What is HR operations?

Human resources operations (not to be confused with people operations) is a crucial function within an organization, managing the administrative and practical aspects of day-to-day HR activities. 

HR operations is the backbone of the HR department, ensuring various HR processes and systems run smoothly—including recruitment, onboarding, payroll administration, employee relations, compliance, and more.

What are HR operations’ goals?

  1. Efficiency and accuracy. To optimize HR processes, reduce manual tasks, and minimize errors in HR operations.
  2. Compliance. To ensure compliance with labor laws, regulations, and company policies so that there’s less legal risk.
  3. Good employee relations. To create positive relationships that support an organization’s people, helping them to perform at their best.
  4. Scalability. To enable an organization’s people to grow along with the company so  the workforce can continue to meet the business’s changing needs.

What are HR operations’ responsibilities?

  • Onboarding and offboarding. Managing the entire employee lifecycle, from hiring to exit processes.
  • Payroll and benefits administration. Handling compensation and benefits for professionals, ensuring accurate and timely payroll processing.
  • Data management. Maintaining records and data accuracy, as well as protecting sensitive information.
  • Compliance and legal. Making sure HR processes comply with labor laws, regulations, and company policies.
  • Workforce planning. Assisting with an organization’s overall HR strategy, including workforce planning, succession, and recruitment.
  • Training and development. Managing training programs, tracking people’s progress, identifying areas for improvement, and creating opportunities for career progression.
  • Conflict resolution. Handling disputes among professionals.
  • Health and safety. Supporting people’s wellbeing with a safe and healthy work environment by establishing safety policies and reporting processes, as well as conducting training.
  • HR tech management. Implementing and overseeing software tools such as human resource information systems (HRIS), performance management software, and applicant tracking tools.

What is the role of an HR operations manager?

The HR operations manager oversees the day-to-day running of all HR operations (while the HR operations director focuses on the overall strategy). 

They collaborate with other HR leaders to make sure all processes align to further the company’s goals. 

They supervise HR staff and HR operations specialists, ensuring that work is completed. The HR operations manager also provides people with any support they may need. They extend this support to people across the organization—addressing complex HR issues and offering guidance. 

The HR operations manager identifies opportunities to implement HR best practices, boosting efficiency and reducing operational costs. They analyze the available HR data to make decisions on resource allocation and workforce planning and implement HR technology solutions to increase automation.

It’s also the HR operations manager’s responsibility to stay up to date on relevant laws and regulations to ensure compliance. 

What is an HR operations manager’s salary?

The salary of an HR operations manager varies based on experience, location, organization size, and industry.

But, on average, they earn around US$123,000 per year in the United States, £64,495 in the United Kingdom, and A$130,000 in Australia, for example.  

Highly experienced managers in large organizations can earn more than that—up to US$164,000, £75,000, and A$152,500 in fact—while those in smaller companies, or with less experience, usually earn around US$87,000, £47,000, or A$115,800. 

Location has a strong influence on salary levels, with larger cities generally offering higher compensation.

How can HR tech help with HR operations?

HR technology forms an integral part of HR operations because it comes with many benefits:

  1. Automation. HR tech automates repetitive tasks like payroll processing, onboarding, and benefits administration, freeing up time HR professionals typically spend on admin.
  2. Data management. HR tech solutions keep data on an organization’s professionals accurate and up to date, enabling better decision-making and reporting.
  3. Compliance management. HR software makes it easy to stay compliant with the latest regulations and labor laws.
  4. Self-service portals. HR tech improves operational efficiency by allowing people to access HR information, request time off, and update personal details through self-service portals.
  5. Analytics and reporting. HR tech helps organizations make informed, data-driven decisions with data analytics tools that provide in-depth insights into workforce trends.
  6. Recruitment and talent management. Many HR tools come with features for applicant tracking, candidate assessment, and talent management, making it easier to take care of recruitment and the organization’s workforce.
  7. Performance management. Some HR systems support performance assessments, goal setting, and feedback processes, helping professionals perform at their best.
  8. Learning and development. Solutions like learning management systems (LMS) give team members access to educational resources and help HR create and manage professional training programs.

HR operations is integral to modern organizations. It ensures a company’s smooth day-to-day functioning and significantly contributes to a positive work environment. Most importantly, it helps increase job satisfaction, boost productivity, and improve business performance—enabling professionals and the company as a whole to thrive.