Resource management skills: pro insights from successful resource managers

Demand for dedicated resource managers is growing. Find out what the role entails and why it’s essential in today’s workplace.

Graphic illustrating resource article

Do you feel excited when tasked with assembling a team for a project? Do you enjoy speaking with teammates and making connections? Do you thrive on helping project teams plan and prioritize their time to deliver their best work?

If yes, then a career in resource management might be right for you.

Resource managers ensure that projects run smoothly by overseeing employees, fulfilling resource requests, and solving conflicts that arise. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about their responsibilities, skills, qualifications, and career prospects.

To keep things actionable, we asked resource management professionals in companies like Atlassian, BuzzFeed, and Mad Mobile to share their journey into resource management 😉  

What is a resource manager?

A resource manager is the person responsible for overseeing resource allocation and scheduling for projects—they ensure projects run smoothly by forecasting staffing needs, fulfilling resource requests, and stepping in to solve schedule conflicts.

Resource managers often wear a lot of hats and juggle many responsibilities. Depending on org size, they aren’t always even given the resource manager job title. They may also be known as:  

  • Resource and operations manager
  • Digital resource manager
  • Project resource manager
  • Resource consultant
  • Creative resource coordinator



Portrait of the Expert


<sme-author>Emily Feliciano</sme-author>

<sme-position>Sr Creative Resource Manager at Atlassian</sme-position>


Emily is a Senior Resource Manager with several years of experience managing creative teams across design, brand, and advertising industries. She’s an expert at managing rhythmic chaos—and a self-professed gel pen enthusiast.

How did you get started as a resource manager?

I fell into resource management accidentally. When I graduated from university in 2011 with a degree in theater, I worked as a front-of-house manager at a regional theater in Seattle. I was looking for a job during the day and applied for a role as a resource coordinator at an agency called Pop.

Little did I know how this opportunity would change the course of my life. Working under my manager (who took a huge corporate risk on a theater kid) taught me everything I know. She helped me understand the nuances of resource management, how to make decisions without all the information, how to actualize a matrix of endless possibilities, and why keeping receipts would save my butt every time.

After three years there, I knew that this was the perfect role for me. It fuses everything I know about interpersonal communication, relationship building, varying communication styles, my love for numbers, data, strategic thinking, and problem-solving. It’s both left and right-brain dependent, and I honestly think my theater degree aids in my ability to be visible and attuned to different needs and ways of working. I always tell people I’m half operations/half HR and full-time therapist.

From there, I’ve worked in television/film, interior design, package design, digital/experiential, and currently in-house at a tech company. I feel really lucky that I truly love my job, and I think the stars aligned for me in a very unique way.



...but how known is this role, really

Although resource managers play a critical role in businesses, they remain relatively unknown: “I’m always shocked when I interview or start a role at a company that is 5-20 years old, and they have never had this position,” says Feliciano.  

In 2022, research from the Resource Management Institute (RMI) showed that the demand for dedicated resource managers had been growing—while at the same time proving that almost half of company C-suites(48%) didn’t see the function as strategic (and therefore fully ignored the benefits of resource management for hiring, capacity management, and project planning).  

“The earlier you implement a resource management role, the better your company will run. Full stop,” says Feliciano.

The 5 key roles and responsibilities of a resource manager

As a resource manager, your primary responsibility is to make sure the right people with the right skills are on the right project at the right time. And that’s not all—resource managers also create reports, regularly meet with stakeholders, and manage workloads.  



Avatar of Alexia Arnold


<sme-author>Alexia Arnold</sme-author>

<sme-position>Manager of Team Planning & Strategy at Mad Mobile</sme-position>


Alexia is a seasoned operations and resource management professional at Mad Mobile. She manages staffing and scheduling team members on client engagements—and loves tending to her house plants.

Could you describe your day-to-day at work?

