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People Manager Duties and Responsibilities

The duties performed by people managers vary based on the size of the staff and the size of the company. However, these core duties are essentially the same for all people managers:

Assess Staffing Needs People managers assess the business’s staffing needs and determine how many employees are needed to meet this mark.

Evaluate Employees People managers regularly evaluate employees to determine how well they’re fulfilling their job and whether or not they’re meeting company standards for professionalism, attendance, and work performance.

Supervise Staff People managers supervise all staff members to determine how well they function in their jobs on a day-to-day basis. This includes creating written evaluations for other management staff to read.

Process Employee Leave and Vacation Requests People managers process requests for maternity leave and other types of work leave, including vacation and personal day requests. They pass this information along to relevant managers and supervisors.

Manage Employee Relations People managers listen to problems employees have with coworkers and managers, and file complaints as needed with upper-level management.

Interview and Hire Staff People managers interview and hire new employees and provide them with any new hire and orientation paperwork in accordance with company policies.

Fire Employees People managers fire employees who fail to meet minimum company standards in any area on a consistent basis and inform employees of this decision.

Advise Upper Management People managers advise upper management on policy issues concerning sexual harassment, employee relations, and other staff matters.


People Manager Skills and Qualifications

People managers are leaders who assess potential and existing staff members, make hiring and firing decisions, and provide management with information about individual employee performance and company employee policies. Employers hire people managers who have the following specific skills:

  • Personnel management – people managers hire, fire, supervise, and evaluate employees, all of which require strong management skills
  • Communication skills – because people managers perform interviews and advise management on employee policies, excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential for this job
  • Analytical thinking – people managers use analytical skills to evaluate employees
  • Computer skills – people managers frequently work with a variety of software programs to manage scheduling, evaluations, and new hire paperwork
  • Interpersonal skills – people managers speak with employees about their needs and concerns and advise management on employee policies, which both require interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail – people managers use observation and attention to detail to supervise employees

People Manager Education and Training

Many employers seek people managers who have a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources, or a similar field. Employers also desire candidates who have previous experience in human resources or management. Paid job training is provided to people managers, during which time they work under close supervision from a senior human or another member of upper management. This training period varies by employer.


People Manager Salary and Outlook

Job data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that human resources managers (who are interchangeable with people managers) earn $110,120 in annual income. There were more than 100,000 jobs for human resources managers in 2016, a number that’s projected to rise 9 percent through 2026. This rate is as fast as the national average. Full-time people managers receive benefits that include healthcare coverage with dental and vision benefits. Lfe insurance, retirement planning options, paid vacation, paid holidays, and sick days are usually included in standard benefits packages.


Helpful Resources

Browse these helpful resources to find available jobs, career tips, and work strategies for people managers:

National Human Resources Association – browse job openings in human resources and people management, find upcoming networking events, and take advantage of professional workshops at the NHRA website

The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals – get answers to tough people management questions with this guidebook that addresses more than 200 questions HR managers are likely to face

Academy of Human Resource Development – find networking communities, get valuable management tips, look for upcoming training events, and explore other resources for people managers and HR professionals at this website

Essential HR Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional – use this handbook to learn how to handle the day-to-day issues that people managers face. The text includes checklists, tools, and tips

IPMA-HR – look for certification programs, job openings, training courses, upcoming events, and networking opportunities with this site designed for HR professionals

The Manager’s Guide to HR – learn how to perform the basic functions of an HR manager with this book, which covers hiring, firing, performing evaluations, and other core tasks