Human Resources Manager

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to November 2019: 25,001 to 50,000
Salary Range
Median weekly earnings: $1051 to $1300 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Finding and keeping the right people for the jobs is a human resources manager's key function. They oversee staff welfare, keep employees informed of their rights and provide advice and support to management about staff issues.

There are currently around 3,000 human resource managers employed in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work across a range of industries. Over half of persons in this occupation are female and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has an older age profile with close to half of human resources managers aged 45 years or older.
  • Whether it is ensuring that employees receive the correct level of remuneration, responding to staff concerns, overseeing employee recruitment and selection, or looking at measures to improve staff performance, human resource managers play a significant role in looking after people. Organisations rely on people to operate effectively. All things being equal, the more suitable the employee, the more effectively an organisation will function. 'The main role of human resources managers is the recruitment, retention and development of staff. Human resources management has progressed from paying employees' cheques to ensuring that employees are aware of any legislation that protects their welfare in the workplace. Without HR officers, it would be difficult for many organisations to run properly', says one manager.

    Clerical and AdministrativeInfluencing and Personal Contact

  • Entry into this occupation is generally through a Bachelor degree or higher qualification. Of those people currently employed in this industry, 39% have Bachelor degrees or higher qualifications; 18% have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas. Around 23% have no post-school qualifications. It is recommended that you gain qualifications to get the best possible chance of employment.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources). Pathways include the Certificate IV in Human Resources and Diploma of Human Resources Management.

    Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in the Diploma of Human Resources Management/Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management) and the Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources)/Bachelor of Business.

  • People who work in human resources need to keep up with any amendments or changes in workplace law. They must be well informed about the legal obligations of the organisation in meeting equal opportunity, occupational health and safety, and privacy and freedom of information requirements. 'Confidentiality is also very important in this occupation, especially if you're dealing with a disciplinary matter involving an employee. Its important that the person concerned feels that they come to you and discuss the matter in complete confidence', says one human resources manager.

    In larger organisations they may specialise in a particular area such as staff training or recruitment. According to an Australian Human Resources Institute spokesperson, this occupation offers good employment prospects. However, it is a large and growing occupation, with competition for available positions very strong.

  • Human resources officers also help establish and maintain the relationship between employees and employers. They are often the drivers of hiring and firing decisions, helping to steer managers to make the right choices by posing questions such as: Does the job applicant fully understand the nature of the occupation?; Can they carry out the work tasks diligently?; Will they suit the organisation?; and, Are they really the best applicant for the job? These are just some of the important questions human resources managers address during the recruitment process.

    Once the right person has been found for the job, a human resources manager's role is far from over. First off, human resources managers usually organise a brief induction for new employees. This helps to settle staff and provides an opportunity to explain the organisation's goals and work practices. Further down the track, employees may want direction on how to upgrade their skills. Its often up to human resources managers to determine and design appropriate staff development programs.

  • In small organisations, human resources officers are usually responsible for all staffing matters. In large organisations they may specialise in a particular area, such as recruitment, wages and entitlements or staff training. It is essential that they have good planning, organisational, analytical and decision-making skills. They also must have good oral and written communication skills. They also need to demonstrate confidentiality, tact and discretion when dealing with people.

  • And in order to retain a highly skilled, but ageing workforce, the onus is on human resources managers to devise incentives for older members of the workforce to stay. 'Not all baby boomers want to leave their jobs, but they don't want to work 80-hour weeks either - who does?! Human resources managers need to find creative ways to keep these older people in the workforce, making sure there are flexible work arrangements available', says an industry worker. Throughout an average working day, human resources managers also write job descriptions and advertisements for job vacancies. They provide advice on wage and salary levels, or negotiate with management, staff or unions about pay and conditions, or finalise an employee's leave period and payout. They may need to find time to discuss personal or work problems with staff, before ensuring that the organisation's human resources information systems are up to date.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online