How To Become An HR Manager In Australia In 2024

Is a career in Human Resources Management right for you?


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Last updated: May 20th, 2024

how to become a hr manager australia

Last updated: May 20th, 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you’re wondering how to become an HR manager in Australia, the below steps will have you on your way. It’s a job with strong possibilities because people are at the core of any company.

Having satisfied, fulfilled workers inspired by their responsibilities is key to a positive workplace culture.

As Steve Wynn said,

“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.”

The Human Resources department plays a crucial role in managing recruitment, employee training, staff development, promotions, payroll and more. 

If you’re a: 

  • People person, with a talent for smoothing out conflict.
  • Deep thinker, able to consider nuance.
  • Strategic decision-maker, able to make tough calls quickly.

Then Human Resources Management is for you. Read on to discover how to become an HR manager in Australia.

human resources management salary australia

What Is Human Resource Management?

A human resource manager is responsible for a company’s workforce by: 

  • Recruitment And Termination: Managing and coordinating the recruitment process for new employees. They terminate positions following organisational policies.
  • Benefits: Managing employee benefits, compensation, and performance management. 
  • Compliance: Ensuring an organisation’s policies and practices comply with labour laws and regulations. 
  • Culture: Improving company performance by fostering a healthy work environment. 
  • Leadership: Making decisions aligned with business goals and providing employees with the tools to achieve them.

Ultimately, a human resource manager empowers an organisation to reach its full potential. 

(Related: 10 Rules For Nailing The Corporate Dress Code).

What Does A Human Resources Manager Do?

While one person cannot perform all required duties, HR managers (along with the rest of the HR department) support the broader organisation and acts as a touch point for both managers and employees.  

The duties of HR managers in Australia look like this:

1. Recruitment & Training.

An HRM is responsible for staffing the company with the right employees by:

  • Advertising job openings.
  • Meeting and interviewing prospective hires.
  • Creating hiring packages to attract suitable candidates.

The human resources manager runs or oversees the selection process to determine whether a person is qualified and suitable for hire.

Finally, they ensure that all employees receive appropriate training and orientation to prepare for their roles. 

2. Staff Performance Management And Evaluation.

The human resources manager then monitors an employee’s progress. They ensure: 

  • Workers receive adequate compensation for any work performed.
  • A worker’s strengths, weaknesses and improvement are reviewed regularly.
  • Professional direction is offered to all employees, regardless of position.

3. Fostering A Safe Work Environment.

For the human resources manager to positively impact company morale, they must facilitate a secure environment where employees are comfortable and motivated. 

The human resources manager holds the responsibility to deal with issues of:

  • Emotional or physical harassment.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • Personal issues.
  • Discrimination.
  • Bullying.
  • Staff wellbeing.

Expert Tip.

A successful HRM will foster an open-door policy where concerns will be discussed and dealt with promptly, before escalating into significant workplace issues.

4. Compliance With Labour Laws And Regulations.

Human Resource Management includes ensuring that all company practices comply with Australian law. These laws cover the following: 

  • Minimum wage.
  • Overtime pay.
  • Health insurance.
  • Legal residency status.
  • Family leave.
  • Employee benefits.

The human resources manager will conduct regular reviews to ensure that company policies align with national laws and that employees feel supported.

Expert Tip.

Implementing industrial relations procedures becomes part of the human resources remit at the more senior levels. Expect to own this responsibility once you step up to the HR Business Partner or HR Director level.

5. Managing Employee Benefits.

According to AON, 32% of employees cite benefits as a reason to stay with their organisation.

You can offer a range of benefits – all of which result in more productive and fulfilled employees. 

The HRM may create incentive programs and employee recognition plans, inclusive of: 

  • Cash or gift cards.
  • Stock options.
  • Scheduled time off.
  • Bonuses.
  • Gifted experiences.
  • Workplace perks (gym memberships).

The key is to provide sufficient recognition for workers who are loyal, productive, and creative and make it known that you appreciate their efforts.

As a human resource management professional, you’ll also ensure that employees receive coverage under health and retirement plans.

Ensure you keep track of time or milestones accrued by each employee, and work with them to arrange coverage/benefits once eligible. 

(Related: The Great Resignation Is Over).

How To Become An HR Manager In Australia.

Now for the fun part! The steps below will ensure you quickly progress to becoming a human resources manager in Australia.

