time on HR

Estimated Time On HR: Administration Tasks

What exactly does a human resources (HR) professional do all day? And how much time should be allotted for HR administration tasks? Our experts weigh in.



Anyone who has ever worked in human resources (HR) can tell you their days are full and oftentimes exhausting. But what exactly are they doing all day? 

With experience on our side, we outlined some of the administrative tasks a typical HR Manager does each day and then estimated how much time each one takes.

(Editor’s note: payroll, timekeeping, benefits administration, and workers’ comp are all heavy administrative time drains for HR that will be addressed separately in other articles, as each has extensive tasks involved.) 

How Much Time Do You Spend On HR Administration Tasks?  

There are many administrative tasks that an HR Manager is responsible for, most of which occur on an as-needed basis. 

  • Payroll processing: to be specified in its own article (multiple days) 
  • Timekeeping: to be specified in its own article (multiple days) 
  • Benefits administration: multiple days (click link for details)
  • Open enrollment: multiple days (click link for details)
  • Workers’ comp: to be specified in its own article  
  • Customize employee handbook: 3-5 hours to find template and customize 
  • Add supplemental policies to handbook template: 1 hour per policy 
  • Update employee handbook: 1-5 hours/year 
  • Verify I-9 documents: 5 minutes per employee 
  • Perform E-Verify: 5-30 minutes per employee, depending on whether you receive a non-confirmation 
  • Onboard new employee: 30-90 minutes, depending on the position, skill level, and questions they may have 
  • Create or update job description: 30-45 minutes per position; longer if it requires manager feedback and approval 
  • Conduct wage or salary research: 5-10 minutes per position; longer if the position is for multiple states 
  • Administer FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act): 1-2 hours/employee (where applicable) 
  • Respond to an unemployment claim: 20-60 minutes per claim, depending on if you have a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) that includes documentation about the termination; longer if you need to reach out to managers for more information 
  • Prepare and participate in unemployment hearing: 2-4 hours 
  • Update human resource forms: 4-8 hours/month 
  • Create or update employee survey: 90 minutes per survey 
  • Review employee survey responses: 1-2 hours 
  • Assess and conduct performance appraisal: 60 minutes per employee per review  
  • Perform and document exit interview: 30-60 minutes 
  • Respond to employee questions: 1-2 hours/day, longer for large companies   

Is There A Way To Minimize Time Spent On Administrative Tasks?  

Many companies choose to implement an HRIS to keep everything in an organized and easy-accessible system. Procuring the right HRIS for your company could take anywhere from 20-40 hours to research options, participate in demos, get departmental input, and decide on the system.  

Once you have the right system in place, you will need to invest hours of training for your staff to get up to speed on the system. While this may be frustrating in the beginning, it will create significant efficiencies in the long run. 

Streamline HR Administration Tasks By Outsourcing  

While no two HR Managers will ever have the same responsibilities from one day to the next, each one has an extensive list of tasks that consumes their time. Couple that with employee questions and concerns that are difficult to foresee and typically need to be addressed as soon as possible, and suddenly you have little time for more strategic HR projects.

Thankfully, you can outsource many of the administrative time drains to Stratus HR. This will, in turn, provide more time for your internal HR Manager to focus on strategic HR initiatives that will align with company objectives and improve your overall workplace culture.   

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