Human Resource Management in Australia

Friday 2 June 2023
Human Resource Management (HRM) involves managing employees in an organisation. It includes recruitment, training, performance management, and employee relations.
Human Resource Management in Australia

HRM programs are offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Australia. Graduates of HRM programs can work in human resource departments of various organisations and industries in Australia.

Human Resource (HR) Managers create, manage and coordinate human resource strategies, policies, programs and systems that ensures ongoing suitability of staff, wellbeing and their training needs within an organisation.

Being a HR Manager in Australia involves managing the overall employee experience, from recruitment and onboarding to performance management and employee development. This may include overseeing compliance with workplace laws and regulations, handling employee grievances or disputes, and facilitating communication between employees and management.

HR Managers may also be involved in designing and implementing programs to support employee well-being and professional growth, as well as managing organisational change and workforce planning. The role typically requires strong communication and interpersonal skills, strategic thinking, and a thorough understanding of labour laws and regulations.

Tasks and duties of a HR Manager:

  1. Recruitment and new staffing: Develop job descriptions, advertise job openings, screen resumes, conduct interviews and test candidates and make hiring decisions;
  2. Employee relations: Ensure that employees are aware of organisational policies, resolve conflicts, and foster positive working relationships;
  3. Compensation and benefits: Manage employee compensation and benefits packages, ensure compliance with legal requirements, and develop strategies to attract and retain top talent;
  4. Performance management: Develop performance appraisal systems, provide feedback to employees, develop training and development programs for individuals and groups, and manage disciplinary action when required;
  5. HR Policy and compliance: Develop and implement HR policies and procedures in compliance with relevant laws and regulations and address workplace complaints and conflict effectively;
  6. Training and development: Identify employee training and development needs, coordinate training programs, and conduct assessments to measure effectiveness;
  7. HR Administration: Manage employee records, process payroll, ensure that regulatory reporting requirements are met;
  8. Workplace health and safety: Implement policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of employees, ensure that workplace health and safety regulations are met;
  9. Communication: Develop and implement effective communication strategies to keep employees informed and engaged;
  10. Strategic planning: Develop HR strategies that align with organisational goals and objectives, including providing guidance and support to senior leadership and the executive group in the organisation.

What are the best personal attributes to be a good HR Manager?

  1. Effective communication skills: HR Managers should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with employees and management;
  2. Strong organisational skills: HR Managers manage multiple tasks, programs, and deadlines while ensuring compliance with legal regulations and company policies;
  3. Empathy and emotional intelligence: HR Managers should demonstrate empathy and emotional intelligence to effectively manage employee relations and conflicts;
  4. Problem-solving skills: HR Managers should have analytical and problem-solving skills to identify problems and recommend effective solutions;
  5. Strong business acumen: HR Managers should have a good understanding of business practices and be able to align their HR strategies with the company’s overall goals;
  6. Ethical standards: HR Managers should adhere to high ethical standards to ensure fair and equitable treatment of employees;
  7. Leadership capabilities: HR Managers should possess strong leadership qualities to lead and develop HR teams and foster employee development and growth;
  8. Technology proficiency: HR Managers should have a good understanding of technology and be able to leverage technology solutions to streamline HR processes;
  9. Conflict resolution skills: HR Managers should possess strong conflict resolution skills to mediate disputes between employees and management.

HR Managers generally lead a team of HR staff who aim to create a productive, safe and happy workplace for employees within the organisation.

HR Managers are usually solution based and tend to be approachable individuals who have excellent communication skills, with the ability to listen carefully and speak clearly and sensitively to resolve organisational goals and objectives.

How do you become a Human Resource Manager in Australia?

It’s recommended to have a tertiary-level qualification and industry experience to become a HR Manager in Australia.

You should complete a relevant degree, such as a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management). This normally takes three years of full-time study.

Alternatively, a VET qualification such as a Certificate IV in Human Resource Management or Diploma of Human Resources Management can be a good starting point to introduce you to the skills required for the role.

It’s also a good idea to secure an internship while studying to apply your skills under the guidance of experienced HR Managers in an organisation.

If you already have a Bachelor degree in another discipline you can upskill by completing a Postgraduate degree in HRM, such as a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management or Master of Human Resources Management.

What are the potential Career outcomes for HR Managers?

Here are some potential career outcomes for HR Managers in Australia:

  • HR Manager or Director
  • Talent Acquisition Manager
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • Organizational Development Manager
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • HR Consultant or Advisor
  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Manager
  • Training and Development Manager
  • Diversity and Inclusion Manager
  • Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

These roles can involve managing teams, implementing HR strategies and policies, overseeing recruitment and retention, managing employee relations and engagement, overseeing compensation and benefits programs, managing performance evaluations and training initiatives, advising and consulting with higher-level executives, and more. HR Managers can also transition to general management positions beyond HR roles.

What are the job market trends for HR Managers in Australia?

According to the Australian Government's Job Outlook advice, the job market for HR Managers in Australia is projected to remain stable over the next few years.

Some key trends in the job market for HR Managers include a growing emphasis on the use of technology and data analysis in HR management, an increased focus on diversity and inclusion, and a greater demand for HR Managers with experience and skills related to talent management and employee engagement.

For international students who would like to stay on in Australia under the Graduate Work Visa scheme after graduating the job opportunities for HR Managers are very good.

There are currently over 2,300 HR Manager jobs advertised on SEEK in Australia at the moment with a projected job growth over the next 5 years of 16.3% and a typical salary of $120,000 and in some cases up to $150,000 per year depending on the industry, location, and experience required.

What are the HR Manager Professional Bodies in Australia?

There are several HR Manager Professional Bodies in Australia:

  1. Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) - This is the peak body for HR professionals in Australia and offers many resources and services for its members, including professional development opportunities, networking events, and a job board.
  2. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) - This is a global professional body for HR and people development, with a presence in Australia. Members can access a wide range of resources such as research, events, and development tools.
  3. Australian Institute of Management (AIM) - AIM offers a range of professional development courses for HR professionals, as well as events and networking opportunities.
  4. Business Education Network (BEN) - BEN provides a range of services for HR professionals, including training, consulting, and networking opportunities.
  5. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) - SHRM is a global professional body for HR professionals, with a presence in Australia. Members can access a range of resources including research, tools, and events.

Working as an HR Manager can be very rewarding. HR Managers are responsible for managing and developing the organisation’s workforce, nurturing employee engagement and loyalty. This role provides significant opportunities for personal and professional growth, including working with diverse employee groups, handling complex business situations, and making a significant impact on the organisation's success. HR Managers often find their work incredibly fulfilling as they get to shape and improve the employee experience, contributing to the overall success of the organisation.

If you’re looking to launch your career as a HR Manager and get some experience in Australia, ask us for advice on studying a Human Resource Management program in Australia.

Contact us and we’ll help you to find the right program that will suit you and your career goals.

Find a Course
Find a Course