How to hire an HR manager

TL;DR: An HR manager ensures your company complies with employment laws, helps maintain a healthy and diverse working culture, and facilitates communication between management and employees. That makes hiring an HR professional one of the most critical decisions a company can make. 

This playbook provides a step-by-step guide for finding and hiring the perfect HR manager for your business.

The operations team is stretched thin, and the CEO barely has time for a coffee break. Meanwhile, open positions need to be filled ASAP, and your people expect more employee-focused initiatives. But bringing in quality talent while supporting your staff is a double challenge for HR, making this an often lengthy and demanding process.

Why? Because no one has the capacity to take over recruiting, onboarding, learning and development, team building, employee check-ins, and other essential people tasks at the same time/all at once.

An HR manager is the glue that holds your team together, and in this playbook, we’ll walk you through how you can attract and hire the best HR talent — so your company operates sustainably and always has a competitive edge.

Why should you hire an HR manager?

A human resources manager, or HR manager, has the core expertise necessary to run a successful business and build scalable people operations. 

Getting down to the nitty-gritty of it, human resources managers can support you with HR functions like:

  • Staffing: A good HR manager can find and help retain highly qualified candidates by taking care of every step of the recruitment process — from job posting online to reviewing applications, hiring, and onboarding new employees.
  • Employee development and learning: Encouraging the continuous professional development of your employees boosts performance and increases satisfaction and retention rates. 
  • Compensation and rewards: HR departments are in charge of fair, transparent, and consistent compensation management. That means administering payroll, promoting fairly, and making sure your company offers appropriate benefits.
  • Safety and employee health: Ensuring the fair treatment and safety of employees is one of the most critical functions of HR. For example, offering access to mental health resources (like meditation apps or mindfulness training) or verifying that necessary safety signs, like fire exits, are in place at the office. 
  • Labor relations and compliance: HR departments protect your company’s well-being by making certain you’re compliant with national and local employment laws and regulations. Some examples in the United States include ADA, FMLA, and FLSA.
  • Employee satisfaction: An HR director is directly involved in increasing staff satisfaction by addressing and resolving complaints and managing employee relations. That could mean organizing talks on how to avoid unconscious bias and resolving miscommunications in the office.

Hiring HR in-house vs. recruiting

When hiring a dedicated HR manager, you can either promote an in-house employee, transfer someone interested in making a career move from another department, or recruit externally. Generally, providing opportunities for internal mobility is more cost-effective and leads to greater employee satisfaction, while recruiting externally can inject new ideas and skill sets into departments and increase diversity.

Let’s look at each approach’s pros and cons in more detail.

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👟 Help your human resources manager hit the ground running! 

Leapsome’s all-in-one people enablement solution can support your HR team by reducing manual processes and bridging the gap between employees and leadership teams.  

Request a demo

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Finding your dream HR manager might not be an easy task, but your time investment will pay off in the long run
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Wann Sie dieses Playbook verwenden sollten

When to use
this playbook

Use this playbook when your company is thinking about hiring its first dedicated HR professional.

There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for knowing the best time to bring a new hire on board. But there are some clear indicators, like when your business is:

  • Focusing on scaling
  • Struggling with high employee turnover
  • Working to increase employee satisfaction and decrease burnout
  • Spending too much time on admin tasks
  • ‍Operating in a highly regulated industry and navigating legal compliance
  • Having difficulty attracting the right talent

Hiring the perfect HR manager makes teams collaborate more efficiently, encourages growth, and makes your company a better place to work.

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Was Sie für dieses Playbook benötigen

What you’ll need for
this playbook

A growth mindset

Your new HR employee won’t know how to do everything right off the bat. That’s what onboarding and training are there for. Rather than looking for a potential candidate who ticks every single box, allow for people’s improvement and growth as you’re narrowing down applicants. Sometimes a culture fit is more important than years of extensive experience.


Finding your dream candidate takes time. The best human resources manager won’t just have an impressive CV — they’ll also be an excellent communicator, kind, empathetic, and organized. They’ll have to understand your business, and industry, and must be comfortable making hard decisions. But when you do find them, the whole recruitment process will be so worth it.

Hinweise & Tipps
  • Offer regular career development talks as an employee benefit — it’ll attract quality talent because it demonstrates your interest in your people’s professional development.
  • Pay attention to how familiar your candidates are with HR technology — or at least if they’re open to letting go of manual processes and embracing HR tech tools.
  • ‍Include salary range data in job descriptions to promote transparency and save time during the recruitment process.
  • You can introduce new HR managers to your team by asking them to record a short video about themselves and share it via Slack, or answer 3–5 non-work-related questions about themselves.

How to run this People Ops Playbook:

Wie Sie dieses People Ops Playbook durchführen:

1. Determine what you need

Before you do anything else, narrow down exactly what you need your HR specialist to do and what specific qualities you’re looking for.

