Human Resources (HR)

What is Human Resources?

Human Resources or HR is a set of people or the department that creates the workforce and takes care of people functions in a company. HR is responsible for managing the entire lifecycle of each employee such as recruitment, training, onboarding, replacement of resources, finding best resources for the company, etc. The CHRO or Chief Human Resources Officer leads the HR department. The HR department is crucial for any business regardless of the company’s size.

HR is important in a company as it manages and fosters a positive work environment. It ensures compliance, retains talents, and promotes employee development, leading to overall business success.

Some companies outsource HR jobs. This is called Human Resource Outsourcing. It lets a third-party handle HR tasks for a business, freeing it to concentrate on growth goals.

What is the Human Resources Department in a company?

The human resources department in a company is a business division that looks after an organization’s greatest assets, that is, the employees. HR in a company is responsible for all employee-related matters from hiring to payroll.

In small companies, HR Generalists do everything. In larger ones, HR professionals specialize in areas like hiring, benefits, and operations. The HR department in a company contains various divisions within it. Since people functions contain a broad spectrum of duties, companies usually hire HR who cater to individual and specific duties.

Types of HR Jobs

Usually, HR teams are led by an HR Manager or Director of HR. The teams are divided into various divisions of HR with employees working for a fixed set of responsibilities according to their function.

There are 12 important human resources functions carried out by the HR department. Each function has been described here along with the examples of HR positions it entails.

Administration Function

HR administration involves managing employee records and handling paperwork. HR admin roles ensure compliance with policies and regulations while ensuring smooth HR operations.

Examples of HR administration roles:

  • HR Coordinator
  • HR Administrator
  • HR Assistant
  • HR Generalist
  • HR Officer

Recruitment and Hiring Function

The recruitment and hiring function focuses on finding and selecting the right candidates for job openings. They conduct interviews and coordinate the hiring process to build a talented workforce. They’re responsible for all work from sourcing to onboarding an employee.

Examples of HR recruitment and hiring roles:

  • Talent Acquisition Specialist
  • Recruiter
  • Recruitment Coordinator
  • Employer Branding Specialist
  • Sourcing Strategist

Performance Monitoring Function

The performance monitoring function in HR monitors and evaluates employee performance through appraisals, feedback, and performance metrics. Their main goal is to improve productivity and identify areas for development.

Examples of HR performance monitoring roles:

  • Performance Management Specialist
  • HR Analyst
  • Performance Review Coordinator
  • Employee Evaluation Specialist
  • Performance Improvement Advisor

Compensation and Payroll Function

The compensation and payroll function of HR manages employee salaries, benefits, and payroll processes. It ensures timely and accurate payments to employees.

Examples of HR compensation and payroll roles:

  • Compensation Analyst
  • Payroll Administrator
  • Benefits Manager
  • Payroll Specialist
  • Compensation Consultant

Learning and Development Function

The learning and development function in HR arranges training programs and workshops. They try to enhance employees’ skills and knowledge, promoting their professional growth within the organization.

Examples of HR learning and development roles:

  • Training Coordinator
  • Learning and Development Specialist
  • Training Facilitator
  • Leadership Development Manager
  • eLearning Specialist

Rewards and Benefits Function

The rewards and benefits function of HR includes designing and managing employee rewards, recognition programs, and benefits packages. Their aim is to motivate and retain employees. They analyze market trends and employee preferences to offer competitive and appealing compensation packages contributing to employee satisfaction and loyalty.

Examples of HR rewards and benefits roles:

  • Benefits Administrator
  • Total Rewards Specialist
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Rewards Analyst
  • Benefits Consultant

Employee Well-being Function

The employee well-being division of HR ensures the physical and mental well-being of employees. This is done by implementing wellness programs and offering support for a healthy work environment. This may involve organizing activities that promote work-life balance and stress management.

Examples of HR employee well-being roles:

  • Well-being Coordinator
  • Employee Assistance Specialist
  • Wellness Program Manager
  • Occupational Health Advisor
  • Mental Health Counselor

Health and Safety Function

The health and safety function of HR maintains workplace safety protocols, assesses risks, and promotes a safe environment for all employees. They collaborate with relevant departments to conduct safety training, perform audits, and address potential hazards.

