a day in the life of a human resources manager blog

A Day in the Life of a Human Resources Manager: Role, Responsibilities, and Challenges

Imagine stepping into your office on a seemingly ordinary morning, coffee in one hand and your breakfast burrito in the other, only to be greeted by an unexpected crisis before you take your seat—a senior employee has quit the organization without notice.

That’s the reality of a human resource manager’s job. No day is the same, and there’s always something new to handle, good or bad.

For instance, one moment, you might be planning a team-building retreat, and the next, you could be scrambling to fill the vacancy caused by an abrupt resignation.

Whether you’re thinking of a career in talent management or need more insight into the responsibilities and challenges a human resource manager faces, this blog will show you what a day in the life of a human resources manager can be like.

But first—let’s get the basics out of the way.

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Who is a Human Resources Manager?

A human resources manager is a professional responsible for overseeing the organization’s HR department and managing various administrative functions related to the people of an organization.

Human resources managers consult with top executives on strategic planning, plan HR KPIs in line with organizational goals, and ensure all employees are effectively engaged, supported, and aligned with company objectives.

The roles and responsibilities of a human resources professional include:

  • Acquiring talent: Identifying staffing needs, developing and standardizing job descriptions, conducting interviews to select candidates, recruiting, and onboarding across different departments
  • Driving HR processes: Developing policies on how to solve workplace issues and building processes to streamline talent acquisition, onboarding, performance reviews, etc.
  • Managing performance: Building and deploying performance review systems, setting performance standards, and providing feedback to employees
  • Building training programs: Assessing skill gaps, designing training workshops, and facilitating learning and development opportunities for employees
  • Ensuring employee well-being: Implementing programs focused on mental health, physical well-being, and overall employee wellness
  • Managing employee compensation: Designing and executing compensation structures and benefits programs, ensuring competitive salary packages
  • Creating a positive workplace culture: Identifying and executing measures to create and maintain a positive and welcoming work environment for all employees

Human resource managers are integral in establishing organizational policies and processes related to talent acquisition and retention, performance management, learning and development, and more.

💡Pro tip: A busy human resource manager can use our free HR templates to create SOPs, policy memos, or staffing plans to get a headstart in achieving goals.

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A Day in the Life of a Human Resources Manager

Here’s how a typical day in the life of a Human Resources manager rolls out. Take the time blocks as directional input only and plan your day the way it suits you 🤝

1. Morning: 9:30 am to 11:30 am

The morning is dedicated to planning for a productive day. Tasks could typically include:

a. Email management

The start of the day is dedicated to checking and responding to emails. This could include routine communications, actionable insights from senior management and leadership teams, essential updates on HR policies, and urgent employee queries.

Deciding which emails to respond to first sets the tone for a productive day. For instance, you’d prioritize an email from the CEO about upcoming organizational changes that need HR support rather than sending a follow-up email to a coworker for information on a low-priority project.

b. HR team briefing

Next, the human resource manager may attend a short meeting with their team to clarify the day’s objectives, discuss ongoing projects and upcoming events, and address any immediate challenges or concerns.

This is a crucial time to delegate tasks for the day, as it ensures everyone is focused on priorities ranging from recruitment drives, policy updates, or employee engagement initiatives.

2. Midday: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

With the day planned out, this part of the day is usually dedicated to existing projects and ongoing activities. It might include:

a. Recruitment and interviews

Depending on the hiring requirements, part of the day may be spent reviewing resumes for open positions, screening candidates, or scheduling and conducting interviews.

This might also involve coordinating with other departments to understand their staffing needs better and selecting resumes that have the potential to match the company culture.

HR managers leverage talent management software and human resource information systems (HRIS) to manage candidate profiles, streamline recruitment, onboarding, and training, automate workflows for talent management, and communicate with stakeholders. 

b. Employee relations management

The core function of an HR professional is to keep employees happy, protected, and engaged. Whether mediating a dispute or providing support for performance improvement, spending time managing and maintaining positive employee relations is a must.

For example, they could moderate a discussion between two team members from sales to resolve misunderstandings and improve their working relationship.

An HR manager could also work on team-building activities and employee recognition programs or conduct surveys to gather feedback on various topics, such as learning and development, payscales, and general office experience.

The right employee management software can help HR managers to stay on top of all activities.

c. Training and development oversight

HR managers with employee development goals may also plan and coordinate staff training programs to ensure employees have the skills and knowledge to excel in their roles.

