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Knowledge Requirements for a Human Resources Manager Essay


Five years after graduating, I would like to hold the job of Human Resources Manager in one of the top business organisations in the country.

A Human Resources Manager (HR manager) plans, directs and coordinates activities of the HR department within an organisation so as to allow it to make maximum use of strategic human resources available (Noe and Winkler 4). In addition, he or she is responsible for effective running of such human resources department functions as employee recruitment and employee compensation. A HR manager also formulates personnel policy as well as ensures compliance by their organisation to corporate and labour laws.

Knowledge Requirements for a Human Resources Manager

Typically, one requires a degree in nearly any field plus either a postgraduate diploma in Human Resources Management, or an MBA in Human Resources Management to qualify as a HR manager. However, those who take a business related bachelor’s degree and who major in human resource management are normally given first preference during selection of HR managers. Work experience is an equally important requirement for one to climb up the human resources management ladder.

The formal education should impart the manager with deep knowledge of the following aspects;

Management of Human Resources

The HR manager should have deep knowledge of principles as well as the procedures involved such process as personnel recruitment, training, and compensation. In addition to these, they should be well informed of personnel information systems and labour relations and negotiation.

All of these requirements are sufficiently taught or lectured in introductory as well as advanced human resource management courses which are part of off-the-job management development techniques. The understanding of them is further enhanced by the learner reading and subsequently attempting to answer HR issues in case studies.

Deep Knowledge of the English Language

A HR manager is expected to be proficient in both oral and written English.

Coursework and group discussions adequately serve the purpose of enhancing participants’ oral as well as written communication skills. I therefore need to get more involved especially in group discussions to enhance my skills in communication.

Customer and Personal Service

He or she should be knowledgeable of the principles and processes for providing general as well as personalised customer services; which includes how to achieve satisfactory quality of services, how to conduct an assessment of customer needs, as well as how to carry out an evaluation of customer satisfaction (“Job descriptions” 5).

The best approach to attain these skills would be through the coaching or guided method of on-the-job-training technique. This way, I would get to experience customer service firsthand and learn customer service etiquette from it. Some off-the-job training techniques such as simulation and role playing would also be helpful in obtaining the above knowledge, but to a lesser extend compared to the guided method.

Good Knowledge of General Management as well as Administration

A HR manager should be deeply informed about management as well as business tenets involved in such HR functions as HR modelling, distribution of resources, and resources and employee coordination (“Job Description” 3).

Although lectures do impart a significantly large volume of business and management principles, all the above aspects are best learned through the guided/coaching management development methods. Participation in management games, role playing as well as in diagnosing and/or solving case study problems also helps in reinforcing in the learner the knowledge pertaining to the aforementioned aspects of HR management.

Management or business games would be particularly useful when learning the complicated aspects of human resources management functions as the real life conditions simulated in the exercises are widely dynamic and highly enriching. In addition, these exercises are designed to make use of mathematical models and be played in a computer manipulated environment which serves to sharpen participant’s ability to solve management problems as well as to make HRM decisions in an integrated manner (Laursen and Foss 243).

Knowledge of Labour Laws

A HR manager should be well versed on the existing labour laws, regulations, court procedures, judicial precedents as well as executive orders, plus how they apply in workplace relations (“Job Descriptions” 4).

Lectures, case studies, and conferences are adequate activities to enable a HR manager learn significantly wide aspects of legal and regulatory issues pertaining to human resource management.

In particular, continued participation in case study exercises would be stimulating as it would give me a chance to demonstrate my analytical thinking as well as allow me to defend my critical and judgmental abilities. Also, active participation in case study exercises allows me to learn how to make critical decisions in the context of limited availability of relevant information for making the all-important decisions.

Knowledge of Clerical Operations

A human resources manager should have deep understanding of procedures involved in clerical as well as administrative jobs together with systems that help in the management of files and records, such as word processing software (“Job Descriptions” 4).

On-the-job training, particularly job rotation, is the most appropriate approach to learning clerical operations, although a significant amount of knowledge pertaining to clerical duties can be learned through lectures. Job rotation would enable me break down departmental provincialism and instead make me a considerably informed as well as significantly experienced generalist human resource manager. This way, my abilities and talents would also be tested in other management specialities than human resources management.

Education and Training

A HR manager must have deep understanding of principles as well as approaches to teaching and instruction, curriculum and training design, and evaluation of the impact of training on employee performance (“Job Description” 4).. All these can adequately be learned through participation in activities such as lectures and management conferences and seminars.

Economics and Accounting

It is normally required that a HR manager have good understanding of fundamental principles of economics in addition to being well aware of basic principles and practices of the accounting function. Also essential good understanding of the operation of financial markets, plus they should be able to interpret as well to conduct informed analysis of financial data (Noe and Winkler 156).

Introductory and intermediate courses in human resources courses considerably cover both accounting and economic principles. Job rotation goes a long way to impart knowledge learned in lectures of these courses.


Deep understanding of human behaviour in relation to employee performance is also highly desirable in an HR manager. Topics covered in introductory courses in organizational behaviour in addition to on-the-job learning of human behaviour are adequate to impart a considerable level of understanding of individual differences amongst employees with respect to their personality, learning and motivation, as well as differences in their ability to perform.