Getting clear on your company’s current status is one way to determine your needs. Ask yourself:

  • Are we looking to grow quickly? If yes, you’ll need someone who can develop a strategic plan outlining your future direction, create a vision, build an HR strategy, and make your current processes scalable.
  • Do we need someone to manage smaller (but important) daily tasks? Then you need a highly detail-oriented person who feels comfortable in the weeds of it all.
  • Are our current employees on the verge of burnout? This might mean you need to hire more talent and make designing an effective, reliable hiring process your current HR priority.
  • Is keeping your company compliant with local and national laws a pressing matter? Then look for someone who has experience with employment laws and regulations.

The list goes on, but it’s essential to outline these requirements from the get-go so they can guide you throughout your recruitment process.

2. Craft a clear job description

Next, it’s time to work on your HR manager’s job description. A clear job description attracts the right type of applicant and helps manage expectations. Here are some key items to include in your description:

  • Company description: Let your company culture shine through! Tell applicants about the growth opportunities you offer and give them a feel for what they can expect from you.
  • Job title: For example, HR Specialist.
  • Role objective: Be as clear and concise as possible. Here’s where your needs and expectations from the previous steps can really come in handy.
  • Skills and qualifications: This should include soft and hard skills. For example, be a team player, proficient with an array of  HR technology tools, and results-driven.
  • Benefits. Your job description is a great way for candidates to get a feel for your company, so outline the benefits you offer — like a remote work stipend or a professional development budget to cover expenses for courses and HR conferences.

3. Promote your position in the right channels

In addition to increasing your job posting’s visibility, this step is about attracting the right type of candidates. For example, asking for referrals and tapping into your social networks, like LinkedIn or Slack communities for HR/People Ops, might yield better results than posting your job description on sites like Glassdoor or Indeed.

4. Interview candidates

Your candidate will be gauging your company just as much as the reverse. So run-of-the-mill “what are your strengths and weaknesses” questions will tell applicants you’re not putting as much effort into recruitment as they are. 

Instead, try asking more interesting and relevant questions during interviews, like:

  • Can you describe your hiring approach and how it helps attract quality talent?
  • How can we stay compliant with local and national laws?
  • What actions would you take to foster an excellent company culture?
  • What’s one thing that excites you about working with us in particular?

5. Communicate with employees

If this is your company’s first HR hire, communicate to current employees why you’re setting up human resources management and what it’ll bring to the company.

Some of your employees might have reservations and questions about your new HR hire and the direction the company’s taking, so take your time to answer their concerns candidly.

“Not hiring an HR manager is something I see a lot in startups that have hit their stride and are starting to grow. They think: ‘Why have an HR manager? We’ve never needed one before, and that feels too corporate…’ 

Once [your company grows] though, an HR manager becomes indispensable not just to help manage hiring and mediate disputes, but as someone who can begin to shape culture for new hires.” — Dragos Badea, CEO of Yarooms

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Narrowing down your needs and expectations early will help guide you throughout the process of hiring a human resources manager

Follow-up best practices for hiring an HR manager

Prepare your onboarding steps & get ready to welcome your new hire

You’re not only welcoming a new employee — if this is your first HR hire, you’re also creating a new structure within your company! Make sure you have a productive and efficient onboarding process planned, so the transition is smooth for everybody.

Make HR managers’ work easier with Leapsome

Leapsome is the only platform that closes the loop between performance management, employee engagement, and learning. 

Once you’ve hired and onboarded your new HR person, set them up for success by ensuring they’re not overburdened with manual processes.

Leapsome accomplishes this by providing an all-in-one solution for people enablement, including everything from onboarding surveys to engagement surveys, learning paths, and career progression frameworks.

💪 Reduce manual processes and attract the best talent

Leapsome supports your HR team by offering engagement, motivation, and compensation tools that help build a healthy work culture and increase employee satisfaction.  

Request a demo
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I hire a human resources manager?

To find the perfect human resources professional for your business:

  • Determine your needs and expectations
  • Craft a clear job description that shows your company culture
  • Promote your position in the right channels 
  • Interview candidates and ask meaningful questions
  • Communicate with employees about the new role

When should I hire an HR manager?

You should consider hiring an HR professional if you’re:

  • A fast-growing company or startup
  • Focusing on scalability
  • Struggling with high employee turnover
  • Working to increase employee satisfaction
  • Spending more time on administrative and manual processes than you should
  • Operating in a highly regulated industry and navigating compliance concerns
  • Having difficulty attracting the right talent 

Do I need an HR department?

Having a dedicated human resources department isn’t always necessary for very small businesses; you should consider hiring an HR manager as your company grows and if:

  • Your employee engagement and retention are falling
  • You need to navigate compliance concerns
  • The hiring process and other HR duties are getting too time-consuming
  • Internal employee relations are suffering

How do I find the best human resources manager?

Once you’ve narrowed down your needs and expectations for your HR role, post a clear job description to the right channels like LinkedIn and HR Slack communities. Don’t forget to ask your network for referrals and recommendations, as the best HR professionals have wide networks.

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