This includes assessing training needs, selecting suitable mentors and coaches, and organizing workshops and other interventions that align with career development paths.

For instance, if you’re organizing a leadership development seminar for mid-level company managers, finalizing topics with external trainers could be a significant part of your to-do list.

3. Afternoon: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Typical afternoons on a workday could include meetings and cross-functional discussions on long-term planning, organization-wide objectives, etc.  

a. HR planning

ClickUp Goals
Set goals and tasks that align with the larger organizational objectives using ClickUp 

Managers may participate in strategy meetings with senior management or other departments to align organizational initiatives with HR goals.

This might involve workforce planning, diversity, equity, and inclusion hiring activities, or succession planning.

For example, one of the annual goals could be to map out a new initiative for improving DEI within the workforce within the next nine months.

b. Performance management focus

HR managers may also work with the department heads to review employee performance reports and, based on the information gathered, take action on performance appraisals.

If they believe some employees will benefit from training, they may consult the department managers and devise skill enhancement plans.

c. Policy and compliance checks

An HR manager is responsible for ensuring the organization’s HR policies comply with current laws and regulations.

For example, they may update the employee handbook to reflect the latest changes in remote work policies and ensure all guidelines are in sync with new labor laws.

Create a go-to guide for new team members using this ClickUp handbook template

Seasoned HR managers save time with ready-made templates for this kind of detailed work. For instance, the ClickUp HR Handbook Template helps you create a comprehensive handbook tailored to your organization’s needs so that your team can:

  • Quickly access up-to-date information on policies and procedures
  • Understand expectations for employee behavior and performance
  • Get clarity on benefits, leave allowances, and other details

Moreover, if needed, make it a point to refine other compliance procedures and liaise with legal advisors to preempt any legal challenges.

4. End of the day: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Before closing for the day, it helps to put some time into sharing and digesting information that’ll help plan your work the next day:

a. Reporting and analysis

HR managers must analyze HR metrics and prepare reports on various aspects, such as turnover rates, employee training completion rates, or employee satisfaction surveys.

For instance, quarterly turnover data should be reviewed to identify trends and develop strategies to improve employee retention. Focusing on analytics will help make informed decisions and improve HR practices.

b. Team debrief

Often, managers conclude the day with a quick team meeting to review the day’s achievements, update to-do lists, and set priorities for the next day. This is also a good time to encourage feedback and foster a sense of team cohesion.

Adapt to the unexpected

Ideally, an HR manager’s day is structured with routine tasks and well-thought-out initiatives. The varied activities reflect the breadth of the role and require interpersonal skills, analytical abilities, and a strategic mindset.

However, despite a well-planned schedule, as an HR manager, you must be ready to modify it to meet unforeseen demands, whether it’s an unexpected meeting, a clarification request for a compliance policy, or a sudden shift in your state’s labor laws.

In addition, be available to meet employees and management, clarify doubts, and offer necessary support. The organization relies on you and your team to navigate the complexities of corporate life. Always prioritize them.

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The Role of HR in Employee Retention

The honeymoon phase of a new job is getting increasingly shorter—39% of employees who’ve been with an organization for less than six months plan to leave within the following year.

Moreover, those who don’t feel recognized for great work are almost 2X as likely to go job hunting. Since 87% of HR managers rate employee retention attempts as their chief priority, here are five critical steps to take in that direction:

1. Personalized career pathing

This involves working one-on-one with employees to outline their career trajectories based on individual skills, interests, and business requirements. You start with understanding each employee’s professional aspirations and identifying skills gaps.

Based on the information gathered, tailor learning programs and mentorship opportunities that reflect your organization’s best interests and the employees’ needs.

With personalized career pathing, employees feel valued and understood, fostering a sense of loyalty and reducing the likelihood of seeking opportunities elsewhere.

2. Peer recognition programs

Peer recognition fosters a positive work environment and boosts morale, contributing to a culture where employees feel valued and appreciated by their colleagues, not just their superiors. Technology helps make this a part of the company culture.

Use a platform like ClickUp Chat View to enable staff to give shout-outs, points, or awards to their peers for exemplary work. You can also organize virtual awards ceremonies to recognize employees on the platform.