A HR manager needs to have good skills in performing computations involving arithmetic, calculus, algebra, statistics, as well as good skills for using computer applications available in the market to assist such in computations; such as SPSS and STRATA softwares.

On one hand, the mathematic principles involved in this context can be learned adequately in lectures of introductory human resources courses, such as introduction to management mathematics. On the other hand, knowledge of the working of accompanying software programs can best be learned through job rotation in the actual work environment.

Skill Requirements for a Human Resources Manager

Active Listening, Problem Sensitivity, and Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

A HR manager should be able to give workers and potential workers full attention when engaging in a communication with them. They should also portray good skills for diagnosing underlying problems in work processes as well as foresee potential future problems in work areas; otherwise referred to as problem sensitivity skills (Kumar and Sharma 327).

Inductive reasoning skills enables a human resources manager to gather bits of information, analyse them, then form general conclusions, principles or rules in regard to work related issues. Deductive reasoning skills, on the other hand, enable them to solve specific work related problems through utilisation of general principles or rules (“Job description” 6).

Coaching is the most appropriate techniques to have the learner acquire skills for active listening as well as problem sensitivity. Both inductive and deductive reasoning skills, on the other hand, can sufficiently be acquired through participation in management games, case studies, problem simulation, and role play. In addition, the two latter skills can as adequately be acquired in the process of performing the actual job tasks as they can be through off-the-job training.

Skills for Management of Personnel

A HR manager should possess advanced skills for identifying and selecting the best candidates for available jobs, teaching and instructing workers how to do their duties, directing employees and their work, motivating workers, as well as for creating conducive environment for employee career development.

Just like in acquisition of knowledge concerning general administration and management, skills for management of personnel are best acquired through on-the-job training and experience in the actual job.

Writing and Reading Comprehension

A HR manager should possess excellent reading as well as writing skills to enable them communicate effectively in work related written communications (Kumar and Sharma 327).

Writing case study reports, general course assignments, as well as actual job experience enhances these skills.

Speaking and Negotiation Skills

The HR function is one of the busiest and critically important interfaces between the existing as well as potential employees and the organization. For this reason, the HR manager should demonstrate advanced skills in oral communication and a similar level of negotiation skills.

Group discussions, personal presentations, role play, management games will enhance my speaking skills. Further, role play and coaching would help sharpen my skills for negotiation.

Monitoring Skills

It is critically important for an HR manager to demonstrate advanced skills for conducting performance evaluation of not only their organisations, its departments and employees, but also of self (Noe and Winkler 316). This enables them to take corrective measures for purposes of making improvements in areas that require such.

Both on-the-job and off-the-job management development techniques are equally appropriate for imparting in a HR manager the necessary skills for conducting performance evaluation. Lectures, conferences and seminars teaches a manager or a trainee manager ideally all relevant theories as well as models regarding ways to conduct a proper employee performance evaluation as well as organisational assessment.

On their part, on-the-job training techniques place the learner at the centre of the actual monitoring activities thus making them to learn monitoring activities firsthand, besides enabling them to be exposed to up-to-date developments in the human resources management field regarding employee as well as departmental/organisational performance assessment and evaluation.

Other critical skills required in a successful HR manager include;

Time management skills and skills for understanding social perceptiveness.

In respect to these, a HR manager should demonstrate excellent skills for managing worker’s time in addition to managing their own time (“Job Description” 6). They should also be aware of the reactions of workers and the social perceptiveness that drive them to react to situations in ways in which they do.

Participation in role play and business/management games will enhance my time management skills. On its part, engagement in sensitivity/laboratory/T-group training/group dynamics will enhance my skills for understanding social perceptiveness of existing as well as potential employees since it provides learners with increased sensitivity to their own behaviour, as well as sensitivity to how they [managers] are perceived by their subordinates (Kumar and Sharma 328).

Further, this method of management development imparts the learner with deeper knowledge of group processes. In sum, its primary objective is to impart trainees with skills for improving their “quality in human affairs” (Schein and Bennis 37).


The job description of a human resources manager specifies the necessary requirements that I must attain in order to realize my vision of holding the post of HR manager five years after my graduation. It is absolutely clear that the position requires deep knowledge of human resources principles as well constant development of HR skills in a trainee manager.

As such, it is also clearly emerges that both on-the-job and off-the-job management development techniques are critically essential in nearly equal measures to impart in me the knowledge and skills required in a successful human resources manager. Moreover, considerable practical experience accompanied by exemplary performance in HR management duties assigned to me will also play a critical role in ensuring that I achieve my set target.

Works Cited

“Job Description and Jobs for ‘Human Resources Manager’”. 2011. Web. <>

Kumar, Arun and Rachana Sharma. Personnel Management Theory and Practice. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Atlantic, 2001. Print.

Noe, Ray A., and Colin Winkler. Employee training and development: For Australia & New Zealand. North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill Australia, 2009. Print.

Schein, Edgar H., and Warren G. Bennis. Personnel and Organisational Change through Group Methods: The Laboratory Approach. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1965. Print.

Laursen, Keld and Nicolai J. Foss. “New Human Resources Management Practices, Complementarities and the Impact of Innovation Performance”. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 27 (2003): 243-267.

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