Human resources (HR) manager

Our HR managers make sure that our frontline staff and other colleagues are supported and available to deliver the care our patients need. 

"I chose the NHS over the private sector because the focus is on people rather than profit."

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Working life

You'll have responsibility for recruitment, selection, appraisal, staff development and training, understanding and implementing employment legislation and welfare.

As an HR manager, you may have responsibility for workforce planning or work for one or more directorates, such as surgery or accident and emergency where you will provide HR support and advice. 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:

  • operations
  • training
  • 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

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.

Medical staffing manager

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.

Assistant director of human resources (workforce development)

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.

Divisional human resources manager

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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • When you’re looking for managerial jobs in human resources and related functions, there are a number of sources you can use but most NHS vacancies can be found on the NHS Jobs website.

    Just some of the current vacancies can be found below. 

    Find a vacancy

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