The Evolving Role of University HR Managers

Guest blog from Kevin Nelson


Universities, as well as other institutions, are highly dependent on the talents acquired by the HR Department.

Depending on how good the HR manager is, the university will or won’t get the best professionals, people with an enormous expertise in the area and perfect fits for the position. And it is thanks to such giants that some universities are considered the best, while others do not reach to that point.

The pressure on the HR managers is enormous, as the expectations to obtain the greatest talents for their college are there to meet.

But talents recruitment is only one responsibility HR managers have. It is something lying on the surface, while there are many other ones that they have to deal with on a regular basis.

According to the University of Iceland, among other responsibilities they have are:

  1. Solving disputes among the personnel;
  2. Controlling the performance and implementation of staff rights and duties;
  3. Creating job descriptions, writing ads and collecting applications;
  4. Providing counseling sessions if needed;
  5. Holding annual evaluation of qualifications and performance;
  6. Supervising the process of employment in all its stages;
  7. Providing facts, statistics and analysis of the staff to the managerial board;
  8. Educating the personnel and offering them training and qualification improvement programs;
  9. Organizing team building sessions;
  10. Termination of employment supervision;
  11. Helping the supervisors in other tasks.

HR managers are at the core of every organization. They make sure that people who work there are happy with the conditions, grow professionally and act proactively in achieving the best results for the school.

Besides, there are always issues connected with the financial limitation that HR department has to deal with. How to hire excellent professionals to educate students and bring up a rising new generation with no decent reward offered? Can you imagine what pressure they face daily when trying to do their best with the resources they have at their disposal?

When we think about it, we feel rather proud of all the job university recruiters do daily.

Moreover, thanks to the HR department managers of the university get sufficient support. They can always rely on people from the HR department who strive to ensure that all the cases are handled fairly and well.

Among other responsibilities these employees have are the atmosphere inside the educational establishment and the general well-being of the personnel. Students tend to choose universities based on what it feels like to be inside that organization, but this atmosphere is built by HRs who acquire the best talents and support them along the way striving to make sure that are happy and comfortable doing what they are doing.

No matter how hard the university tries to be a place, people want to work at, without the insights of HR managers they cannot succeed.

The harmony is achieved with their hands as well. Training, workshops, nights when every department spends time together trying to bond, proper working conditions, and happiness of every employee – all this is on the shoulders of the HR managers.

They also deal with the red tape of the application process, retirement issues, guidance and coordination of duties which serves as the basis of the harmonious functioning of the college.

And just imagine how much paper work they do to ensure that every employee is timely trained, evaluated and promoted! This is a job for someone who has the nerve.

That is why we are not surprised that the specialists of this range are in high demand these days: they serve as the glue that keeps it all together in the academia. They work hard to achieve the most benefits for the employees, they provide services to them on the staff engagement stage, support them during the employment process, and even help when they decide to leave for any reason.

They work on the image of the college, and the effectiveness of their work is closely connected to the talents they acquired with the resources they had access to.

SNHU quotes John Bersin as saying that


“HR is often the first to know if a company has issues with its culture or employee engagement. HR is also uniquely poised to address these matters and implement solutions, which frequently involves coaching leaders.”


So, these specialists invest a lot into the culture and health of the organization they work for. They have to be nothing short of excellent knowledge of their niche, be adaptable and flexible when it comes to talent acquisition and make sure they their colleagues are well-equipped to perform well when doing what they were hired to do. That is why the importance of having a highly-qualified HR at the university is growing so fast!

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