illustrate the hr responsibilities of line and staff managers

Illustrate the hr responsibilities of line and staff managers

All managers in organizations have to carry out the same basic 5 functions, which are namely: 1) planning the strategies an organization must take, 2) organizing the people so that they can work upon those strategies, 3) leading the people towards the attainment of those strategies in the most cost effective manner, 4) controlling the events before and after attainment of the goals to maximize the company’s profits and finally 5) staffing (which refers to the selection of the best employees most suitable for aiding the company in achieving its goals with minimum effort to be spent on them to affiliate them with the organization). However, the last function is strictly in the HR domain as Human Resource (or Human Resource Management) is that branch of the organization which deals with the obtaining of the employees, their respective training for their work requirement, their payment for the work that they have done and attending to their basic needs while they are working in the organization. So the impression that we can get of the duties of the HRM is that they are the ones responsible for recruiting the employees and after selecting the most appropriate people for the jobs, they must take care of the workforce and tend to their needs to keep them satisfied with their work environment and with their compensation for the job that they have done.

In every organization there are three levels of management: Line managers, Staff managers and Executive managers. The executive level basically is the level which deals with the major framing of company’s goals and company’s aim. The CEO and executive staff fall under this classification. This group has relatively little concern with the employee care. For this reason they designate the responsibility to the Line and Staff managers.

The Line managers are described as the level of managers who are directed to oversee the work of subordinates. They are directly supervising the personnel so are most adept to handling their concerns over management practices and their basic needs and requirements. Aside from the above stated responsibility, line managers must also be responsible for the attainment of the company’s goals placed down by the Executive and Staff management. So this makes the responsibility of the Line managers crucial for any organization as they are in such a position that they not only supervise the majority of the employees but are also a decisive factor in establishing a company’s growth and goal attainment.

The Staff management constitutes management lying above the Line management layer and specializes in dealing with assisting the Line managers and addressing their requirements. They aim to consider the requests of Line managers and try to accomplish them.

The HR Responsibilities:

The HR responsibilities of Line managers are very extensive. Since they are the immediate supervisors they have to be the ones listening to the demands directly from the employees. They must conduct hiring tests and procedures, they must forward short-listed candidates to Staff managers for deliberation, the selected candidates need to go through orientation to adjust them with the company, they have to train employees how to optimize procedures in their jobs, they have to foster healthy workplace environment amongst employees and create a nurturing environment between management and employees, they have to help employees improve their skills and make the workplace a learning opportunity for them, and finally they must also be responsible for the safety and well-being of all the employees.

As the fore-mentioned list shows the Line managers have their hands full with all the responsibility of handling the needs of both the organization and the employees. They have to act as a bridge between the two as to promote productive growth of the company.

The Staff management as mentioned earlier is there to support the Line managers in meeting the goals set by the organization. For that purpose they often act as intermediaries between the Line managers and higher ups in gaining budgets for their purposes. They also take over Line manager’s tasks which are often time consuming and hectic. For example, the hiring of new employees. Staff managers conduct the selection procedure based on demands made by Line managers and their requirements about the employees to be hired. After selecting the most suitable candidates out of the numerous people applying for the post they forward the list to Line managers to interview the candidates and select the one they deem to be most appropriate. Thus, working in unison with Line managers, Staff managers perform a crucial task of HRM. Even though the Line managers have a very important role in HRM, Staff management helps them in the more mundane tasks.


We can see from the discussion above the HR responsibilities of the two types of management levels; Line management making the crucial day to day decisions about employees well being and motivation whereas Staff management acting as a bridge or intermediary between higher ups and Line managers and supporting them in their more mundane tasks. The responsibilities though different from each other in nature as well as importance must work in accordance with each other. If the two levels do not support and complement each other then the organization would go in chaos. Taking the hiring example, if Staff management forwards the names of incapable clients then eventually the Line managers will have the wrong people in attempting to meet the organization’s set goals. Both need to work in harmony with each other to promote a healthy workplace and effective work force.

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