What is an HR Manager Actually Responsible For?

October 18, 2016
What is an HR Manager Actually Responsible For

We already posted recently about the ideal job title for an HR professional. But although this certainly hinted at the kind of things HR managers get up to, it didn’t go into any sort of detail about what an HR manager actually does on a daily basis.

Today’s post looks a little bit more at the actual roles and responsibilities of an HR manager.

Job Roles and Responsibilities of an HR Manager

OK, let’s start by looking at an objective definition of what the HR department is responsible for:

“HR is primarily concerned with the management of people within organizations, focusing on policies and on systems.”

(Source: Wikipedia)

This definition seems pretty generic. If we carry on reading, we learn that HR is specifically responsible for designing employee benefits, recruiting new people, performance appraisal, training and development, and managing pay and reward systems. That’s a lot of ground to cover! But it still leaves us asking: What does an HR manager actually do?

I think the answer to this question requires a bit more investigation, and a bit more of a down to earth explanation. Luckily, I know just the place – so I’d like to now turn your attention to a study published by gusto.com, who asked 100 HR professionals how they actually spend their time during the day.

Here are the results:

– Wading Through Paperwork (21%)

– Answering Employee Questions (20%)

– Navigating People Issues (16%)

– Training The Team (10%)

– Counselling Employees (7%)

– Other (6%)

– Staying on Top of Compliance (5%)

– Onboarding Folks (4%)

– Interviewing Candidates (4%)

– Running Payroll (3%)

– Managing Benefits (2%)

–  Planning Team-Building Activities (2%)

If you work in HR, this list probably looks very familiar. But if you don’t work in HR, then what does it mean?

Well for a start, it means that a role in HR requires the ability to tackle large volumes of paperwork – that’s how you’ll be spending more than a fifth of your day. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a job in HR will let hide away from social interaction all day; in between filling out forms, processing requests and checking through documents, you’ll be spending an almost equal amount of your time answering questions employees throw at you. Further to this, 16% of your time will be taken up dealing with tricky people issues, which leaves you with less than half of your day to actually do anything that your actual job description says you should be doing!

If you want a career in HR, then you’re a brave person. Don’t let this list put you off though – a career in HR can be very, very rewarding; and with the right HR software, you can almost completely cut out that 21% of your day spent pushing paper across your desk, and focus harder on the tasks that really matter to your company.


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