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5 Essential Steps for How to Become a Human Resources Manager

Once in a while, you might think of taking the next step in your HR career and aim to become a Human Resources Manager. This highly coveted role requires unique skills and experience to effectively manage a company's most important asset - its people.

You can confidently take on this challenging and rewarding position with the right guidance and training. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 essential steps to becoming an HR Manager, providing you with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this dynamic field. But first, let's explore what a Human Resources manager does.

Responsibilities of Human Resources Managers

Responsibilities of Human Resources Managers

As a cornerstone of every office, you've probably encountered human resources and perhaps even collaborated closely with them. Beyond their visible contributions, their dedicated efforts extend far and wide, making them essential players in any company's success.

An HR manager oversees various functions within an organisation, including:

  • Oversee recruitment:

    Lead the recruitment, selection, and onboarding processes to attract and integrate the right talent into the company.
  • Develop HR strategies:

    Formulate and implement HR strategies and initiatives that align with the overarching business strategy.
  • Bridge management and employee relations:

    Act as a mediator to address demands, grievances, or other issues between management and employees.
  • Manage performance appraisals:

    Oversee the performance appraisal system, promoting high performance and recognising achievements.
  • Lead learning and development:

    Direct learning and development programs to enhance employee skills and support career growth.
  • Administer compensation and benefits:

    Ensure competitive and legally compliant compensation and benefits programs.
  • Ensure legal compliance:

    Oversee compliance with employment law and regulatory concerns pertaining to employees.
  • Promote staff welfare:

    Engage in initiatives to support employee health and wellbeing, fostering a positive work environment.
  • Handle disciplinary actions:

    Manage employee disciplinary meetings, terminations, and investigations as required.
  • Facilitate change management:

    Pivotal in guiding staff and business management through operational changes.
  • Support decision-making:

    Provide insights through HR metrics and analysis to inform strategic business decisions.
  • Cultivate organisational culture:

    Foster a supportive and inclusive culture that mirrors the company’s values and mission.
  • Participate in executive leadership:

    Offer HR perspectives and recommendations in executive meetings.

Guide to becoming an HR Manager

Guide to becoming an HR Manager

The journey to becoming a human resources manager involves a combination of education, experience, and personal development. Here are five essential steps to guide you on how to get into HR.

1. Understand the world of HR

Before diving headfirst, you must know how to get into HR management. One of the entry requirements is to immerse yourself in the essential pillars of human resources by understanding its intricacies. For instance, familiarise yourself with the core functions, such as talent acquisition, employee relations, budget management, HR policies, compensation and benefits, and other organisational skills.

Explore how HR aligns with overall business objectives and contributes to an organisation's growth. Consider this your foundation—a solid understanding of HR principles will serve you well throughout your career.

2. Gain relevant education and qualifications

The foundation of a successful career in human resources management often begins with fulfilling the entry requirements through acquiring relevant education. Often, you can gain this through the following:

Degree in Human Resource Management

A foundation in human resources management, business administration, or a related degree lays the groundwork for understanding the principles of HR and people devel1opment, as well as organisational learning.

CIPD Qualifications

You can start your career in HR by completing a CIPD qualification. CIPD is the professional body for HR, L&D, and people development.

Having a CIPD qualification can significantly elevate your professional profile and appeal to future employers. Below are the courses you can take:

  • CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice Comparable to A-Levels in academic standing. This level 3 foundation certificate is designed for HR and L&D beginners starting their careers or having limited field experience.
  • CIPD Level 5 Associate Qualifications — This is equivalent to a second year of a bachelor's degree. If you have some experience in job roles related to HR or are currently in the role but want to pursue a management position, this course is for you. The best option depends on your career goals and interests.
    • Associate Diploma in People Management- This diploma equips you with the skills and knowledge to manage people effectively, covering areas like recruitment, performance management, and employee relations. If you want a career in HR, such as an HR manager, HR Consultant, Reward and Benefits Manager or Compensation Specialist, this course is for you.
    • Associate Diploma in Organisational Learning and Development- This diploma focuses on developing and delivering training programs, evaluating learning needs, and supporting employee development initiatives within an organisation. This course is for you if you want to pursue roles such as L&D Business Partner or Manager, Organisation Design Specialist, or L&D Consultant.

These qualifications are highly regarded within the industry and serve as a testament to one's commitment and expertise in human resource management. They facilitate a deeper understanding of HR best practices while ensuring recognition by professional bodies and peers.

3. Build practical experience

As HR professionals, you'll need a combination of education and experience. The early stages of your career in HR often involve roles such as HR Assistant or an entry-level HR role, where you'll begin to apply your theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. HR jobs include processing new employee documentation and assisting with payroll and benefits administration.

Such positions or any previous experience offer a valuable opportunity to understand the operational aspects of HR management. It's also a chance to demonstrate your ability to build relationships across different departments, a skill crucial for any aspiring HR Manager.

Seeking HR apprenticeships or an HR internship within the HR department can provide a direct insight into the day-to-day challenges and responsibilities of the profession. They allow you to showcase your commitment, adaptability, and practical application of your people management and organisational development skills.

