Human resources manager

Also known as

Personnel manager

What does a human resources manager in the creative industries do?

Human resources (HR) managers look after the staff in an organisation. They help get the right people into the jobs and make sure the organisation sticks to the law on matters like holidays, sick pay and maternity leave. They also help plan. They work out when an organisation is going to need more people to work there and what skills they will need.

Museums, theatres, art galleries, advertising agencies, fashion houses, games companies, architect firms, publishers and heritage organisations need human resources managers, just like any other business.  And the great thing about working in HR for the creative industries is that the people you are working with are designers, artists and developers.

If you’re crazy about games but you’re more of people-person than a games programmer, you can be part of the industry by working in HR.  If you love fashion, you can work with stylists and fashion buyers. If books are your thing, you can work with editors, illustrators and writers. If you like organising, want an office-based job, are good with people and are interested in one of the creative industries, human resources might be a good career for you.

Watch and read

What’s an HR manager in the creative industries good at?

  • Understanding people: know how to motivate staff, challenge and care for them
  • Employment law: be aware of the laws around human resources, know how to comply
  • Understanding business: be able to connect the staffing needs of an organisation with the business plans
  • Accepting criticism: be able to make decisions, even when they make you unpopular
  • Curiosity: have a love and appreciation of the industry in which you’re working


Where can being an HR manager take me?

You could work as a manager for an international company, like a fashion house or media company, and do a lot of foreign travel. Or you could set up your own business as an HR consultant.

How do I become an HR manager in the creative industries?

To work in HR in the creative industries you need to combine HR skills with your passion for games, fashion, books, heritage or whatever creative industry you would like to be part of.  So get to know that industry. Play games. Read books. Go to heritage organisations. Get to know people by volunteering. Keep up your interest. This will put you in a better position when it comes to applying for jobs. And while you’re doing that, get yourself qualified: