How To Write A Good Human Resource Manager Job Description


One day, you may be focusing on improving your company’s employer brand; the next you’ll be creating list of competency based interview questions for the next interview. Today, you’ve been given the task of creating an HR manager job description. In order to write an effective job description that is also unique to your company, your team should be focusing on the job that the person will actually do, rather than writing a laundry list of skills you think they should have.

How To Write A Good HR Manager Job Description

Many job descriptions are a catalog of required skills, experiences, academic degrees and personality traits. As important as all of these individual factors are during the recruiting and interview process, they can often create a substantial disconnect between the traits and skills that are necessary for an employee to succeed at your company.

Skills, academic degrees and past experience may help your hiring team sift through candidates in the early stages of the interview process but narrowing your focus to these areas may cause you to overlook the number of brilliant people who can do the work your open role requires, but have a different mix of skills and experience.

If you don’t think you’re doing it wrong, just talk to industry vet Lou Adler. He’ll tell you that every sentence of your skills-based job description needs to be replaced with performance-based descriptions that clearly describe what is expected in a role and the exact type of person that would fit the bill.

To improve the way you write your HR job descriptions, it’s time to move away from these skills-based descriptions and towards descriptions that define and describe the actual work that needs to be accomplished, alongside five or six key performance objectives and skills that are absolutely necessary to success. While prior job experience, education, and training on tools relevant to a position are important, so are the intangible qualities – sometimes referred to as “soft skills” – that determine how a candidate actually uses their experience and educational background within the confines of your own organization. A person may be qualified on paper, but interviewers must also assess whether a candidate’s personality and approach to problem-solving or executing daily tasks will be a good fit for a given company.

What makes a good HR Manager you ask? If that’s not clearly defined your HR manager job description, you better believe that a number of unqualified candidates are going to be filling your inbox. To assist you in crafting the ideal job description of an HR manager, we’ve provided a few attributes that often lead to successful work done in today’s HR manager job roles:

Example Attributes that Make a Good Human Resources Manager

1. Good Communicator: HR Managers are in constant contact with every level of your company, from potential employees to new hires and top level executives. That said, this individual must be well spoken, both in written format as well as verbal. They should be caring, thoughtful and experienced in dealing with employee problems, both large and small. Alongside these qualities, being a good listener and attentive to employee needs is one of the most important aspects of a successful HR Manager.

2. Organized: These individuals have to juggle everything from new hires, to overall employee morale, so it’s crucial that organization makes its way into your human resources job description. Having organized files and personal efficiency is key, as this individual will be directly dealing with people’s careers and their lives. Dealing with employee termination, promotions and compensation are aspects of the job that require timely action, so HR managers must be efficient every day of the week.

3. Innovative: With technology continuing to change the way hiring teams and HR departments create recruitment strategies, it’s important that your human resource job description includes innovation as a necessary skill. Successful HR Managers must be able to keep up with new trends and the latest practices within the industry, while being able to constantly think outside the box to recommend actionable solutions related to employees and the organization as a whole.

4. Ethical: Although this is something that should never be forgotten when hiring any employee, it’s especially important to keep in mind when crafting up your Human Resource Manager job description. Essentially, HR Managers are the guardians of integrity within the company, always keeping a pulse on company morale and spirit. These individuals must also deal with confidential information on a daily basis, so they must be finely polished when it comes to company policies and regulations.

5. Trustworthy & Approachable: Successful HR Managers must instill trust within every employee across the organization, as they’re the backbone to each individual’s professional development, happiness and overall work-life balance. They must be never be intimidating and always approachable for employees who are seeking advice and feedback on their performance. This individual should be straightforward with their communications and interactions, while also keeping the best in mind for all employees.

That said, writing your company’s HR Manager job description should not be a quick and simple task.

Sit down with a few of your team members and take your time to really think about what the job requires and the type of person who would best fit the role. By taking the time to carefully craft your HR Manager job description and duties, you can save your hiring team plenty of time and money on the back-end.

Examples Of Human Resource Manager Job Descriptions

Below we have referenced a few HR-related job descriptions that present great examples of the shift from skills-based descriptions to Lou Adler’s performance-based approach.

Greenhouse HR Business Partner

Greenhouse is transforming the way companies hire. We're also on quite the hiring spree ourselves. Since its inception, Greenhouse has doubled in size every six months. We’ve grown our customer base by 500% in the last year alone and also raised $25MM from top VC firms to help fuel our hyper-growth.

Greenhouse is looking for a HR Business Partner whose mission it is to make Greenhouse a place where amazing people can do the best work of their career.

Here at Greenhouse, we don't have an HR department - we have a Strategy and People department. We believe that people and business strategy go hand-in-hand and our departments should reflect that. We're building an innovative team that wants to think big. Right now the team is small, and we're looking an experienced partner who wants to set strategies and get his or her hands dirty. You should be able to easily switch from a meeting with our executive team to leading a management training session for new managers. It's a BIG job, and one that will have tremendous impact on our growing organization.

Who will love this job

  • An optimist, who loves bringing out the best in people
  • An extrovert, who loves working with a team
  • An innovator, who is excited to join a team that is passionate about making People a strategic driver of the business
  • A creative, who thinks outside the box when tackling big problems
  • A student, who loves studying new methods of people management and bringing those learnings back to the organization

What you'll do

  • Act as a strategic business partner to 13+ managers across the organization
  • Create learning and development courses and deliver to employees
  • Deliver ongoing management training to managers
  • Work with managers on career ladders and promotion tracks
  • Build and implement our performance management process
  • Develop new hire onboarding programs
  • Contribute to Greenhouse's culture initiatives

You should have

  • 10+ years of HR experience at people-centric companies
  • Expertise in talent management strategies, including performance improvement plans and promotion tracks
  • Experience creating learning and development curriculum
  • Experience creating and delivering management training
  • A high level of integrity

Workforce – Sample Job Description Human Resources Manager

SHRM – Human Resource Manager

Changeboard – Human Resources Manager

Monster – Human Resources Manager

Once you have dialed in what makes a good human resources manager and begin interviewing for the role, you’ll probably be interested in structured feedback from your interviewers. If so, take a look at our Scorecard to help interviewers record their impressions, add questions and give their overall recommendations on the candidate.

Interview Scorecard

Do you have any best practices for writing job descriptions for human resources? If so we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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