How To Become an HR Manager (Duties, Salary and Skills)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 January 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A human resources manager or HR manager is an essential part of an organisation because they create positive employee relationships and ensure a safe working environment. The HR manager guides other human resources professionals, educates employees on HR best practices and plans benefits and compensations. If you want to become a human resources manager, it is good to know about the qualification and skills required to excel in this job role.

In this article, we discuss what an HR manager is, what they do and how much they earn, plus explore their skills and provide steps for how to become an HR manager.

Related: Human Resource Planning: Meaning, Importance and Key Steps

What is a human resources manager?

An HR manager is a professional responsible for overseeing the HR department of an organisation. They primarily focus on people who work for a company. Apart from enhancing the employer-employee relationship, these professionals provide leadership and direction to ensure the company operates efficiently. They interview and hire new employees, manage existing employees, create training and development programs and oversee the functionality of all other departments. An HR manager usually has general knowledge about HR-specific areas like employee benefits, labour laws, safety compliance, payroll, budgeting and benefits.

Here are some typical duties of a human resources manager:

  • Enhance the organisation's HR by planning, implementing and evaluating human resource programs and policies

  • Bridge employee relation and management gap by addressing grievances and demands

  • Manage the recruitment and selection process

  • Create and manage training programs for new and existing employees

  • Collaborate with other departments to understand the labour needs and develop a job advertisement to find suitable candidates

  • Provide support to organisational leaders in creating and managing compensation packages that are as per market standards and fair

  • Implement employee benefit programs and inform employees of the benefits and how to redeem them

  • Ensure that an organisation complies with all labour laws and standards, including occupational health and safety

  • Foster a positive and open work environment

  • Handle workplace investigation, disciplinary and termination procedure

  • Lead and train a team of junior HR professionals

Average salary of an HR manager

The average salary of an HR manager is ₹3,62,327 per year. This salary can vary depending on factors like job location, company, certifications, skills, education and experience. Also, the salary differs across different states and cities. For instance, the average salary of an HR manager in Mumbai is ₹6,34,965 per year, while the average salary of a human resource manager is ₹3,51,799 per year in Pune.

Skills of an HR manager

Here are some key skills to master for this job role:


Employees or HR executives often reach out to HR managers to deal with employees' conflict before it becomes severe. To solve such workplace issues, these managers require excellent problem-solving skills. They need to be flexible and use the information available to solve a problem while maintaining employment standards.


Negotiation is one of the most sought-after skills of an HR manager because it often helps bring a beneficial conclusion or decision. At the workplace, a human resources manager can use negotiation in various ways. For instance, they can negotiate with conflicting employees and come to a mutual consensus. Also, they may use their negotiation skills during the hiring process when agreeing on a compensation package.

Time management

A typical day of an HR manager may involve various tasks. They may work on employee benefits, recruitment or training program in a single day, making their day chaotic. The ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously requires excellent time management skills.

Communication skills

The ability to communicate effectively and clearly with employees, other HR professionals, department heads and business stakeholders is essential for a human resources manager. As a manager, the company expects them to interview, resolve disputes and develop communication skills. You may need to display verbal and written communication skills in this role.


Decision-making skills can help an HR manager make logical and confident decisions related to conflicts or the company's culture. They are likely to encounter situations where they make decisions for the benefit of the organisation. So, employers prefer candidates with good decision-making skills because such candidates have good analytical and critical thinking skills.


As you work closely with people, you require empathy and strong interpersonal skills to manage a wide variety of personalities. Empathy requires the manager to put themselves in someone else's position to understand the situation better. Empathetic HR managers may disagree with individuals, but they understand and acknowledge their challenges and feelings. Having empathy can help these managers build rapport and build a powerful team within an organisation.

Organisational skills

Often, HR managers balance between multiple and complex tasks to ensure organisation in the workplace. They ensure employees meet deadlines and all departments implement necessary tools. Organisation in the workplace allows a company to work more efficiently.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an HR manager

To understand how to become an HR manager, follow these steps:

1. Complete your 10+2 or equivalent

To earn a diploma or bachelor's degree in human resource management (HRM), completing 10+2 or higher secondary is often the bare minimum requirement. You can pursue 10+2 in any subject to gain entry in the human resource field. Additionally, you may require over 60% marks to gain admission to diploma courses or undergraduate program.

2. Earn your bachelor's degree or equivalent

The first phase of any human resource course or program is completing a diploma in HRM. You can even pursue a bachelor of business administration (BBA) or a bachelor of arts (BA). If you choose a dual-degree program like BBA-MBA, you can get admission after passing an entrance test. As many colleges give admission based on marks secured in 10+2 for BBA and BA courses, getting a score above 60% can help you get admission to a desirable college. So, before applying to any college or university, search about their eligibility criteria.

3. Earn a master's degree

Most companies require a human resource manager to hold a master's degree, preferably in business administration, labour laws and human resources. You can pursue a master of business administration or MBA from a reputed college. To gain admission to an MBA college, appear for different entrance exams. Also, if you want to pursue a doctoral program in HRM, you require a master's degree. A master's and doctoral program can increase your salary potential and help you advance in your career faster.

Related: Average MBA Salary in India (With Minimum and Starting Pay)

4. Complete a certification

Though certifications are optional, they can showcase to your expertise in a particular HR field to a potential employer. Often, certifications help bring a deeper and broader perspective towards work and create an environment of learning that you can replicate while working as an HR manager. Some common certifications to consider are:

  • Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

  • Indian Society of Training and Development (ISTD)

  • Organisational Development Certification Program

  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

  • Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

5. Apply to jobs

Once you have the required experience to qualify for an HR management position, start your application progress. Often, an HR manager position requires some years of experience. So, prepare for potential interviews questions in your field. Also, apply to different job roles by uploading your CV on Indeed's job portal.

FAQs about working as an HR manager

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about working in this role:

How do I start a career in HR?

Starting a career in HR begins by assessing your skills to ensure you have all the ability to fulfil job-specific duties. If you have excellent communication skills, strong time management skills, empathy and interpersonal skills, starting a career in HR is easy. Having the foundational skills, in-depth knowledge of labour laws, safety compliance and budgeting can help complete job-specific duties.

Is being an HR manager hard?

Being an HR manager can be difficult, but it is a rewarding career. As an HR manager, you move between what is suitable for employees and good for organisations. Many people enter this field by building a bridge and finding a balance between the two to ensure operational efficiency.

How do I get an HR job with no experience?

To get an entry-level job in HR, try to enrol in a professional HR certification. You can even consider volunteering for a local community or a non-profit organisation to gain hands-on experience on the skills required to excel in this job. Another way to get an HR job with no experience is by completing an internship after your graduation or master's course. Paid and unpaid internships are a great way to improve your skills and network with people in the HR field.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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