Executing all the HR processes taking place in an organization efficiently requires a very experienced person to exercise control over them – especially in the case of companies with hundreds of employees. Such a task rests on the HR director’s shoulders, who usually belongs to the company’s executives and, depending on the size of the company, is responsible for managing a small or large team. What does a human resource director do on a daily basis? Read on to find out more.

What does a human resource director do? – table of contents:

  1. What does a human resource director do?
  2. HR manager vs HR director
  3. HR director requirements
  4. Summary

What does a human resource director do?

The human resource director’s main task is to control the processes taking place in the HR department associated with managing employees in the company – from recruitment, through personnel and payroll administration or implementation of benefit and training policies, to layoffs and retention of top talent. At the same time, human resource directors make sure that all the carried out activities are in line with the company’s priorities, standards and organizational culture, as well as have a positive impact on the company’s external image (employer branding).

Human resource directors are also responsible for creating and implementing a short- and long-term HR strategy, following the goals set by the company. The developed strategy covers such areas as human resource planning, vertical or horizontal career paths, development, benefit policy or effective financial management.

human resource director

HR manager vs HR director

It should be pointed out that various organizations take a different approach to the responsibilities assigned to particular roles in the HR department, or treat certain job titles interchangeably. It is common in the case of people managing HR departments – in some companies this may be the HR director, while others will hire the HR manager for this role. In some cases, the organization employs both the director and the manager who work together and carry out the same duties.

In the case of large companies, the human resource director is responsible for overseeing the work of the HR department and a number of HR managers who are accountable for specific processes (recruitment, training, benefits, HR and payroll, etc.) and report to them on the work of their teams. In small companies, the HR department is usually managed by one person – due to a limited number of employees and a small group of people performing HR duties, there is no need for an elaborate structure.

HR director requirements

As in the case of any other job in the HR department, the HR director should possess highly developed interpersonal and communication skills. A person holding this position ought to perfectly understand the employees’ needs and requirements (e.g., in terms of their own development), be able to put themselves in their shoes (the ability to feel empathy) or, if necessary, resolve conflict.

The HR director will also find it useful to have strategic planning skills – they will be necessary to develop HR policies that will help achieve the desired business results in line with the company’s vision and mission, as well as organizational culture. As HR directors are responsible for the smooth operation of the entire HR department, leadership skills may also come in handy. What is more, the amount of work requires the HR director to be well-organized.

HR directors should also keep up with trends and new technologies that can be implemented in the organization to automate tedious processes. One of the popular solutions are human resource management systems (HRMS) which allow you to effectively manage employees, coordinate your team or organize company resources, as well as keep your documents and finances in order.

human resource director


Without the HR director’s constant supervision, HR specialists’ effective work – for example, creating employment policies, acquiring talent, developing training policies, conducting HR analytics or taking care of the employee experiencewould simply be impossible. It is the HR director who ensures that the potential of the company’s human capital is maximally used and that HR processes are carried out efficiently. Thus, HR directors play one of the most important roles in the organization and for this reason should have extensive experience, as well as exceptional hard and soft skills.

Read also: 4 essential benefits of collaborative hiring

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.