ClickUp’s Chat view
Bring team communication under one roof with ClickUp’s Chat view

3. Financial wellness support

According to PwC, 65% of employees seek a new job for financial reasons. In addition to bridging industry pay gaps and having a robust performance bonus policy, you can help employees with financial planning issues.

Conduct educational workshops on budgeting and investments and suggest tools for managing debt or saving for retirement. This will automatically reduce their stress and increase job satisfaction.

4. Flexible work schedules

Post the pandemic, many employees prefer to work from home permanently. They aren’t afraid to quit jobs that require them to go to the office. They want control over when and where they work as long as they meet their performance objectives.

Offering flexible work schedules could manifest as remote work options, flexible start and end times, or a four-day workweek. You could set clear performance expectations and leverage HR software technology to maintain team communication and collaboration.

ClickUp Workspace Dashboard
Software like ClickUp helps managers keep track of collaborative projects and work with remote teams

5. Educational technology

LinkedIn reports that 94% of employees would stick with an organization longer if it invested in their training. 

Use new technologies such as mobile learning apps, interactive learning and development programs, and virtual reality training tools to provide accessible and personalized learning experiences that help employees develop new skills for future growth. 

For example, VR can train employees to code and debug collaboratively in a simulated 3D programming environment.

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Common Challenges of Being an HR Manager

As an HR manager, facing various obstacles or complexities in managing and optimizing the workforce is inevitable. Moreover, with Generative AI most likely to bring about an occupational shift by 2030, keeping up with the latest trends can get overwhelming. 

Naturally, a day in the life of a Human Resource manager isn’t free without dealing with the following:

  • Harmonizing work arrangements: Balancing remote, hybrid, and in-office work arrangements is a logistical nightmare as organizations strive to accommodate diverse employee preferences and operational requirements while maintaining productivity and a favorable company culture
  • Navigating the skills evolution: Advancements in Artificial Intelligence, automation, and digitization have disrupted industries and job roles and created a skill gap among employees that makes it harder to find and hire qualified talent internally and externally
  • Reinventing new hire training: This can’t now afford to be disjointed or non-existent; new hire training must equip a diverse and often geographically dispersed workforce with the skills and knowledge needed to perform well
  • Securing the digital workplace: With the increasing digitization of HR processes, compliance with data protection regulations and ensuring the security of employee data has become vital
  • Adapting to the gig economy: The rise of gig work and freelance professionals presents challenges in terms of workforce management, compensation, benefits, and IP security considerations
  • Addressing engagement and growth: Quiet quitting is a genuine concern. Younger employees don’t feel cared about or think they have enough opportunities to develop—primarily under their manager; there’s a need to cultivate an environment where every employee sees a clear path to growth
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Tools and Techniques Used in Human Resource Management for Daily Tasks and Projects

The days of manually sifting through resumes, handing out monthly payslips to employees, and keeping hard copies of employee records are long gone.

With a surge in remote and hybrid work environments and a new generation of employees, many of whom expect a tech-forward workplace, the time has never been ripe to capitalize on new technologies in the HR industry to operate efficiently.

Here are some of the HRMS software and related tools that can be used for daily tasks:

1. Human resource management software (HRMS)

Schedule tasks, allocate resources, set deadlines, and monitor the progress of HR-related projects with ClickUp Human Resources Management Software.

ClickUp make a day in the life of a human resources manager much easier
ClickUp’s List View gives you the flexibility to group, sort, and filter your tasks easily

For example, use the List View in ClickUp to organize all your tasks like interviewing candidates or updating employee policies—in a centralized location. Sort and filter these tasks by status, owner, due date, or however you want, making it easy to track what’s done and what needs your attention next.

Whether you’re gathering job applications or employee feedback, use ClickUp Form View to capture responses and instantly route work to the right team. Set up customizable, easy-to-complete forms that connect to trackable tasks for quick action.

ClickUp’s Form View
Easily customize forms to route work to the right team effortlessly through ClickUp’s Form View

Calendar View is perfect for human resources managers overseeing employee leaves, training sessions, or performance review meetings. It helps you visualize your month or week at a glance to plan and ensure everything fits perfectly into your schedule.

Clickup calendar view can help structure a day in the life of a human resources manager
See the big picture with the ClickUp calendar view

The ClickUp Workload View gives you a bird’s-eye view of who’s doing what on your team. It helps you balance tasks among your team members, ensuring no one is overloaded while others are looking for more to do. You can adjust workloads, ensuring your team stays happy and productive.

