What are the primary responsibilities of an Human Resources Director?

Human Resources Director or HR Director plays a wide variety of roles in organisations. In larger organisations, the HR generalist, manager, and director have clearly defined, separated roles in the human resources process.

HR Directors, and occasionally HR managers, may head up several different departments that are each led by functional or specialised human resource staff such as the Learning & Development Manager, Training Manager, the Compensation & Benefits Manager, or the Recruitment Manager.

Human Resources staff members are advocates for both the company and the people who work in the company. Consequently, a good HR professional performs a constant balancing act to meet both needs successfully.

Duties include, but are not limited to of the Human Resources Director:

  • Development and organisation of strategies by identifying and researching human resources issues; contributing information, analysis, and recommendations to organisation’s strategic thinking and direction; establishing human resources objectives in line with organisational objectives.
  • Implementation of human resources strategies by establishing department accountabilities, including talent acquisition, staffing, employment processing, compensation, health and welfare benefits, training and development, records management, safety and health, succession planning, employee relations and retention.
  • Managing human resources operations by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counselling, and disciplining staff; planning, monitoring, appraising, and reviewing staff job contributions; maintaining compensation; determining production, productivity, quality, and customer-service strategies; designing systems; accumulating resources; resolving problems; implementing change.
  • Develops human resources operations financial strategies by estimating, forecasting, and anticipating requirements, trends, and variances; aligning monetary resources; developing action plans; measuring and analysing results; initiating corrective actions; minimising the impact of variances.Accomplishes special project results by identifying and clarifying issues and priorities; communicating and coordinating requirements; expediting fulfillment; evaluating milestone accomplishments; evaluating optional courses of action; changing assumptions and direction.
  • Supports management by providing human resources advice, counsel, and decisions; analysing information and applications.
  • Guides management and employee actions by researching, developing, writing, and updating policies, procedures, methods, and guidelines; communicating and enforcing organisation values.
  • Complies with national and local legal requirements by studying existing and new legislation; anticipating legislation; enforcing adherence to requirements; advising management on needed actions.
  • Updates job knowledge by participating in conferences and educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organisations.
  • Enhances department and organisation reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments.

Background of the Human Resources Director?

A Human Resources Director will almost exclusively have had a HR career having worked as an HR Business Partner, Manager or Generalist. The requirement for a Human Resources Director suggests an organisation of some size and scale and therefore the HR Director is likely to be running a department and require the according organisational and people skills. 

Whilst the role of a HR Director is transferrable across markets and sectors, there is some benefit in recruiting a HR Director from within your sector as they will have some experience of the specific nuances and issues relative to the sector. For example:- if you are in a sector with a large numbers of unskilled or semi-skilled workers, a HR Director with that background is likely to have skills and knowledge relative to labour and union relations. 

HR Directors tend to be degree qualified in a pertinent HR or Personnel discipline and possess CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development) membership.

What are the salary expectations of a Human Resources Director?

Whilst it will be largely dependent on the size of organisation and therefore remit, salaries typically range from £75K to £150K however for many the salary range will be even higher.

Brief tips for writing an Human Resources Director CV?

  • Include a profile in your CV which identifies your style of leadership and management to potential employers and highlights a particular area of success relevant to the new post  e.g. A Visionary leader with a track record of delivering cultural change.
  • Use Situation, Action and Result (SAR) to demonstrate achievements which had an impact on productivity, culture and profitability in your last role.
  • Familiarise and integrate all the keywords for the role and sector which the business operates in.
  • Remember to include any associations you may have with professional bodies to improve the integrity of your application.


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