If you're considering a career in human resource management, know that this profession has changed dramatically in the past decade. In the past, HR was mainly concerned with administrative aspects of managing personnel. In this new century, an HR manager acts more as a consultant to senior management. This career demands that you balance administrative and leadership duties.
Focusing on the Definition
"Administrative" is related to the management side of the organization. One could view everything an HR manager does as being related to management. Most tasks are either related to managing HR issues or running the whole organization. HR managers perform specific duties that help their departments and the organization operate more efficiently. For example, an HR manager helps the organization maintain compliance with many employment laws and standard practices. Organizations do this more efficiently through effective implementation of a human resources information system. This gives managers automated ways to ensure that personnel processes comply with the law.
Being a Strategic Leader
HR managers help their departments build more clout in the organization by joining the senior leadership team. Some do this by discussing the impact of senior leadership initiatives on personnel and by recommending how those initiatives could be implemented more effectively by addressing staff needs. For example, when management discusses how to overhaul the accounting system, you might focus on the payroll aspect of the system and also on the training and development needs of the accounting staff.
Influencing Hiring and HR Development
You will be at the head of the HR function because of your expertise. Your career focus might be coordination of compensation and benefits, or recruitment and selection. Or, you might bring deep operational knowledge from another part of an organization. Wherever your expertise lies, your job gives you a chance to have a greater impact on the business processes of the organization. Just as U.S. presidents impact the legislative future by appointing Supreme Court Justices, you can influence the future of an organization by determining how people are recruited and developed as strategic assets.
Facilitating Organizational Change
Typically, HR managers need a working knowledge of the organizational structure, business processes and major policies of the organization. HR leaders must apply their expertise to facilitate transitions for their entire workforce. For example, you can help with agile HR management, ensuring that your employer recruits employees and develops existing employees effectively to narrow the gap between current personnel capacity and the capacity needed to stay competitive in the global marketplace.