HR Manager vs. Administration Manager: What are Their Roles?

February 22, 20211:34 pm422 views
HR Manager vs. Administration Manager: What are Their Roles?
Image source: Rawpixel

The scope of the Human Resources Managers is enormous; they are responsible for overseeing human resources activities and policies, according to executive-level directions. HR managers also supervise human resources staff as well as see staffing, compensation, assessing, and providing employee benefits, training and development, safety and welfare, maintaining healthy labour practices, and so on. 

While the responsibilities of HR managers are plenty, they are not working alone. HR management is divided into several branches, thus covers all details of each responsibility. Process Associate Babasab Patil wrote that a typical HR department might be headed by a director, under whom, are the manager training, manager HRD, manager industrial relations, and manager administrations associated with. The composition is shown below: 

HR Manager vs. Administration Manager: What are Their Roles?

In small organisations, however, there might be no separate HR department. The human resource functions might be carried out by the office manager. For bigger organisations, they usually have a structured chart as shown above, which include chairman or managing director heading the HR department. 

It can be clearly concluded that the difference between an HR manager and Admin manager lies in the responsibilities. HR manager deals with overall recruitment and management of an organisation or a company. Meanwhile, an administration manager works under who deals with the general management of administrations, from top management to the lower manager. Administration manager simply manages the daily operations of a company or an organisation. 

See also: Active vs. Passive Enrollment: Which One is Better?

What does it take to be an HR manager? 

As the work of an HR manager oversees nearly all aspect of HR department job desks, regardless of degree, an HR manager needs to possess these skills: 

  • Math – as an HR manager, you might not need to do as much math as you do in accounting, but a lot of compliance work requires a solid understanding of math and statistics. 
  • Compartmentalisation – a skill to separate professional and personal life apart. 
  • Compassion – you do not need to like your subordinates but you have to show compassion. One of the legal real reasons why compassion is needed: Walgreens spent $180,000 to settle a lawsuit for firing an employee who ate a bag of potato chips without paying first. The reasons? The employee had hypoglycemia and her blood sugar was dropping. 
  • Legal knowledge and understand all details of employees’ needs, including Health Insurance, how to recruit and hire employees, how to conduct onboarding and offboarding, and more. 
  • Discretion – HR managers need to know when to keep information confidential and when to share them. 
What if you want to be an administration manager? 

The work of an administration manager is more specific, including reporting to an HR manager. Generally, as an admin manager, you will have to plan and coordinate administrative procedures and systems, as well as devising ways to streamline processes. You are also responsible for recruiting and training personnel, allocate their responsibilities, and office space. Assessing staff performance and providing coaching and guidance is under your supervisory. 

In addition, while you need to have compassion and understand the details of employee needs as those of an HR manager, an admin manager should be able to understand the administrative process. Industry leader Robert Katz explained in his book that to be an effective administration, one must develop three basic developable skills which might provide a useful way of looking at and understanding an administrative process. The skills include technical, human and conceptual. 

  • Technical skill – This skill implies an understanding of, and proficiency in a specific kind of activity – an activity that involves methods, processes, procedures, or techniques. Technical skills require you to have or learn specialised knowledge, the analytical ability within that speciality, facility in the use of the tools and techniques of a specific discipline. For instance: how much space does it need to accommodate 100 employees so that they can work engagedly and joyfully? 
  • Human skill – The skill is an executive’s ability to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative effort within a team led. Different from a technical skill that is primarily concerned with working with “things”, human skill focuses on working with people. Human skill is like ‘how you manage your team so that they are loyal and productive to their company.” 
  • Conceptual skill – This skill involves the ability to see enterprise as a whole, which includes: 1) recognising how the various functions of an organisation depend on one another; 2) recognising how changes in any one part affects all the others; 3) how these changes can be brought to visualise the relationship of an individual business to industry, community, and political, social, and economic forces of the nation as a whole. Conceptual skill embodies consideration of both technical and human aspects of an organisation. It is an ability to translate knowledge into action. 
Take home note  

In short, HR managers and administration managers share the same responsibilities and might require the same skills. While an HR manager directly reports to the director or CEO, admin managers are responsible to write a report to the HR manager. This could be a different case for small businesses, however, as smaller companies will usually combine the work of HR manager and admin manager to minimise expenses. 

Read also: Employee Turnover vs. Attrition: What are Their Cost to Company?