Human Resources Salaries: Tells All

Name: Lance Haun
Job Title: Human Resources Manager
Where: Walla Walla, WA
Employer: QualitySmith, Inc.
Years of Experience: 4
Education: Bachelors in Business Administration (Washington State)
Salary: Human Resources Managers with my level of experience have a salary range of 30-70k, depending on additional education and locale. (Use PayScale's Resource Center to research salaries for Human Resources Managers, and HR Executive Salaries.)

Human Resources Salaries: Tells All

When the question is asked, "What is a Human Resource Manager?" some people may think of Office Space movie sound clips on However, Human Resources Manager is a top job for those who want to be a part of shaping their workplace.

We could bore you with articles about "HR's role in organizational change management" and ";motivational strategies for the workplace," but thought it would be more fun to interview Lance Haun, the guy behind, which gives readers the latest information on a human resources career, compensation, interviewing, and current and future issues for human resource managers. We asked about the duties of a human resources manager, what it's like to work in human resources, resume tricks, funny moments and human resources salaries. Find out how Lance built his own human resources resume and why being an HR manager can be both challenging and rewarding.

What is a Human Resources Manager?

As a Human Resources Manager, I source, recruit, interview and hire for various positions within the company. I also consult with managers regarding legal issues; I favor an individualistic approach to managing employee relations. As a human resources manager, my job description also includes being responsible for benefits and compensation management, records keeping, developing and maintaining training programs, strategic development of employees to meet company goals and developing atmosphere objectives for the workplace environment.

Why choose human resources as a career?

I enjoy helping people get something out of work. When you don't include sleep time, people typically spend more time at work than they do with their spouse. Making work a place where people want to come in, seeing people develop and move up in the company are probably the reasons why I chose to work (and continue to work) as human resources manager.

What are some benefits of human resources as a career?

The challenge drives me; whether it's a problem employee, problem supervisor or any of the little day-to-day challenges. I would hate to work in an environment where I wasn't pushing my personal boundaries every single week. I enjoy the strategic planning part of my human resources manager job; to be a successful company, so much is dependent upon the talent that you attract and retain.

In your experience, what are some challenges of the HR Manager?

The human part of my job is the challenge. People don't always perform, react or develop the way you expect. That's because people are unpredictable. You really need to be part scientist, part psychologist, part fortune teller and part magician to figure out what someone is going to do. That's why I always want to retain and develop from within. If you know someone well, that can overcome a lot of experience-based shortcomings. Even then, though, you never know for sure. You just get closer and closer to being right more often then not.

As a Human Resources Manager, can you recall any memorable or funny moments?

Like most Human Resources Managers, I've had tons of awful interviews. One of the more memorable interviews I had was over the phone with a candidate who kept hanging up on me and then calling back. She was extremely nervous from the moment I started talking to her (even before I started asking any questions). I asked her the first question, and after about 5 seconds, she hung up on me! Before I could call her back, she called me, apologized and said I could continue.

I asked her the same question and there was silence again, this time for ten seconds, and I was hung up on. She called back and apologized again, and I asked her if she was going to hang up on me again. She said "no," so I started the first question and she interrupted me and said "PASS." So I asked her the second question and she hung up on me AGAIN. She called back and I said, "Maybe a job that requires extensive time on the phone answering questions isn't the right fit." She agreed.

When it comes to human resources, resume tips and interview questions, what should people know?

For resumes, information has to be delivered quickly and has to get my attention. I read all resumes by hand and spend about a minute per resume received. I want to see the most relevant experience for the position that you are applying for. Take a look at a good sample of a job resume before sending yours in.

For human resources and interview questions, people have a tendency to dance around a question until (or if) they figure it out. I have major issues with people who don't listen to the full question and answer in the way I have instructed them. If you need to get your thoughts in order, you don't have to ramble on until you figure it out. I am always encouraged by people who take 10-15 seconds to think out their answers and give better answers because of that.

Can you share some info on human resources salaries? What is a Human Resource Manager salary and how does it compare to other HR positions?

The salary range for a Human Resources Manager is about 30-60k for a person with my level of experience. Most senior level human resources managers make over 80k a year. Vice President of Human Resources is typically a senior level position (sometimes known as a Chief People Officer) with executive pay of over 100k plus bonus for almost all opportunities.

Sr. Level Human Resource Directors typically earn a salary range of 80-150k depending on company and level of responsibility. Human Resource Administrators' salary range can go anywhere from 25-50k. Many entry level positions in human resources start out at a lower level than other business positions (under $15/hr sometimes), but have the potential to increase more rapidly.

Why did you start your human resources blog?

I started in mid-2006 as a project to give job seekers and HR people a place where they can learn information on human resources jobs and functions, read about my experiences and have an open dialog. That has been largely achieved. I've been a featured blog on and I get emails almost daily about the blog, often asking questions about the sometimes confusing process HR puts potential employees through. It isn't associated with our company or a corporate recruiting blog, so I do it with a certain amount of entertainment and enlightenment.

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