HR Director

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What does an HR director do?

An HR director is an executive-level position that oversees the strategies and budgeting needs of an HR department. This role crafts strategies for recruitment, onboarding, compensation and benefits, employee policies, training programs and other areas. HR directors may also conduct workforce planning, so they can decide how to allocate resources to help teams meet hiring needs while staying on track to achieve larger company goals. 

How do you become an HR director?

  • HR directors must complete their bachelor’s, master’s and work at least five years before receiving the necessary certification for a director role. 

As an executive position, the HR director role requires extensive education. Qualified candidates should obtain a four-year degree in human resources, finance, business or a related field. Graduates should also consider getting their master’s in human resources, business administration or a similar area. By completing a range of coursework, students can explore employee engagement strategies, HR policies and other aspects of a business that they’ll need for their professional careers.

Aspiring HR directors must go further, supplementing their education with at least five years of relevant work experience. Starting out in an entry-level position like HR specialist, professionals can work their way up the ladder to a managing position like HR manager. At this point, workers could pursue their Senior Professional in Human Resources certification. Taking the long road enables HR professionals to solidify their expertise while learning about career development and how to create productive work environments as future HR directors.

What skills does an HR director need?

  • Besides knowledge of all HR functions, HR directors must also exercise analytical thinking, HR software and decision-making abilities.

To lead an HR department, HR directors must know the ins and outs of HR policies. This leadership position must understand what goes into recruiting, onboarding and managing employees. A financial background is also needed to guide compensation, benefits and payroll policies. HR directors can ensure all these processes run smoothly by keeping up with the latest HR tech trends. Refining an HR software stack streamlines operations and gives team members the freedom to focus more on supporting the employee experience.

However, HR directors must be able to pivot to the overarching goals and strategies of a business. They are responsible for determining the needs of teams and deciding how to distribute resources between teams. As a result, analytical thinking and decision-making are key for making thoughtful hires and maintaining a happy workforce. The ideal candidate will blend these capabilities with other essential HR skills, becoming the leader and expert that all companies desire out of their HR directors.

What is the salary of an HR director?

  • HR directors carry a lot of responsibility, but they are rewarded for their efforts with an average base salary of $140,928.

The HR director is a crucial leadership position that delivers proper compensation to those who embrace the demands of the role. HR directors in the U.S. earn an average base salary of $140,928, according to Built In’s salary tool. With an additional cash compensation of $32,770, HR directors can enjoy a total compensation of $173,698. This role continues to drive the productivity and success of businesses, so top HR directors can pursue a salary range that reaches $300K.


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