Moreover, volunteering for projects that involve presenting, team leadership, or conflict resolution can significantly enhance your profile. These opportunities enable you to develop and refine the skills needed for senior roles like senior HR managers, including strategic thinking and emotional intelligence. By actively pursuing practical experiences, you lay a robust foundation for a thriving career in human resources.

4. Develop transferable skills

Becoming an HR manager requires more than having a business degree or CIPD qualification. Experienced HR managers know that to become effective, there's a need for continuous commitment and further training to develop essential skills, especially when working in a large organisation.

Here are the essential hard and soft skills that experienced HR professionals need across all industries:

  • Effective communication:Vital for everything from student recruitment to senior leadership team meetings, ensuring clarity and mutual understanding in every interaction.
  • Organisational skills:Crucial for managing HR files, facilitating qualifications or graduate programmes, and ensuring all procedures align with the company's goals.
  • High EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and interpersonal skills:These skills enable you to understand and empathise with your colleagues, aiding in conflict resolution and boosting employee morale.
  • Conflict management and negotiation: Essential for resolving disputes, negotiating contracts, and maintaining harmony within the workplace.
  • Strategic thinking:Allows HR managers to align HR strategies with overall business objectives and retain top talent.
  • Leadership skills:Important for guiding the HR team, influencing the leadership team, and leading organisational change.
  • Ethical actions and commitment:Upholding the highest ethical standards in all decisions and actions, earning the trust and respect of colleagues and new employees alike.

As a pursuing human resource manager, any related HR experience is essential in navigating the complexities of human resources. Organisational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask are equally crucial in managing various HR initiatives successfully.

Developing these skills enhances your ability to manage various HR functions, including employee engagement, staff development, and strategic talent planning. Moreover, these skills facilitate seamless interactions with colleagues and foster a conducive work environment, especially for new employees to adapt easily.

5. Networking and continuous learning

Networking plays a pivotal role in advancing your HR career progression. Connect with HR professionals through industry events, seminars, and online forums to exchange insights and stay updated on industry trends. To become a good HR manager, you have to learn and get inspired by successful senior managers in the human resources field.

Here are some HR events, seminars, and online forums in the UK that you can explore for networking and continuous learning:

Business Forums International (BFI) HR Risk Forums:

BFI offers a series of HR risk-focused webinars and workshops. Topics include inclusive recruitment, menopause support, right-to-work checks, and more. These sessions provide practical insights and updates on HR policies and compliance.

HR Vision:

HR Vision events are more likely to focus on strategic HR thinking. It's an excellent opportunity for senior HR leaders to exchange ideas, develop new strategies, and stay ahead.

Eventbrite Online HR Activities:

Eventbrite hosts various HR-related webinars and workshops. Topics range from understanding HR legislation to coaching skills for HR professionals. Check their listings for upcoming sessions.

In human resources, engaging in continuous learning to expand your knowledge base and stay abreast of evolving HR practices is crucial to your role. So attend workshops and webinars, and pursue further training to enhance your skills in talent planning, employee engagement, and strategic people management. Remember, the HR landscape is ever-changing, and staying proactive in professional development is key to long-term success.

Get your CIPD qualifications with e-Careers

Get your CIPD qualifications with e-Careers

We at e-Careers offer a premium quality CIPD learning experience. If you enrol on one of our CIPD qualifications, you'll also get a chance to enjoy many benefits, which are as follows:

  • Accreditation:

    As an accredited CIPD provider, we ensure that our courses meet the CIPD's highest standards. Our qualifications are globally recognised and respected within the HR industry.
  • Flexibility and accessibility:

    We offer online learning for flexible study at your own pace, ideal for those balancing work or busy lifestyles.
  • Range of HR courses:

    Various CIPD qualification levels are available, from Foundation to Diploma courses, catering to different experience levels and career goals.
  • World-class learning platform:

    We provide our students with an industry-leading platform and support from renowned industry tutors, enhancing your learning experience and preparation for CIPD qualifications.
  • Reputation and track record:

    We are highly recognised for our prestigious history in online learning. We won awards that make us a more trusted leader in the industry.
  • TOTUM PRO Student Discount Card:

    Our CIPD students gain access to the TOTUM PRO Card, offering a wide range of discounts and deals across dining, fashion, tech, travel, and essentials.
  • Growth Masterclasses

    You get exclusive masterclasses with expert career coaches designed to equip HR professionals or those transitioning into HR with the skills to become highly employable candidates. This includes creating a tailored CV and improving your interview skills.


Human resources is an exciting and rewarding venture. The path requires dedication, a commitment to continuous learning, and developing a broad set of skills. However, understanding the theory and possessing the qualifications is only part of the equation.

To truly stand out and make a significant impact, you need to translate your knowledge and skills into actionable insights and strategies that benefit both you and your organisation.

Enrol on our CIPD qualification today and unlock a world of opportunities in Human Resources Management. Contact us at +44 (0) 20 3198 7700 or visit our Human Resources page.

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