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HR supervisors guide and manage human resources services, policies, and programs. They consult with company leadership on organization design and restructuring, and also provide workforce analysis and planning. This position can look very different from one company to another, but in most instances an HR supervisor has a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field, and preferably a few years of human resources experience.

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HR Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

The type and size of the organization employing an HR supervisor will largely dictate their responsibilities, but some of the most common duties include:

Leading Recruiting Activities

HR supervisors coordinate all stages of the hiring process, including posting job openings, reviewing and screening applications, conducting interviews, and on boarding new employees. HR supervisors also oversee background checks and drug screens while ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and local employment laws.

Manage Employee Relations

HR supervisors address employee conflicts and complete investigations as required. They work with management to administer employee discipline or corrective action when needed. They also assess employee engagement and retention, and actively work to identify, analyze, and improve any problematic areas.

Plan and Hold Training Events

HR supervisors design and implement training and development programs for hourly and salaried employees.This includes using their extensive knowledge of policies like the Family and Medical Leave Act, workers' comp, short-term disability, and long-term disability to teach employees about their workers' rights.

Manage Payroll

HR supervisors ensure that employees have a systematic method for reporting work hours. They make certain that payroll taxes are paid in a timely fashion and manage miscellaneous payroll deductions like 401(k) contributions and insurance copays.

Prepare for Audits

HR supervisors help other management team members prepare for audits. Human resources confirm that I-9's and other required documents are completed and properly filed, among other tasks.

HR Supervisor Skills and Qualifications

HR supervisors not only manage the human resources department, they also play an integral part in ensuring that all departments, management, and employees are working harmoniously. Accomplishing that requires the following skills:

  • Leadership skills -in addition to managingthe human resourcesdepartment, HR supervisors coachemployees and management to uphold the company's priorities and values. They must also think strategically to align HR strategy with business goals and provide support on special projects
  • Documentation development - HR supervisors verify that all new employees complete the necessary paperwork to be in compliance with government and company mandates. They also ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to mandatory posting updates, form requirements, and training records
  • Communication skills -HR supervisors are strong communicators and presenters.They can work with a variety of personality types while maintaining a positive and helpful demeanor. Because they handle confidential information and workplace disputes, they have an excellent sense of discretion and sensitivity
  • Self-management-HR supervisors work with limited supervision, so these self-motivated individuals must take the initiative to stay current with company and government requirements for hiring, training, compensating, and dismissing employees

Tools of the Trade

HR supervisors are generally familiar with the following office productivity tools:

Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, and Excel)

Business management tools (such as database software, CRM, SAP)

Presentation tools (such as projectors and SMART boards)

HR Supervisor Education and Training

The most common educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field, with preference given to candidates who hold a master’s degree. Some employers require just three years of HR experience while others prefer candidates with senior professional in human resources (SPHR) or PHR certification.

HR Supervisor Salary and Outlook

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a human resources supervisor is approximately $60,000, thoughsalaries range from $41,000 on the low end to $86,000 at the top. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources needs are expected to grow by 7 to 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is about average growth.

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Helpful Resources

There are many helpful resources out there for those interested in becoming an HR supervisor. These links can get you started on the journey:

Society for Human Resource Management

this professional organization provides industry news, job listings, and training

National Human Resources Association

the NHRA offers career services and events

International Association for Human Resources Information

a leading international organization, IHRIM sees and shares industry trends before they hit the mainstream

Workforce Magazine

this magazine is dedicated to bringing human resource professionals the information they want and need and also hosts professional webinars

HR Professionals Magazine

here you'll find a variety of human resource organizations and a great source of information for upcoming conferences and expos

The Big Book of HR

written by Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem, this informative book covers a variety of topics pertinent to human resources

HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion

Steve Browne wrote this forwardthinking book to help HR professionals rekindle passion for their work by exploring the industry's future applications

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