Managing a Hectic HR Workload

stressed out person at desk

Human resources is a vital, but sometimes stressful, gig. If you work in HR, you have no doubt become accustomed to a hectic workload with more than a few long, stressful days. And no wonder—you often have to deal with all sorts of unexpected problems and tasks being dropped on you at any time, all alongside your regular everyday HR responsibilities.

So how are you supposed to handle it all? How do you manage a packed workload, while still being an effective and attentive HR manager. While much of this is just in the nature of the job, there are a few ways in which you can more effectively manage your workload, and make your life easier in the process. Here are a few.

Proper Planning and Hiring Forecasting

A lot of the most stressful times in an HR manager’s life come when there is a sudden influx of new hires. Nothing can throw off your regular routine like a sudden hiring push. The problem is, when you are going about your regular tasks, often planning for the future is the first thing to fall by the wayside—but it is actually what will save you.

Work with other members of your company to put together a business plan that includes forecasting future hiring needs. Reassess every few months, and this will mean that future bulk hiring needs will no longer take you by surprise, saving you both time and money in the long run.

Develop a Process

Furthermore, it is important to develop a process for recruiting and hiring—and perhaps more importantly, tweaking and changing this process when it is becoming ineffective or certain things aren’t working. This includes evaluating processes for hiring in-house or externally, full-time/part-time or contract hires, training needs, on-boarding processes, and so on.

Technology is a great thing, and there are a lot of ways in which an HR manager can take advantage of new tech. There are a lot of apps and services designed to ease the hiring and on-boarding process, as well as training. Take a look around and see what is out there that could be taking certain tasks off of your hands.


This can be one of the most difficult things for anyone in a management position to do, but especially in HR, delegating is absolutely essential. Surround yourself with people who are equally as passionate as you, and who know what they are doing; then, when there comes a time in which you find yourself either suddenly or gradually overwhelmed, you know that you can trust the people around you to get things done. If you are afraid to delegate, you do yourself and those around you a disservice, and could stunt their opportunities to grow and learn.

Be Aware of Procrastination

Whenever you are faced with a list of tasks to complete, you are naturally drawn to some more than others. But if you start to find that you are constantly putting off the same things over and over again, this may be an indication that you need to change something up. Whether it is a matter of doing something differently, or simply delegating that task to someone else who would perhaps be better at it, there are steps that you can take to prevent your workflow from being further interrupted by undesirable tasks.

Pull in Other Management

Remember that as HR manager you do not have to do everything. There can be a tendency in some companies to simply drop everything on the doorstep of HR, but often they are better suited to deal with certain things. Use their expertise, train and coach them on how to better manage their employees, and in the future they will be able to defer to them instead of you.

Consider Outsourcing

There are also a lot of companies who are happy to take care of certain aspects of your job for you. For example, it might be worth looking into hiring a staffing agency. They would be able to take care of all recruiting and hiring needs, taking a huge burden off of you and allowing you to focus your time on other things. There are also services that can take care of payroll or insurance needs. Remember, the key to managing a hectic HR workload is knowing that you do not have to do everything yourself.

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