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Qualities & Characteristics Possessed by HR Managers

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Human resources managers oversee the administrative operations of a company. This position comes with heavy responsibilities, including staffing and recruiting and implementing company policies and procedures. For his department to run smoothly the HR manager needs to exhibit certain qualities and characteristics.

Communication Skills

An HR manager needs excellent written and oral communication skills to delegate responsibilities to her subordinates. She must relay her ideas and information in a clear and understandable manner to management and all levels of employees. The ability to form strong internal and external business relationships is vital to this role.

Analytical Ability

A good HR manager promptly deciphers the issue at hand, determines its importance and resolves it accordingly. He recognizes and separates trivial matters from those of real significance. He uses facts, logic and scientific thinking to arrive at sound observations, hypotheses or theories. For example, he might need to determine whether a situation involving an employee is discrimination or harassment, or how to apply the definition of reasonable accommodations for a disabled worker.


An HR department ensures the company stays in compliance with labor laws, which means the HR manager needs deep knowledge of those regulations to properly implement and manage them. A strong understanding of laws pertaining to employee benefits, wages and hours, health and safety and hiring and termination is essential to this position. The HR manager must be willing to research employee laws and stay up-to-date on any changes. She must also have a deep understanding of policies on a company level, such as attendance, conduct and sick and vacation time.

Objectivity and Impartiality

The HR manager serves as the middleman between management and employees and must remain fair in his dealings with all sides. He must have an objective and impartial mindset to so he can accurately assess a situation. He should also be a rational thinker with sharp negotiation skills. This is particularly important when solving employee disputes or conducting salary negotiations.

Emotional Intelligence

To put herself in others’ shoes, an HR manager needs empathy. Her compassion for others lets her see who they are personally and professionally. She respects others’ opinions, rights and values. She must be emotionally mature and resilient to help her cope with high-stress situations on the job. She should also exercise discretion and work to win the trust of her colleagues and subordinates.


A successful HR manager embodies the qualities of a true leader. He should be assertive, responsive, confident and optimistic. He should also have exceptional organizational skills and a unique visionary style to strategically plan for the future. Through reward and recognition, he motivates employees into improving their performances.

2021 Salary Information for Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers earned a median annual salary of $121,220 in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, human resources managers earned a 10th percentile salary of $71,180, meaning 90 percent earned more than this amount. The 90th percentile salary is $208,000, meaning 10 percent earn more. In 2020, 161,700 people were employed in the U.S. as human resources managers.


Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

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