In a sense, all managers are HR managers as they all get involved in activities like selecting, training and compensating employees.
Yet most firms, nowadays, have the HR department headed by a person with requisite qualifications in behavioral sciences.
How do the duties of this HR manager relate to the line managers’ HR duties? It would be an interesting question to answer.
Line managers have the final responsibility for achieving the organization’s goals. They also have the authority to direct the work of subordinates.
Staff managers usually help and advise line managers in achieving organizational goals.
HR managers are staff experts. They assist line managers in areas like recruiting, selecting, training and compensating.
Managing people, in a broader context, is every manager’s business and successful organizations generally combine the experience of line managers with the experience of HR specialists while utilizing the talents of employees to their greatest potential.
HR managers have to win the hearts of employees working together with line managers and deliver results in a cost-effective manner.
HR managers as indicated earlier are assuming a greater role in top management planning and decision making a trend that indicates the growing realization among executives that HRM can make significant contributions to the success of an organization.
Why Should HR Manager & Line Managers Work Together?
HR manager and line manager are supplementary and complementary to each other.
For example, in recruiting and hiring, it is usually a line manager’s responsibility to specify the qualifications employees need to fill specific positions.
Then the HR manager takes over. HR manager develops sources of qualified applicants and conducts screening interview and administers tests. Then they refer the best candidate to the line manager, who selects the right one for the organization.
HR manager and line manager represent links in the chain of organizational success. The primary reason the HR manager and line manager should work together because of their vested interest in ensuring the organization’s success.
- Through working together, line management becomes more proficient in tactical human resources functions. This frees up time for human resource professionals to devote more time to strategic HR management.
- HR manager and line manager should communicate regularly and frequently to determine the skills and qualifications required for flawless operation of department functions. Whenever there is a vacancy in a line manager’s department, an HR recruiter or employment specialist and the line manager review the job description for accuracy and completeness. During the recruitment and selection process, HR manager advises line managers on how to identify qualified candidates and existing department staff capabilities.
- Strategic planning between HR manager and line manager involves reviewing projections concerning future business demands to determine whether to train current employees to prepare them for promotion or to recruit candidates with higher level skills to augment the current employee knowledge base. By working together on immediate and future staffing needs, HR manager and line manager can be benefited from reducing cost per hire and turnover. In addition, the organization can be benefited from appropriate succession planning and adequate staffing.
- HR manager and line manager should work together to ensure that the organization maintains a consistent approach to performance management. Inconsistencies within an organization’s performance management system negatively impact employee job satisfaction.
- Workplace conflict is inevitable among the employees because of different cultures, work styles, and personalities. When conflicts arise, line managers typically seek the advice of HR manager in resolving issues between employees and managers. A positive working relationship between HR and line management facilitates easier handling of workplace investigations and mediating differences between staff.
- For HR to become more visible and less misunderstood, HR managers must talk, work and communicate with line managers on a regular basis. In theory, it sounds simple. In practice, this kind of regular contact is much harder to maintain.