No two days are the same, so it tends to be easier to describe a typical week in the life of a resource manager. A large part of my week is meeting with various parts of the organization to ensure we are optimizing our client implementation staffing.  

I review timesheets for compliance and accuracy each week and meet with all of our engagement managers to review their project team needs, allocations, budgets, and timelines. Based on the information shared during these meetings, I update our staff’s project allocations in our resource management tool (Float).

In addition to meeting with our engagement managers, I meet with our leadership team to share a status overview of our Professional Services team, raise the flag on any staffing risks, submit new headcount requests, and make workforce planning recommendations.

Additionally, I meet with our sales team to review our sales pipeline. This enables me to create a forecast of future projects and staffing needs and inform sales of our delivery team’s current capacity so they can level-set expectations with clients when providing kick-off and project duration estimates.

The “other duties as assigned” in my role tend to be information requests, organizational reporting, brokering negotiation between engagement managers that are sharing team members, contractor management, and shepherding internal initiatives.



Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of resource manager responsibilities: 

1. Assign resources to tasks

An essential part of your job as a resource manager is allocating team members to tasks based on their skills and availability—the key goal of resource planning.

Let’s say your agency has a website design project. At the start, you’ll work with the project manager to determine what skills are needed to complete the project and decide who is needed to work on each task. Your list might include a front-end developer, a web designer, and a copywriter. You’ll then work with each department head to find the right people to join the project team.

Resource managers also forecast their future team’s capacity to take on work. For example, if your agency lands a bunch of projects for a new client, you’ll have to look at your team’s future availability and workloads to determine if you have the available resources you need to deliver. If you’re short, you might need to hire freelancers to meet demand.

You’ll also monitor projects closely to ensure that no one is overloaded or left on the bench with nothing to do. For instance, if you notice a designer has too much on their plate, you can bring on a junior designer to help or hire a freelancer.

2. Manage talent

When you notice a staffing gap, it’s up to you to inform the right stakeholders there is a need for extra help. Once you’ve received approval, you’ll have to find someone with the right skills for the job. This could mean bringing on a full-time staff member or hiring a temporary contractor for a specific project.

Keeping an up-to-date database of freelancers to reach out to also helps when you need more hands in a hurry.

Some companies require resource managers to be involved in the hiring process. In this case, you’ll review resumes, interview applicants, and recommend the best candidate for the job. If you’re wondering if resource managers can fire people, the answer is: it depends! Some companies give resource managers the power to let go of underperforming employees, while others leave that to department heads.

3. Help team members stay on track

As a resource manager, you have to meet the needs of the business while keeping employee well-being and engagement in mind. It’s not just about getting the job done. You are required to monitor workloads to detect over- and underutilization, minimize bottlenecks, and step in to balance workloads when a resource needs to be added or removed from a project.

Another important part of your job is developing a good understanding of team members’ skills and using this knowledge to assign them to the right tasks. Some companies may require you to work with team members directly to guide their individual development plans.

Resource managers also have to check in on how team members and external resources are performing across different projects. You’ll need to speak to project managers about the progress of your resources and stay in close communication with them to monitor their successes and challenges.

4. Meet with project managers and other stakeholders

Resource managers have regular meetings with project managers and other stakeholders to keep them informed on progress.

While many of these meetings will be to plan the use of resources, you’ll also need to resolve resourcing conflicts and manage resourcing problems like underperforming and misallocation of resources.

Some of these meetings may cover ways to meet resource demands and manage fiscal parts of the resourcing process, like generating invoices based on time/effort, reporting on project budgets and tracking project profitability.

5. Create actionable reports

Resource managers analyze real-time data and create weekly reports on utilization rates, project statuses, and expenditures. This data helps you decide how best to use team members and keeps stakeholders informed on workloads, capacity, and resourcing problems.