1. Complete Your Education.

Formal education, plus learning from industry professionals, will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in HR. 

Your options are: 

  • Diploma in Human Resources Management: This is an excellent foundation of knowledge. You can use credit points toward a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Bachelor in Human Resource Management: Many employers look for this qualification, as it demonstrates a commitment to the field and will separate you from your peers. 
  • Bachelor of Business, Majoring in HR: This will provide a more diverse range of business-related subjects such as strategy, employment law, performance management, and organisational development. 
  • Short Courses: Classes and courses focusing on psychology and ethics are great tools to equip you with general and industry-specific knowledge.
  • Master in Business Administration (MBA): An optional MBA program will provide you with more profound knowledge of HR practices. This higher level of study will assist you in the next step of your career if you wish to move on to more senior roles. 

2. Gain Experience.

If you’re looking for an HR manager role, you need to stand out from the crowd, but getting your foot in the door can be challenging.

Our tips:

Find A Work Experience Placement.

  • Organise an internship. These allow you to shadow HR professionals and are an excellent networking opportunity, exposing you to various job opportunities. 
  • Take a shorter work placement through your university course to gain practical experience in a professional setting. 
  • Contact your school’s career centre to enquire about enrolling in an internship as a subject towards your degree.

Consider Entry Level Roles.

  • HR assistant or coordinator roles involve scheduling interviews, maintaining employee records, and assisting with onboarding and training processes.
  • These positions allow you to learn through osmosis before taking on added responsibility. 

Roll Up Your Sleeves And Volunteer.

  • This is a great way to gain experience with a company of your choice. 
  • Non-profit organisations and community groups have HR-related volunteer positions that allow you to gain necessary HR training.
  • The bonus is that it looks great on your resume! 
  • Head here to explore more.

3. Develop Your Skill Set.

You’ll need to work on specific skills to become an effective and emotionally intelligent and effective HR manager. Don’t forget to:

1. Improve Your Communication Skills.

Practical communication skills are essential. As a human resource management professional, you will be responsible for the following:

  • Communicating with employees, managers, and external partners.
  • Sharing sensitive information.
  • Providing guidance and support to multiple personality types.
  • Facilitating discussions and negotiations between different levels of superiority.
  • Resolving workplace conflicts.

As the core of the business, you will be responsible for building rapport and dissolving fires. 


Aim to establish a transparent and open communication culture (you included), which will positively impact employee engagement and satisfaction.

2. Improve Your Organisational Skills.

The day-to-day tasks of human resources managers involve duties that must be prioritised simultaneously.

Effective organisational skills are critical for managing workload and responsibilities.

If you can efficiently plan, prioritise, and coordinate tasks productively and calmly – you’ll be a star human resources manager. 

3. Sharpen Your Decision-Making Skills.

HR managers make crucial decisions that directly impact the organisation and its employees. 

You need to feel confident making difficult decisions around: 

  • Hiring and firing employees.
  • Implementing policies and procedures.
  • Handling employee conflicts and issues.
  • Passing on information to relevant parties.

Practical decision-making skills will help you navigate complex and challenging situations and solve problems creatively.

4. Work On Your Agility And Change Management.

Potami notes that the HR field is constantly evolving, and 2024 will be no different. HR managers must adapt to new laws, regulations, policies, and organisational changes. 

You can become an unstoppable force by: 

  • Having vital agility and change management skills.
  • Effectively adapting to industry changes.
  • Supporting your team to welcome change.
  • Modelling behaviour through positivity and openness.

Should You Join The Australian Human Resources Institute?

As a part of its commitment to the education of human resources, the Australian HR Institute hosts several conferences and other events both regionally and nationally.

The AHRI also has certification and training options for human resources professionals, regardless of what stage of your career you’re at.

Opportunities at the AHRI are available for individuals, groups, human resource functions, and organisations of all sizes.

Interested In Other Careers?

If you’re wondering what other career options are right for you, check out our guides:

How To Become A Product Manager

Final Thoughts About Human Resource Management.

If you’ve been curious about how to become a human resource manager in Australia, we hope this guide has clarified things for you.

HR Managers in Australia must master various skills and learn to coordinate all departments in a company. 

Whilst a high level of responsibility and competency will take time to achieve – with dedication and a willingness to learn, you can carve out a successful career as a human resources manager in any industry.


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