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A personnel director is a human resources (HR) manager at a corporation, government office, university, hospital, or any other professional setting with many employees. He or she is responsible for overseeing many aspects of HR, typically including training programs, payroll and benefits management, and labor relations. Personnel directors at smaller companies often perform many clerical duties themselves, while professionals at large businesses typically supervise the managers of many different HR divisions. The job requires extensive knowledge of company policies and excellent communication skills.
A major role of the personnel director is to oversee hiring and training of new employees. A director often conducts or sits in on interviews to determine whether job seekers would be the right fit for open positions. When new workers are hired, the personnel director often organizes group or individual training programs. He or she also may develop performance review protocols to help HR managers better assess their employees' skills. If refresher courses and reprimands are ineffective at promoting better performance, the director usually has the final say about letting a worker go.
Personnel directors help maximize efficiency, increase profits, and maintain worker satisfaction. They bridge the gap between company executives and HR employees at every level, ensuring that important policies are followed while workers receive fair treatment. When an employee has a complaint or suggestion, he or she can explain the situation to the director, who can in turn consult with executives to find a reasonable solution. In addition, a personnel director often sets wages, grants raises and promotions, and designs benefits packages.
Computer proficiency is essential for a personnel director in most business settings. A director typically spends a large portion of the workday on a computer, reviewing company policies, updating employee files, and scheduling various activities. Written communication skills are important as well to ensure that office memos and e-mail correspondence effectively convey information to workers.
The requirements to become a personnel director can vary between different places of employment. Many companies promote HR workers and managers to director positions after they gain several years of experience and demonstrate competency for the job. People who know they want to become directors can greatly improve their chances of finding work by obtaining advanced degrees in business administration, HR, or labor relations. Most professionals begin their careers as assistant directors to gain experience, receive guidance from a knowledgeable mentor, and master the skills necessary to succeed.