Oh My Job is a web series that helps you learn about specific roles from the people who carry them out every day. In this episode, human resources director Jérémy shares his professional insights and daily working life at Deliveroo, France. Whether dealing with recruitment, career development, team building, or administration, the HR director’s duties all have one thing in common—the human factor.
The role of an HR director (HRD) is often mistakenly seen as being just about recruitment. However, this generalist position includes overseeing many group-wide projects and responsibilities that have a direct impact on operations. For instance, once a candidate has been successfully recruited, the HRD is in charge of the onboarding process and integration of the new employees within the company. Additionally, they may also be required to organize events to create links between existing employees, such as team-building sessions or seminars. More specifically, the HRD also helps their colleagues gain new skills by organizing training with specific teams.
Last but not least, the HRD looks after the administrative aspects of the HR department, such as the drafting of contracts and their potential renewals. In short, an HRD’s responsibilities don’t stop at the recruiting stage, but also involve supporting and assisting employees throughout their time with the company.
“The skills required to be an HRD are all about being a good generalist and also knowing something about every aspect of the role, which is very wide-ranging in its scope,” explains Jérémy.
The path leading to the position of HRD isn’t a fast and simple one, as it generally requires obtaining both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Those with MBAs with HR management specialization, or a qualification in law, sociology and/or psychology, are best equipped to gain access to this role. As the job comes with a high level of responsibility, years of experience in other administrative roles, such as HR manager, recruitment officer, or operations manager, are necessary.
Finally, it’s important to bear in mind that a promotion in-house is still the best way to reach the position of HRD.
An HRD must demonstrate a degree of emotional intelligence pertaining to the profession’s human aspect. The duties performed require that the individual displays a great deal of transparency with every member of the company. Honesty is key to helping create a climate of trust and goodwill between employees.
Significant skills in conversation and negotiation are also required to reconcile management’s interests with those of the employees.
Finally, the HRD must be a trustworthy person and remain professional in all circumstances, as she or he is privy to sensitive and personal information about every employee.
“An HR director must never lie. You have to be very clear with everyone, and that’s the most complicated part, because there are things that you don’t have the right to say,” says Jérémy.
The role of HRD involves fostering a special closeness with the rest of the company, including both employees and managers, while also executing managerial functions and overseeing and leading the whole HR team during day-to-day operations. Being HRD means you are also one of the management team’s most privileged points of contact regarding operational issues.
“What I like most is having an impact. It’s being able to discuss both the strategy and the functional impact that it has on the day-to-day working lives of each of my colleagues,” says Jérémy.
In the United States, the average monthly salary for a junior HRD is $5,000 before tax, and about $7,500 for a more senior profile.
After several years in this position, the role of HRD might evolve to encompass broader responsibilities and lead to becoming a chief administrative officer or administrative director. Additionally, many former HRDs turn to consulting or coaching, taking the opportunity to bring their operational expertise to a variety of audiences and companies.
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