Human Resources, HR

The Relationship Between HR & a Department Manager

Human resources departments interact with department managers in numerous ways. The particular function an HR manager or specialist plays is sometimes contingent upon the department manager’s title. A department manager in accounting, for example, may need more numerical statistics from HR than a customer service manager. Whatever the case, the relationship between HR and various department managers is ongoing. Many of the functions performed by HR pertain to employees of department managers.

Selecting and Screening Employees

Department managers in small companies usually ask HR to assist them with selecting and screening job applicants. For example, a marketing manager may need to hire a marketing analyst. Hence, she may ask the human resources manager to find people with specific skills to interview. In turn, the HR manager may help screen candidates who don’t meet the qualifications or fail to demonstrate their skills. HR typically screens employees for substance abuse, too, subjecting new hires to drug tests, for example. HR also works with department managers in determining whether to hire permanent employees or independent contractors for certain jobs.

Orientation and Training

HR managers also work with department managers in putting their employees through orientation. The process of orientation may entail introducing new hires to company policies, completing paperwork such as W-4’s for tax purposes and signing confidentiality statements. HR may also help department managers introduce new employees to other people in the company with whom they will have a working relationship. Some may also provide training manuals or arrange training sessions for new hires. This helps the department manager better prepare workers for specific job and department tasks.

Determining Compensation Packages

Small company department managers may ask HR to help them determine salaries or wages for various jobs in their department. The department manager may want to determine a low, mid-range and cap on salaries she offers employees. The HR manager may, in turn, research salaries of competitors or comparably sized companies to derive suggested salary ranges. Similarly, HR may work with department managers in deciding which benefits their employees receive, including health, life insurance, paid holidays and vacations, and retirement plans.


The relationship between HR and a department manager may also include grievances or sensitivity issues. For example, a finance department manager may need the help of HR to resolve a complaint from a subordinate. The human resources manager may be able to resolve the situation to everyone’s liking and prevent a possible lawsuit. HR may also assist department managers with employees who violate certain sensitivity policies. These policies can include sexual harassment or conflicts with respect to race, religion or gender.

2016 Salary Information for Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers earned a median annual salary of $106,910 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, human resources managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $80,800, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $145,220, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 136,100 people were employed in the U.S. as human resources managers.