Many businesses rely on spreadsheets to track resources. This manual process often makes the work of resource managers (and project managers) harder and increases the risk of missing information. That’s why pro resource managers usually choose a dedicated resource management tool that helps them with reporting... and a whole lot of other stuff:

  • Compare capacity to scheduled time, billable hours, time off, and overtime to make accurate projections about project timelines
  • See how scheduled time compares to logged hours for better capacity planning
  • Forecasting capacity and monitoring budgets (for example, by comparing scheduled vs. actual hours)



...did someone just say ‘resource management software’? 

Yes! Float is the #1 rated toold for resource management and capacity planning, used and loved by 4,500+ customers around the world 💙

<cta-button>Try Float for free</cta-button>


Essential resource management skills to succeed in the RM role

Below are some of the experience, education, and resoure management skills that make you a perfect candidate according to the pros we interviewed.


Depending on the industry you work in, there might be no strict educational requirement for the resource manager role. In industries like tech and media, you might find that previous experience in a related role might be enough to qualify you.

That being said, you might be expected to have a minimum of a college degree. Some jobs may require a resource management certification. Pro tip: you can become a Resource Manager Certified Professional (RMCP) via the course offered by the Resource Management Institute.


If you have previous experience in HR, project management, or operations, then you’d have transferrable skills that might help you land a resource manager job.  

If you have yet to gain experience, consider taking an entry-level role in the industry or in a related career. For example, you could get a job as an assistant ops manager or an assistant project manager. Look out for any role that would give you experience managing and coordinating people.

Soft skills

The top soft skills for a resource manager are relationship building, negotiation, adaptability, and communication.

  • Communication skills (both written and verbal): resource managers spend a lot of time interacting with people. Whether it’s communicating with team members, project managers, or department heads, you must be clear and engaging when you speak and write. Miscommunication is a huge problem in project management, so resource managers need to know how to convey information well.
    Pro tip: ensure that you improve your active listening. Learn how to hear and understand what people are saying to you to ensure you don’t miss any important details (especially useful in an async and remote workplace).
  • Relationship building: good resource managers are adept at building and maintaining positive relationships with others. These relationships help them secure the support they need to get project resources or manage schedule conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution skills: project managers sometimes have to share company resources, which can lead to conflict. Resource managers often have to wade into scheduling conflicts to find a solution.
    For example, two project managers may want the best developer in the agency on their team for their upcoming projects. Unfortunately, the developer has limited capacity and is unable to work on both projects. As a resource manager, you are responsible for negotiating with the stakeholders and finding the best solution for both the projects and the developer.
  • Negotiation: you’ll have to negotiate carefully and make tradeoffs without anyone feeling cheated. You may be able to resolve any conflicts by hiring an external contractor or assigning another skilled team member to one of the projects.
  • Adaptability: resource managers have to wear a lot of hats. It is crucial to be able to adapt to any role the project demands you to be. This could be a scheduler, recruiter, peacemaker, or herder of cats.
  • Analytical and data-driven: resource managers need to understand and use quantitative data and metrics to inform strategic planning and make accurate forecasts. Creating reports is a fundamental part of the job, as you will likely be required to send regular reports on utilization rates, project expenditure, and project status.

Tech skills

Most roles will require you to use collaborative project management software like Asana, ClickUp, or and resource management tools like Float. You might belikely to communicate via tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.  Here’s an overview of the most common tools that support resource managers:

  • Resource management software: for scheduling, allocations, and monitoring the utilization rates of your team members
  • Project management tools: to monitor and track project progress
  • Timesheet tools: depending on the company, you might track your team’s time using digital timesheets
  • Note-taking tools: resource managers always need them handy to store information during meetings or take note of project changes



Jessica Raymo profile picture


<sme-author>Jessica Raymo</sme-author>

<sme-position>Associate Director of Branded Operations at BuzzFeed</sme-position>


Jessica Raymo started her career as a producer then landed a job as creative resource manager at BuzzFeed. Her role was later merged with operations management, with resourcing remaining her core function. She is now the Associate Director of Branded Operations, and attributes her successful career transitions to navigating a changing market and evolving company needs.

