A reference list of accessibility keys Careers New Zealand home page Sitemap Search the website About us Contact us govt.nz Jump to content Jump to site navigation main-menu Left column sub navigation menu Jump to page header Jump to page footer Jump to right-hand column

Human Resources AdviserAlternative titles

Kaitohutohu Pūmanawa Tangata

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Employee Relations Adviser
Training and Development Adviser

Human resources advisers are responsible for staff and personnel matters in an organisation. Responsibilities include recruitment and selection, health, safety and well-being, performance management and remuneration, learning and development, employment relations and policy development.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733


Pay for human resources advisers depends on experience and the size of the organisation they work in.

  • Human resources advisers with less than two years' experience earn about $63,000 a year.
  • Those with two to four years' experience earn about $72,000.
  • Senior human resources advisers with more than five years' experience earn about $92,000.

Human resources advisers who become managers can earn between $119,000 and $139,000 a year.

Sources: Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, and Strategic Pay, 'Annual Salary Survey', December 2012.

What you will do

Human resources advisers may do some or all of the following:

  • analyse jobs and write job descriptions, advertise vacancies, and help interview and select staff
  • consult with management, staff and unions about salaries and working conditions
  • give advice on workplace relations policies and procedures, performance management and disciplinary matters
  • give advice on employment legislation and health, safety and well-being regulations
  • identify and plan staff learning and development 
  • develop strategies for human resources areas such as recruitment, remuneration, learning and development, change management and legislative compliance 
  • talk to staff about personal or work problems
  • mentor and coach staff 
  • manage the payroll.

Skills and knowledge

Human resources advisers need to have knowledge of:

  • employment agreements 
  • employment legislation, such as the Employment Relations Act
  • equal opportunities and privacy legislation
  • recruitment, including how to write job descriptions, interview and train staff.

Working conditions

Human resources advisers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work additional hours to meet job requirements
  • work in offices
  • may travel locally to conferences, meetings and training courses, or overseas to conferences.

What's the job really like?

Laura Feasey - Human Resources Adviser

Laura Feasey

"I enjoy the people element in HR," says Te Papa human resources adviser Laura Feasey. "Because you're interacting with people all across the organisation, from the CEO to security guards to curators, it's like working with a complete cross-section of society, and that human dynamic stuff is quite fascinating."

Dealing with disputes a challenge

A large part of the job involves problem-solving – looking at how to make sure people enjoy their work better by providing a good work structure and environment. "Work is a big part of people's lives," Laura says, "and some days you might be dealing with issues like disputes or restructuring. You need to get all the information across and be doing all the right compliance things, but equally as important is to be understanding about individual responses and issues when someone is feeling quite emotional. It's one of the job's challenges."

People rely on you to help them

"I always say to people that to really succeed in this job you've got to have excellent attention to detail and customer service skills. People are relying on you, so you need to be really organised so you're ready to help people."


Human resources advisers usually earn
per year
Source: Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, and Strategic Pay.
Laura Feasey reading a newspaper.

Human resources advisers may advertise vacancies and interview staff as part of their job

Updated 10 Sep 2013