In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!


The Director of Human Resources (HR) heads the HR department in a hospital, overseeing the entire functioning of the department. This position typically reports directly to the CEO of a hospital. Recruitment of employees, training, development, setting the salaries and benefits of employees, and managing employee–employer relations are some of the primary duties of a hospital Director of HR.


A bachelor’s degree in business administration is the minimum academic qualification, although a master’s degree in either business or health administration is becoming the standard level of education for Directors of HR. Most hospitals require a minimum of 5 years of senior HR experience. Experience in working with labor unions is also critical for Directors of HR.



  • Outstanding interpersonal skills including the ability to effectively communicate with persons throughout the organization, including clinicians
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Thorough knowledge of all aspects of HR administration, including applicable local, state, and federal regulatory requirements; Fair Employment Practices Act; the National Labor Relations Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; Rehabilitation Act; and wage and hour and employee benefits-related regulations
  • In-depth knowledge of external clinical quality reporting requirements
  • Current knowledge of Joint Commission, state, and federal guidelines, regulations, and standards
  • Must have coordinated, prepared, and participated in state, Joint Commission, and CMS surveys within the past 3 years
  • Current statistical knowledge and skill in developing statistical data displays
  • Experience in the use of statistical and quality assessment software
  • Experience in leading and managing change


Directors of HR earn in the range of $70,000 to $150,000 although the total salary will vary depending on the size and location of the hospital.


The employment outlook for Directors of HR is generally good. This is a position that all hospitals must fill. There is no specific information relating to turnover in this position, but Directors of HR at smaller hospitals typically move into positions with larger salaries and additional opportunities.



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