Who is responsible for Human Resources Management?

There is a common misconception that only the HR Department is responsible for managing human resources. Actually, it is the responsibility of both the Line Management and HR Department. Line Managers issue orders or directives in an organization, while Staff Managers issue advice in the matters related to business.

The Line Manager is responsible for all the activities related to HR management, including hiring, training, motivating, developing, appraising, and compensating employees. In addition to these, a Line Manager should know about equal opportunity and affirmative action, employee health and safety, as well as tending to grievances and labour relations.

In a small firm, a Line Manager can perform these duties on his or her own. However, it is strongly recommended that Line Managers seek advice from HR staff managers because if a manager does not fully understand the labour law, when something goes wrong, this can lead to legal issues like unfair labour practices, discriminatory actions, or unsafe practices. In addition, personnel issues, such as hiring the wrong person, employee demotivation, and a high employee turnover may ensue.

The HR Department is responsible for setting up and implementing policies that are compliant with labour laws and organizational goals while promoting a culture of diversity and equal opportunity. Line Managers must ensure that such policies are implemented within their respective units.

From ‘Managing Human Capital’ module, MBA program at Alfred Ford School of Management