💡Pro tip: Use ClickUp Brain’s AI Project Manager to quickly get task summaries, create sub-tasks, generate progress updates, create and share meeting notes, and more!

2. Employee payroll management software

Reduce the likelihood of errors in calculating salaries and ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations by automating payroll management. The software can also handle complex scenarios like bonuses, overtime, and tax deductions.

For example, ClickUp integrations cover tools like QuickBooks and Gusto that help make the payroll process more transparent and understandable for employees and reduce the admin burden on HR managers.

3. Applicant tracking system and onboarding platform

Post jobs, collect and organize candidate applications, screen resumes, and facilitate interviews with an applicant tracking system (ATS). Complement this function with an onboarding solution to ensure that once candidates are hired, they’re effectively integrated into the organization.

This includes completing necessary paperwork, introducing new hires to the company culture and policies, and providing them with the tools and information they need to succeed in their new roles.

ClickUp Docs can help streamline a day in the life of a human resources manager
Create and connect beautiful documents, wikis, and more for seamless idea execution with your team through ClickUp Docs

ClickUp helps you streamline both processes with trackable tasks, docs, and comments for collaboration and feedback. You can use it to manage your recruitment outreach, organize applications and screening exercises, and move candidates through the pipeline.

💡Pro tip: Use ClickUp Brain’s AI Writer for Work to draft emails, SOPs, interview questions, document templates, and a lot more!

Use ClickUp’s HR Knowledge Base Template to create a space for all of your company policies, procedures, and contact information

HR professionals can also use the ClickUp HR Knowledge Base Template to create a centralized repository of all policies, procedures, and regulations. This helps employees find the information they need, so your HR staff will spend less time and effort responding to employee inquiries.

4. Workforce analytics and performance management tool

Using a workplace analytics platform, analyze employee data and derive insights that inform strategic decision-making. Identify areas for improvement, predict future trends, and make evidence-based decisions that align with organizational goals.

Create a central hub for employee information to facilitate confidential communication between managers and direct reports with ClickUp. Get a personalized view for each user, whether an employee, manager, or executive, to monitor and manage their or their team’s work more effectively.

Clickup OKR Dashboard figures in a day in the life of a human resource manager
Use ClickUp’s OKR dashboard for a bird’s eye view of progress toward goals

Establish employee performance standards and project timelines to evaluate how every individual fares against these benchmarks using this software. 

Moreover, get real-time reports that offer insights on tasks completed, goals achieved, and time spent, among other metrics, from the ClickUp Dashboard.

Facilitate regular check-ins and feedback, moving beyond the annual review to promote continual performance improvement and employee development.

5. Benefits administration software

The right benefits administration software can simplify employee benefits management, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and leave policies.

Easily manage and customize benefits packages to meet diverse employee needs, boosting satisfaction and competitiveness in talent acquisition.

This reduces paperwork for HR and enhances the employee experience by providing easy access to benefits information.

💡Pro tip: Let employees use ClickUp Brain’s AI Knowledge Manager to get contextual replies to questions about HR policies, payroll plans, benefits packages, etc., so your HR team can focus on more strategic work.

Also Read: The best employee handbook software to document processes

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The modern-day HR manager is multifaceted and multitalented 

Exploring a day in the life of a human resources manager makes it clear the role is anything but mundane. You kick off your day with a pulse check to see how the employees feel, which isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s essential.

As an HR manager, you’d be the go-to person for ensuring everyone’s engaged and heard. Those check-ins are more than just a routine; they’re your way of weaving trust and support into the fabric of the workforce’s day. 

The next-generation HR manager needs to be multi-talented, have strong interpersonal skills, and be well-versed in the latest technologies to get more done faster. 

With the right human resources management strategy and technology, HR professionals can drive productivity and improve every employee’s experience and performance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the typical day of a Human Resources manager?

A day in the life of a human resources manager involves recruiting and interviewing potential employees, coordinating employee benefits, conducting training sessions, conflict resolution, and creating training material. HR professionals also address employee relations issues, enforce company policies, and work on HR strategies for improving workplace culture.

2. Is HR life hectic?

Yes, life in Human Resources can be hectic due to the diverse responsibilities, including recruitment, training, employee relations, compliance with laws, and handling conflicts. HR professionals must balance the organization’s needs with its employees, often under tight deadlines.

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