety optimization.
- Overseeing the internal event organization and coordination, including recreational events, training activities and orientation programs:
- Conducting needs assessments to identify the most appropriate training and the best way to implement it.
Larger organizations may also require managers in different areas such as employee compensation and benefits administration, training and development management, etc.
- Planning, organizing, directing, and evaluating the activities and actions of the HR department in order to ensure they meet the organization’s goals, objectives, and regulations.
- Maintaining positive working relationships with employees and the management team.
- Advising and assisting other departmental managers on interpretation and administration of HR policies and programs, ensuring all HR policies and legal requirements are met.
- Coordinating internal and external training and recruitment activities.
- Developing and implementing HR policies and procedures related to staff development, employee relations, benefits and compensation, and performance management.
- Analyzing statistical reports to identify and determine causes of personnel problems and providing recommendations for improvement.
- Overseeing the completion of administrative duties.
The average Human Resources Manager salary is $79,015 per year or $41 per hour. This is around 2.4 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $55,000 while most experienced workers make up to $111,000. These results are based on 124 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with employees, members of the HR management team, and during group presentations and meetings;
- conveying an engaging attitude and influential tone with a focus on developing long-term relationships internally and externally to facilitate work efforts, alignment, and collaboration;
- handling requests and inquiries in a professional, diplomatic and tactful manner; and
- being able to facilitate conflict resolution and to teach conflict resolution techniques to HR management colleagues and to other departmental managers.
- Leadership and project management skills:
- Pushing themselves and others to achieve results and exceeding goals;
- thriving to improve individual and organizational contributions; and
- being resourceful, energetic and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Prioritizing and planning work activities in order to manage time efficiently while managing a high volume of work;
- multitasking; being able to manage a team, produce results, and meet deadlines while dealing with a dynamic, fast-paced environment; and
- being able to work well under pressure, individually or as part of a team.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Effectively analyzing numerical data, drawing logical inferences and providing reasonable recommendations;
- identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner;
- using creativity and imagination to develop new insights and to apply new solutions to problems; and
- being able to exercise mature judgment and strategic thinking.
- Strong attention to detail:
- Being able to accurately and thoroughly monitor work for quality; and
- ensuring standard specifications are met, including high-level proofreading.
- Administrative skills:
- Demonstrated computer proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, including the ability to develop and use formulas;
- understanding of web-based recruiting tools and being able to function within online job posting boards; and
- experience in creating organizational charts, reports, and other documents.
Aside from the skills listed above, HR Managers also need to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of current HR management practices, employment standards, and federal and provincial legislations (e.g. employment laws, payroll management and collective agreements administration).
In addition to possessing a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, HR Managers are also required to have a strong professional background in HR-related fields. Most positions require a minimum of 5 to 7 years of HR experience, while some of them require up to 10 years of HR experience – half of them spent in investigating, negotiating and resolving grievances, conflicts and other employment relations related activities.
In Canada, an additional certification is available for HR professionals and is often required when applying for HR positions. The Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation ensures that HR professionals across the country all meet the same national standards of excellence in terms of HR management policies and practices.