Human resources (HR) manager
Human resource (HR) management includes the overall responsibility for recruitment, selection, appraisal, staff development and training, understanding and implementing employment legislation and welfare.
You may responsibility for a specific group of staff such as all medical staff working in an organisation.
As an HR manager, you may have responsibility for workforce planning or work for one or more directorates (eg surgery, day care or accident and emergency) where you will provide HR support and advice to the general manager responsible for that directorate. This might involve:
- advising on the redeployment of staff from a ward that is closing
- advertising strategies for the recruitment of new staff.
Some senior HR managers will have broad areas of responsibility, such as:
- development and recruitment
- implementing national initiatives.
Roles in human resource management
There are a variety of job roles and job titles in this area of management. Here are some examples of job roles.
- human resources manager
- medical staffing manager
- assistant director of human resources (workforce development)
- divisional human resources manager
You could be working in a specialist trust providing mental health services for adults, older people, children and adolescents and also substance misuse and specialist learning disabilities.
In this type of role, you would take a lead role in the trusts human resources agenda and lead on specific corporate HR objectives. You could be responsible for the:
- recruitment & retention of staff
- maintenance of the attendance management process
- handling formal grievance and disciplinary process and appeals
- the design and delivery of training and development programmes
- providing advice on principles and detail of employment legislation and good practice
- the maintenance of effective employee relations including participation in local formal consultation machinery and processes of job evaluation, salary administration and reward management.
Working in a hospital NHS trust, you’d typically have responsibility for all medical staff working within the trust, with the exception of medical students. This would include responsibility for:
- terms and conditions of medical staff
- recruitment and selection of professional grade staff.
You’d advise and support medical staff on HR-related issues and could be involved with the international recruitment of medical staff, workforce planning and the European Working Time Directive.
In this example, you’d lead the trust's development and implementation of a comprehensive training and development plan working in partnership with areas of the trust also delivering education. Delivery of the plan would involve liaison with partner organisations across the region. Key elements of such a post would be:
- effective leadership
- staff development
- workforce planning.
Here, you’d be one of four HR managers working within a university hospitals' NHS trust providing strategic development and leadership support. You’d be managing a team of 16 and manage a budget of over £700,000. You’d be expected to ensure that there was excellent communication between colleagues.
Want to learn more?
- Find out more about the entry requirements, skills and interests required to enter a career in HR management
- Find out more about the training you’ll receive for a career in HR management
Pay and conditions
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Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers.
Your precise role in HR management within the NHS will affect your salary. There are some positions in HR at AfC band 5, with opportunities at specialist and managerial level from bands 6 to 8, and rising to Band 9 for the most senior roles below director level. At director and similar levels, you would be on the Very Senior Managers pay scales.
Staff in the NHS will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern.
Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.
Where the role can lead
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With further training and/or experience, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for more senior managerial roles in HR and related functions. Progression for those with ability is typically via operational management in a large organisation. Relocation for promotion is common.
Relevant HR management qualifications and membership of organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development may be an advantage and will be a requirement for some posts.
More diverse routes are now opening up, for example, jointly-funded posts between health and social services.
Graduates from the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme are expected to gain rapid promotion.
Job market and vacancies
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When you’re looking for managerial jobs in human resources and related functions, there are a number of sources you can use, depending on the type and level of work you’re seeking.
Check vacancies carefully to be sure you can meet the requirements of the person specification before applying and to find out what the application process is. You may need to apply online or send a C.V. for example.
There is an annual recruitment round for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. Visit the Scheme’s website for details
Key sources relevant to vacancies in the health sector:
- vacancies in organisations delivering NHS healthcare can be found on the NHS Jobs website
- opportunities in the Civil Service can be found on the Civil Service Jobs website
- vacancies in local government can be found on the Local Government Jobs website and the Jobs Go Public website
- vacancies for apprenticeships (including those in business and administration) appear on the Gov.uk website
As well as these sources, you may find suitable vacancies in the health sector by contacting local employers directly, searching in local newspapers and by using the Universal Jobmatch tool.
Volunteering is an excellent way of gaining experience (especially if you don’t have enough for a specific paid job you’re interested in) and also seeing whether you’re suited to a particular type of work. It’s also a great way to boost your confidence and you can give something back to the community!
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For further information about a career in HR management, please contact