What do you look for when hiring for resource manager roles?

I look for someone who can think like a project manager with great problem-solving skills and has (at least) an understanding of what effective resource management is. Finding someone who enjoys making connections with the people they work with is also really important. A big part of resource management is building relationships with those you manage and being their advocate. A great resource manager isn’t someone who just has these capabilities, but someone who actually enjoys this aspect of the work.

How did your role expand over time?

One could say the journey from Resource Manager to Operations Manager evolved due to a changing market and company/team needs. The journey from Manager to Associate Director came from effectively navigating those changes and evolving my team with them.



The challenges of being a resource manager

Resource management is an exciting job, but it has its challenges. Feliciano explains that wearing a lot of hats can get overwhelming over time. “Companies don’t fully understand the scope of what resource management does and oftentimes consider it the same as a project manager, traffic manager, producer, operations manager, creative services manager, etc.”

She has felt burnt out from the sheer amount of work and a lack of support. And she even struggles to take time off because her role “is so ingrained into the movement of the company’s workflow”.

You might face some of these challenges if you are the only resource manager in your organization. To combat them, consider:

  • Automating some of your tasks, like note-taking during meetings, with a tool like Fireflies.
  • Taking regular breaks to avoid feeling overwhelmed
  • Being upfront about your capacity so that you are allocated only what you can handle
  • Picking the right resource management software to make your life easier




<sme-author>Emily Feliciano</sme-author>

<sme-position>Creative Resource Manager at Atlassian</sme-position>


"After years in the industry (both in-house and agency) and using everything from Excel spreadsheets to automated resourcing software, Float is effectively the most nimble and aesthetically appealing tool on the market.

I work with creatives, and we need to look at data in a digestible way. Float makes it easy and efficient to do so. I love the customization options, tools that it integrates with, and how you can get both granular and high-level information. It’s been my top tool for years, and I always try to get new places to adopt it."



What are the career prospects for a resource manager?

As you climb up the ladder, you can eventually become an operations lead or oversee the resource management office at your organization.

Jessica Raymo, the Associate Director of Branded Operations at BuzzFeed (you met her a few paragraphs ago!) started her career as a producer. She enjoyed “building the creative team, building camaraderie, and making sure the team found joy in whatever they were working on.” This newfound passion burned brighter when she covered for her resource manager and performed functions like running meetings, conducting availability reach outs, and onboarding freelancers.

She then moved on to become a creative resource manager at BuzzFeed. “When an opportunity to join BuzzFeed as a resource manager presented itself, I jumped!”

As the benefits of resourcing became clear, she was tasked with supporting more teams. In 2018, her role was merged with operations management, while resourcing remained her core function. In her new job as a Creative Operations manager, she became responsible for process development and creative training.

Raymo is now the associate director of branded operations at BuzzFeed and attributes her successful career transitions to navigating a changing market and evolving company needs.

“One could say the journey from Resource Manager to Operations Manager evolved due to a changing market and company/team needs. The journey from Manager to Associate Director came from effectively navigating those changes and evolving my team with those changes.”

How is the resource manager role different from other roles? 

Resource managers are often mistaken for other types of jobs—and here are the differences (and intersections) between them.

Human resource manager vs. resource manager

Human resource managers and resource managers both coordinate humans, but their roles are vastly different:

  • An HR manager would handle hiring and interviewing potential staff, enforcing company policies, improving the employee experience, and managing pay and leave
  • A resource manager would forecast resource demand, monitor resource utilization rates, and match skill sets with tasks


Resource manager | HR manager ~Spot skill gaps and forecast resource demand | Hire and interview potential staff~ Monitor utilization rates and review timesheets | Facilitate performance reviews~ Match team members with the right skills to tasks | Build development and performance improvement plans~ Find and manage freelancers and contractors | Manage employee pay, benefits, and leave


Resource manager vs. project manager

Both roles are focused on projects, but resource managers and project managers perform different functions:

  • Project managers lead and execute projects. They develop project plans and other documentation, monitor project budgets, resources, and timelines to ensure the project stays on track. They communicate with stakeholders and manage potential risks, and are responsible for both project execution and project success.
  • Resource managers gather resource requirements, plan resource use, allocate team members to tasks, find external contractors to work with the team, and monitor team performance. Depending on the size of the business, the resource manager might handle resource-related activities on all projects or just on specific accounts.


