What does a Human Resources Director do?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 February 2020
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Businesses of all types and sizes depend on the specialized skills of human resources experts to ensure smooth operations, protection of assets, and employee satisfaction. In many larger corporations, there are several different divisions of human resources, such as accounts payable and receivable, hiring and training, benefits, and payroll. A human resources director oversees the operations of all divisions, and communicates with management to improve certain policies and procedures.

The responsibilities of a human resources director in a small business may include interviewing and training new employees, establishing pay rates and benefits plans, and balancing a general ledger. A director might research other companies to determine fair and competitive wages, and create a hiring campaign to find new workers. Directors in small companies often meet with employees to address various concerns.

In large businesses, human resources duties are generally divided among several departments to ensure accuracy and efficiency. A human resources director works closely with each department, supervising and evaluating operations. He or she may observe training sessions, evaluate the performance of managers, and determine the effectiveness of company policies.


Managers from each human resources department routinely meet with the director to brief him or her on business affairs and make suggestions on how to improve situations. For example, a hiring manager may explain to the director that more time is needed to train new employees. The director would evaluate the validity of the concern and bring it to the attention of the company's executives. He or she would inform the executives that productivity and quality could improve if trainees received more instruction.

To become a human resources director, a person must typically receive a bachelor's degree in human resources management or industrial relations, though some large corporations expect job applicants to have master's degrees or higher. Many employers internally promote human resources specialists and department managers to the ranks of human resources directors, after demonstrating proficiency through several years of experience. In the United States, a prospective human resources director can improve his or her chances of securing employment by passing a certification exam administered by Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). Other countries usually have institutes or boards similar to the HRCI which offer certification to professionals.

An experienced, certified human resources director can usually find employment in one of several different types of settings, from corporations to medical hospitals to schools and universities. Some successful directors are able to advance to executive and management positions within their companies. Others may choose to pursue other career paths, such opening consulting firms or attaining professorships at business universities.


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Post 5

What is the average human resources director salary? I have completed 2 years of college and am trying to decide which area I want to focus on for my bachelor's degree.

Having worked in the payroll department of human resources has given me some experience and I would like to continue on working in this field.

I am trying to decide if eventually working as a human resources director would be worth the expense of continuing my education and possibly getting a master's degree.

Post 4

I am working on getting my master's degree in personnel and industrial services. This is something I am working at part time as I work full time in the human resources department of a financial institution.

I have found that I really enjoy this type of work, and have gained experience in many specific jobs in the human resources area.

My next goal is to become the human resources director of an organization within the next few years. My favorite part of a human resources job is training new employees and this is what I have concentrated on the last five years.

Once I become director, I will not only be in charge of the training, but all the areas within the human resources department.

Post 3

I have spent most of my working years employed by a small business. There were only a few years where I was employed by a large company, and prefer working for companies that are not so big.

I usually work in some sort of administrative position and this allows me to wear many different hats. At the company I currently work for, I have been given the title of human resources director.

This kind of sounds more impressive than it is since there are only three of us employed in this department. Since I have been there the longest, and have the most experience, I am considered the director.

I don't know how many human resources director jobs require a college degree, but in my case, I received this title without ever receiving a bachelor's degree.

Post 2

I started out my career in human resources with a bachelor's degree and then started working in the human resources department of a hospital. This was a large teaching hospital so there were several specialized departments.

I now work as a director of human resources at a large insurance company. Through many years of experience and some continuing education I have worked my way up to be the director.

This job is challenging and yet rewarding. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes to help make a company run smoothly, and much of that is due to the hard work of all the human resources staff.

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