Happy businessman shaking hands with member of human resource team in the office.
As you go about building your business and expanding your team, it's important to know HR job titles and what they mean. — Getty Images/ skynesher

The human resources team determines job titles, job descriptions, org (organizational) charts and other hiring tools. That function makes it all the more important that job titles are clearly delineated within the HR team. As you go about building your business and expanding your team, here’s what to know about the different HR job titles and what they mean.

[Read more: Executive Job Titles: What Do They Mean?]

Vice president of human resources or chief human resources officer (CHRO)

An organization might have either a VP of HR or a CHRO that reports directly to the business owner or the CEO. This is the most senior-level position in an HR team. The person who works in either of these roles is primarily in charge of the team of both HR professionals and recruiters. This means that this position will guide staffing plans, develop hiring strategies, set targets for employee training and oversee compensation and benefits.

Chief diversity officer

The chief diversity officer is another C-suite level executive role that is becoming more common at enterprises of all sizes. This person is tasked with overseeing diversity hiring, building an inclusive workplace and making sure the organization complies with employee fair hiring practices and labor laws. This position is common at Fortune 500 companies; at smaller enterprises, you may see a VP of diversity instead.

[Read more: Starbucks’ Chief Diversity Officer on the Game-Changing Imprint of Her Mentor]

HR director

The HR director or “deputy director” is in charge of the employee side of HR. This includes managing employee relations, personnel budgets, staffing, compliance, payroll and benefits. Some companies have multiple HR directors who oversee different regions in which the company operates. HR directors who work in a smaller team may be less focused on compliance and more focused on building relationships and creating a work environment in which employees can thrive.

Director of recruiting

The director of recruiting is the HR director’s counterpart in charge of hiring. This person handles all responsibilities related to talent acquisition. They’ll oversee the recruitment budget, set strategic priorities for hiring with the business owner or HR executive leader, and implement a hiring strategy with the recruitment team. A recruiting director can also help an organization learn what software or technology is needed to run a smooth hiring process.

HR directors who work in a smaller team may be less focused on compliance and more focused on building relationships and creating a work environment in which employees can thrive.

HR or recruiting manager

These are two separate positions that tend to fall on the same level on an org chart. An HR manager is a generalist position that might involve some recruiting functions, but also focuses on training and onboarding, supervising staff, determining benefits and compensation and troubleshooting any workplace issues. If there is no recruiting manager, the HR manager will also oversee all aspects of hiring new employees.

Depending on the size of your venture, a recruiting manager will either oversee a team of recruiters or manage the recruitment process firsthand. This involves posting job openings, budgeting, hosting job interviews, putting together job offers, and fulfilling the hiring strategy for the business.

Compensation and benefits manager

This specialized position relates to setting up compensation and benefits plans for the entire company. The compensation and benefits manager will oversee payroll as well as vet insurance providers, manage the enrollment period and assist with determining compensation levels for different positions within the business. This role requires a fair amount of experience or training in HR policies, regulations and compensation schemes.

Human resource information specialist (HRIS)

The HRIS role requires a combination of HR expertise and some tech skills. This specialist position oversees HR and recruiting software and technology such as an applicant tracking system, benefits portal or remote interview software. This person works with your IT department to make sure employee data is kept secure — especially as more employees or candidates are working remotely.


A recruiter is in charge of sourcing, vetting and hiring new employees. Some small businesses outsource this function to a staffing agency. Others task the Recruiting Manager with operating the hiring process.

HR coordinator

An HR coordinator or HR generalist oversees all human resources duties, from creating company policies to improving employee relations. This person might plan company retreats, assist in creating benefits plans and otherwise work to further an inclusive culture.

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