Resource manager | Project manager~Find staffing gaps and forecast resource demand | Plan, lead, and execute projects~ Monitor utilization rates and review timesheets | Develop project plans and other documentation~ Match team members with the right skills with tasks | Manage stakeholders and mitigate potential risks~ Request more team members and source freelancers if needed | Manage and monitor project timelines, budgets, and workloads


Resource manager vs. operations manager

The jobs of resource managers and operations managers intersect in many areas, but the core difference is the scope:

  • Operations managers coordinate and optimize the daily operations of the company. Their roles often have a broad scope and may be in charge of financial resources, tools, and services.
  • Resource managers are more focused on people and tend to work directly with the teams they are managing to deliver work for clients, customers, and end users.


Resource manager | Operations manager~Monitor utilization rates and review timesheets | Coordinate performance reviews~ Find staffing gaps and forecast resource demand | Review financials, monitor budgets, and approve spend~ Request more team members and source freelancers if needed | Onboard team members and get them set up with tools~ Match team members with the skills to tasks | Create internal processes


3 communities for resource managers

When you want to start out in a new field, communities can give you the necessary support and information. You might even find a mentor or connect with someone you look up to in the field. As you continue to grow in your career, communities provide the answers to tough problems you might encounter.

Below are three communities that will help you on your journey as a resource manager.

1. Float community

We built this community for Float customers and professionals who are interested in taking a people-first approach to project planning and connecting with leading resource managers, project managers, and ops managers. Our community provides you the opportunity to meet professionals from leading companies and agencies like Atlassian, Ogilvy, and Buzzfeed.



Connect with expert resource managers

Jumpstart your career today by tapping into a network of experienced resource managers.

<cta-button>Join the community today</cta-button>


2. Resources for Humans

Resources for Humans is a community of professionals in the HR/people ops space. You can ask questions and receive mentorship from this network of 13,000 professionals. This community also has a job board where you can find job opportunities.  

3. People People

People People is a great place to learn about the best practices of talent management, resourcing, and recruiting. You can connect with HR, recruitment, and talent professionals on this Slack group.


[fs-toc-omit]Getting started in resource management 🚀

As more companies realize the benefits and importance of managing resources effectively, the demand for resource managers will only grow. There’s no better time than now to start your resource management career!




📚 Dive deeper into the space with these additional resources: 





Some FAQs about the role and skills of resource management

What does a resource manager do?

Resource managers ensure that projects run smoothly by overseeing employees, fulfilling resource requests, actively resource forecasting, and solving conflicts that arise—among many other duties.

How much does a resource manager earn?

According to a sampling of job descriptions on employment websites (Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Totaljobs), the minimum salary for a resource manager in the US is $65,000. But you can make as much as $125,000 per year, depending on your skills and experience.

What are the common challenges of being a resource manager?

Here are some of the commonly mentioned challenges of the role: 

• Wearing a lot of hats can get overwhelming over time
• Companies don’t fully understand the scope of what resource management does (and may not offer the required support as a result) 
• It might feel like you cannot take any breaks, which can quickly lead to burnout

What are the career prospects for a resource manager?

Starting as a resource manager, you will perform functions like running meetings, conducting availability reach outs, and onboarding freelancers. As you climb up the ladder (and the benefits of resourcing become clearer to your company!), you might end up working in Operations and be responsible for process development and creative training. Eventually, you might become an operations lead and/or oversee the resource management office at your organization.