The Line Manager VS Human Resource Managers

Posted: January 15, 2012 in HR, Management
Tags: , , ,

Every organization have line managers and HR managers. However, many companies fail to understand the difference and thus lead to interpretation between the two. Hence, it becomes necessary to indentify each department’s roles and responsibilities.

We all know and experts have agreed that all managers perform five basic functions.

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Staffing
  • Leading
  • Controlling

Human Resource Management is the process of acquiring, training, appraising and compensating employees. Further, it also looks into labor relations, Health & Safety concerns and fairness concerns.

So, here I would like to define the roles and responsibilities of Line Manager and Human Resource Managers.

Line Managers Duties

  • Placing the right person on the right job
  • Employee orientation
  • Training employees for jobs that are new to them
  • Improving job performance
  • Gaining creative cooperation and developing smooth working relationship
  • Interpreting companies policies and procedures
  • Developing the abilities of each employees
  • Creating and maintaining department morale
  • Protecting employee health and safety

Human Resource Manager

  • Support Line functions
  • Coordination
  • Ensuring line managers are implementing the firms human resource policies and practises
  • Understanding companies staffing requirements and strategies
  • Hiring employees
  • Rewarding employees
  • Counselling employees
  • Promoting and firing of employees

Line Manager VS HR Manager

Because both Line and HR managers have HR duties, it is useful to ask “exactly which duties are carried out by Line manager and HR Manager?”

This relationship should be cooperative. For example, in recruiting and hiring, the Line Manager describes the qualifications and skills required. Then the HR takes over and they develop sources of qualified applications and conduct initial screening and interviewing. HR Managers then refer the applicants to the Line Manager who then interviews and select the ones he/she wants.

In training, the Line Manager again describes what he/she wants or expects the employees to do. Then the HR Manager takes on. The HR Managers team devices training program, which the Line Manager the (usually) administers.

The Co-Relation between HR Manager and Line Managers Roles


  • Need justification and requirements (Line Manager)
  • Job Analysis (HR)
  • Job Description writing (HR)
  • Job Specification writing (HR)
  • Approval of both (Line Manager)


  • Application Review (HR)
  • Initial Review (HR)
  • Short Listing (HR)
  • All Test (HR)
  • Reference Check (HR)
  • Final Interview/selection (Line Manager)

Manpower Planning

  • Committee
  • Coordination of HR
  • Final decision by number/types of committee


  • Initiative can be from HR or Line Manager
  • Program coordination by HR

If HRM is well qualified/experienced and carried a high profile, HRM can influence/persuade the Line Manager in almost all decisions.

If a Line Manager have more influence/weight in the organization, as well as personality wise, the Line Manager will run over HRM.

In summary, HR is part of every manager’s job. We should get the CEO’s and senior managements to clearly define the roles and responsibilities and leave no room for interpretations. 

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