Sample human resources manager job description and interview questions

Your employees are your greatest asset as a business owner, and you need a great Human Resources Manager to support them. Finding and hiring the right HR Manager is extremely important, as this role has a direct impact on the employee experience for everyone in your organization.

If you’re looking to hire an HR Manager or hoping to become one, take a look at this sample HR Manager job description to learn about the key job duties and required qualifications. You can also explore some useful questions to ask Human Resources Manager candidates during job interviews.

What is a Human Resources Manager?

A Human Resources Manager is an employee that leads your company’s human resource efforts including staffing, payroll, employee benefits programs, training and development programs, and other key personnel functions. This role acts as an important liaison between your employees and leadership to build a positive work environment and promptly address any employment issues. They often engage in strategic planning and initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and retention, employer branding, and preparing for future staffing needs.

Often in small to medium-sized businesses, the HR Manager is the highest-level HR employee and collaborates with company leadership on HR matters and strategy. Larger businesses may have an HR Director or VP of HR that the HR Manager reports to. Depending on the organization’s size and structure, this role may have several direct reports or none.

Human Resources Manager Job Description Template

Overview

The Human Resources manager will perform personnel management functions relating to recruitment, hiring, training, performance management, compensation, and termination. They will also be responsible for developing personnel policies and regularly updating the employee handbook. This role will work closely with the HR Director as well as other internal managers to maintain a positive and productive work environment for all company employees.

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Job Responsibilities

  • Collect required onboarding paperwork and maintain employees’ personnel files.

  • Oversee the hiring process for new employees and conduct regular check-ins with new hires.

  • Manage HR department initiatives related to employee engagement and retention.

  • Support conflict resolution between employees.

  • Thoroughly investigate complaints including those related to sexual harassment and discrimination.

  • Process terminations and conduct exit interviews.

  • Conduct new employee orientation and other training and educational programs on diversity, changes in benefits, etc.

  • Manages open enrollment and year-round benefits administration activities.

  • Utilize outside resources to monitor issues in employment law and communicates potential changes to upper management.

  • Collect ongoing data on employee satisfaction with wage and salary packages, working conditions, and other key areas of concern.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Human Resources Management, or a related field is required. Master’s degree in a related field preferred.

  • SHRM membership or other HR certifications are preferred.

  • 3-6 years of work experience in human resources.

  • Must be familiar with current employment laws and regulations.

  • Strong interpersonal communication skills.

Human Resources Manager Interview Question

Here are some helpful questions to ask when interviewing candidates for a Human Resources Manager role.

Please tell me about your past human resources experience. What areas of HR do you feel that you are most skilled in?

HR professionals can either be HR generalists or focused on specific HR specialties. That’s why it is important to dive into their experience in-depth during the interview and try to gain an understanding of where they have the most experience. Ideally, you’ll want to hire a candidate that shines in the areas of HR that your company needs most right now.

Smaller businesses usually just have one general Human Resources Manager, so if you are hiring for a role like that, it is probably best to hire someone that has experience and knowledge in a wide variety of HR functions like recruiting, training, benefits, and payroll. Larger companies may have specialized HR Managers for different functions, or may have separate recruiting teams or a dedicated Training Manager or Payroll Specialist. Keep this in mind when interviewing candidates and evaluating their past experience, as some HR professionals may not have been involved in certain HR activities in past roles.

What HR software systems or digital tools have you worked with?

HR is often a more technical field than many would expect. There are a variety of software tools that HR Manager use including human resources information systems (HRIS), payroll platforms, benefits administration portals, and more. Most companies now handle employee time and attendance through digital tools now. It’s helpful to hire a Human Resources Manager with experience using the tools that your company currently uses, but as long as they demonstrate that they are tech-savvy and have used similar software, it’s fine to hire those without that exact experience. Though you should be on the lookout for candidates that seem to be using outdated practices and that lack up-to-date technical skills.

Can you share an example of an HR challenge that you encountered in a prior role? How did you overcome that challenge?

Human Resources Managers encounter a wide variety of challenges in their roles. This question helps you understand their problem-solving and critical thinking skills while also learning more about their approach to human resources. Common examples of challenges that they may share are dealing with low employee morale during a stressful period like the pandemic, getting difficult managers on board with new HR efforts, improving recruiting or retention efforts during the Great Resignation, or a variety of other employee relations difficulties. The specific challenge is not as important as their demonstrated ability to come up with a plan and overcome the challenge.

How have you supported cost reduction efforts in any of your prior human resources roles?

Cost reduction is a very timely HR issue. Businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs without disrupting their workforce. Examples could include sourcing more affordable software or HR vendors to save their past employer money, assisting in layoffs, or finding affordable alternatives to costly employee engagement activities. Improving employee retention through targeted initiatives can also technically be a cost-reduction success story. The key thing to look for here is that they understand the relationship between human resources and budget management.

How do you stay up to date on employment laws and trends in the HR field?

Every professional should stay up-to-date with trends and changes in their industry, but it is particularly imperative for Human Resources Managers. HR Managers are typically responsible for keeping company policies up-to-date and compliant as well as training other leaders on compliance changes related to labor laws. If you hire an HR Manager that doesn’t keep their knowledge up-to-date, you may run into compliance issues. Good responses to listen for can include reading industry publications, subscribing to HR or employment law newsletters, attending an annual conference, taking continuing education classes, or taking advantage of industry memberships like the Society of Human Resources Professionals (SHRM).

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