Qualifications and qualities of a HR manager


The functions of personnel management vary from organization to organization both in nature and degree. So, the qualifications required of a personnel manager differ from organization to organization depending on its nature, size, location etc. However, the qualification and qualities which will be applicable in general can be summarized as follows:

Personal Attributes:

The personnel manager, as in case of any other manager, must have initiative, resourcefulness, depth of perception, maturity in judgment and analytical ability. Freedom from bias would enable the personnel manager to take an objectives view of both of management and workers. He must thus have intellectual integrity. Moreover, the personnel manager should be thorough will labor laws. An understanding of human behavior is essential to the personnel manager. The personnel manager must be familiar with human needs, wants, hopes and desires, values, aspirations etc., without which adequate motivation is impossible.

The Personnel Manager should also possess other personal attributes like:

1. Intelligence: This includes skills to communicate, articulate, moderate, understand, command over language, mental ability, tact in dealing with people intelligently, ability to draft agreements, policies etc.

2. Educational Skills: Personnel Manager should possess learning and teaching skills as he has to learn and teach employees about the organizational growth, need for and mode of development of individuals etc.

3. Discriminating Skills: Personnel manager should have the ability to discriminate between right and wrong, between the just and unjust, merit and demerit.

4. Executing Skills: The Personnel Manager is expected to execute the management’s decisions regarding personnel issues with speed, accuracy and objectivity. He should also be able to streamline the office, set standards of performance, co-ordinate, control etc.

Further, the personnel manager is expected to have leadership qualities: deep faith in human values, empathy with human problems, foreseeing future needs of employees, organization, government, trade unions, society etc.

Experience and Training:

Pervious experience is undoubtedly an advantage provided the experience was in an appropriate environment and in the same area. Training in psychological aspects, labor legislations and more specifically in personnel management and general management is an additional benefit. Experience in an enterprise in some other executive capacity can also help towards an appreciation of the general management problems and a practical approach in meeting personnel problems.

Professional Attitude:

Finally, professional attitudes are more necessary particularly in Indian context. The personnel managers’ job, as in the case of other managers is getting professionalized. He should have patience and understanding ability to listen before offering advice. He should have Knowledge of various disciplines like technology, engineering management, sociology, psychology, philosophy, human physiology, economics, commerce, and law. He must be able to couple his social justice with a warm personal interest in people which must be secured by an uncommon degree of common sense.


Qualifications prescribed for the post of Personnel Manager vary from industry to industry and from State to State. These qualifications have been undergoing several changes from time to time.

In India the qualifications demanded by almost all the companies are M.B.A. with HR specialization or M.A. (Social sciences) from reputed institutes like Institute of Tata Social sciences or Xavier Labor Institute and a few other Institutes. However some organizations internally promote or transfer some competent managers to HR positions to provide growth opportunity. Even reputed companies like L&T, Hindusthan Lever and others have adopted the transfer measure to fill up personnel positions as and when required. Even managers with Engineering qualifications from Materials management, Production functions were made Head of HR department in some reputed firms.

It is the competency, personnel handling & negotiating skills that are required more than the qualifications. Labor laws and acts can be briefed by experts in the organization or outside consultants if the manager does not have the specific qualifications which cover the legal aspects.

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