Human resource management students at North Central College working on a class project.

What Does a Human Resource Manager Do?

Reviewed by Jacob Imm

Jun 09, 2021

What Does a Human Resource Manager Do?

You’re probably familiar with the term human resources (HR)—but did you know that many companies have a multi-level HR department? While most HR employees start at an entry-level position, those with a true passion may find themselves promoted to a leadership title like human resource manager.

If you enjoy helping people and training them to be their best at their jobs, working as an HR professional in a management role may sound appealing. Before you get started on looking for an HR manager job, it’s critical to understand the importance human resource departments have in a company.

So what does a human resource manager do?

Read on to learn more about a career in human resource management.

What Is a Human Resource Manager?

A human resource manager holds a high-level position within the HR department. HR managers are trained to have strong interpersonal skills and to prioritize and maintain employee relations for the company. Keeping employees happy relies on a number of factors, including workplace safety, recognizing and appreciating diversity, thorough training—and much more.

Types of Human Resource Managers

Human resources is a department that covers a wide variety of responsibilities. This is why the role of a human resource manager can be segmented into different categories.

These are the most common types of HR managers (and what they do):

Recruitment and Hiring

One of the biggest roles a HR professional plays in a company is recruiting and hiring new employees. A human resource manager may specialize in this aspect of the job, and daily duties can include:

  • Reading resumes
  • Conducting interviews
  • Creating job descriptions
  • Working with employment agencies

Health and Safety

The human resource department is responsible for the well-being of all employees—which is why health and safety is a major point of focus within every HR department.

As a health and safety manager, you’ll be an HR leader in charge of the physical and emotional security of staff members. Keeping a safe work environment will depend on a number of responsibilities, including:

  • Creating new health and safety policies
  • Complying with federal laws regarding occupational safety
  • Listening to employees and addressing their safety concerns
  • Addressing workplace accidents

Employee Development and Training

As an employee development and training manager, you’ll be responsible for the proper training of all employees, not just those in the HR department. Training and development managers may perform any of the following duties on a regular basis:

  • Supervising training procedures
  • Developing and expanding training programs
  • Implementing new productivity tools and techniques
  • Evaluating productivity and finding ways to boost it
  • Diversity and Title IX training
  • Coordinating training conferences

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Risk Management

Risk management is a lesser known (but very important) aspect of human resources. An HR leader who specializes in risk management will spend a majority of their time reducing the company’s chances of legal issues, such as a lawsuit.

Common responsibilities for this position include:

  • Examining the company’s hiring practices
  • Ensuring a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment
  • Creating and implementing anti-discrimination policies in the workplace
  • Fostering a work environment that’s mentally, emotionally and physically safe
  • Identifying risks to the company’s reputation
  • Analyzing data and statistics to reduce risk

Labor and Employee Relations

Labor and employee relations is typically the most well-known aspect of human resources, particularly for non-HR employees. This sector of the department focuses on the relationship between the company and its staff.

Common responsibilities for a labor and employee relations manager may include:

  • Receiving and addressing employee complaints and concerns
  • Maintaining morale and productivity
  • Overseeing and managing relationships between employees
  • Facilitating communication between staff and organizational leadership

Compensation and Employee Benefits

Timely payment and proper employee benefits are vital to workplace satisfaction, which makes a human resource department’s work with employee compensation and benefits crucial. As an HR manager with this specialty, you may perform any of the following tasks on a daily basis:

  • Create health insurance plans and negotiate with providers
  • Inform employees of their benefits
  • Conduct salary surveys
  • Analyze data on average salaries in your industry
  • Handle payroll, send out checks and organize direct deposits
  • Organize employee paperwork
  • Manage vacation time, maternity leave and sick days for employees

Leadership as an HR Manager

There are many positions within an HR department, and a human resource manager should always be prepared to lead numerous people and provide for their needs in a number of ways. This may mean performing tasks such as:

  • Training, supervising, and managing HR staff
  • Holding department meetings
  • Recommending policy changes
  • Enforcing workplace rules
  • Handling discipline and firing

Pursue Your HR Management Career  

What degree is needed to become a human resource manager? For a successful career in HR, finding the right degree program at the right school is the best place to start. Pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resource management will provide you with the business knowledge and practical skills needed for high-level HR positions.

Look for a school like North Central College, where students can pursue a major, minor, or master’s degree in human resource management. North Central’s well-rounded curriculum, taught by dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced faculty, covers all aspects of the human resources field. Their degree programs ensure graduates are prepared to go after any HR management role.

In need of a more in-depth human resource management description to decide if this is the right field for your future career? Follow the link for the information you’re looking for.

Jacob Imm is a communications specialist in the North Central College Office of Marketing and Communications. He has 10 years of collegiate communications experience and has worked with hundreds of college students. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University.


Human Resources Managers: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020, April 8). Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Morgan, L. A. (2018, June 29). Types of Human Resources Management Jobs. Work - Chron.Com.

Brenner, L. (2016, July 14). Role of Human Resource Managers. The Nest.