Examples of HR health and safety roles:

  • Health and Safety Officer
  • Occupational Health Specialist
  • Safety Compliance Manager
  • Ergonomics Specialist
  • Workplace Safety Trainer

Career Planning Function

The career planning function of HR assists employees in setting career goals, providing guidance and resources to support their career advancement. Activities in this division include mentorship programs, career development workshops, and internal mobility opportunities. It helps employees progress in their careers within the organization.

Examples of HR career planning roles:

  • Career Development Advisor
  • Talent Management Specialist
  • Career Coach
  • Succession Planning Analyst
  • Talent Mobility Manager
  • Career Counselor

Employee Engagement and Communication Function

The employee engagement and communication function of HR looks after the various channels to boost employee morale and productivity. They organize team-building activities, conduct employee surveys, and establish feedback mechanisms.

Examples of HR employee engagement roles:

  • Employee Engagement Coordinator
  • Internal Communications Specialist
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • HR Communications Consultant
  • Employee Experience Specialist

Function Assessment 

The function assessment division of HR assesses all the HR processes and strategies to identify areas for improvement. Assessing HR functions include aligning HR practices with organizational goals. By analyzing data and feedback, HR professionals continuously refine their services to better meet the needs of employees and the company.

Examples of HR function assessment roles:

  • HR Business Partner
  • HR Strategy Analyst
  • HR Metrics Analyst
  • HR Transformation Manager
  • Organizational Development Consultant

Human Resource Planning Function

The human resource planning function of HR is responsible for the overall organizational planning with regard to its employees. It anticipates future workforce needs, plans for talent acquisition, and develops strategies to ensure the organization has the right people in the right roles to achieve success.

Examples of human resource planning roles:

  • HR Planning Manager
  • Workforce Planner
  • HR Analytics Manager
  • HR Project Manager
  • HR Data Scientist

Do HR and Finance roles align together?

Yes, HR and Finance roles align together at times but they still are different business divisions in an organization. The main aim of both HR and finance is to increase an organization’s profitability and improve employees’ performance. Finance roles are particularly focused on managing finances, budgeting, investments, and economic analyses. The functions of HR are broader as compared to finance.

What does an HR actually do?

Human Resources or HR is responsible for all the employee-related activities in a company. The functions of HR are very diverse and can be complicated at times. The ultimate goal of this department is to drive organizational growth and celebrate its accomplishments.

The main roles and responsibilities of HR include:

  • Sourcing and recruiting candidates
  • Onboarding and offboarding employees
  • Processing payroll and compensation
  • Curating organizational policies
  • Training and development of employees
  • Performance evaluation and promotion
  • Maintaining employee relations
  • Preserving organizational culture

What are the popular books that HRs love?

The HR career journey is a continuous learning process. You can never stop learning about people and people functions. Here’s a list of the best HR books to read based on real reviews by HR experts.

  • Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams to Drive Business Performance
    By Lars Schmidt, Katelin Holloway
  • Predictive HR Analytics: Mastering the HR Metric
    By Martin R. Edwards, Kristen Edwards
  • HR Disrupted: It’s Time for Something Different
    By Lucy Adams
  • Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers
    By Dee Ann Turner
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
    By Patrick Lencioni
  • HR from the Outside In Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources
    By Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank, Mike Ulrich

What is Human Resources Management?

Human Resource Management is the process of strategically supporting employees and creating a positive work environment. It includes functions like recruitment, compensation, and employee relations, adapted to each business’s needs. HRM is important as it acts as a bridge between a company’s goals and how employees contribute to it. HR professionals act as the harbingers of HRM in a business.

Is HRM the same as personnel management?

Human resources management and personnel management differ in terms of their goals and responsibilities. HRM is a strategic practice that utilizes employees’ strengths to benefit an organization’s overall objectives. Personnel management focuses only on employees and how to obtain and retain the best employees for an organization.

What policies does HR use every day?

HR policies are guidelines that govern the employment relationship between you and your team. They outline rights, responsibilities, and expected behaviors for a productive working environment. Some common policies that HR uses every day are the attendance and leave policy, employee health policy, meal and breaks policy, non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy, etc.

Can HR be outsourced?

Yes, HR can be outsourced. A company that has or does not have an HR department can outsource its HR functions to further enhance its people functions. HR outsourcing does not act as a substitution but as a collaborative extension of your internal team. In fact, HR activities can be performed by various HR software too. Software like Keka, Workday, ADP, and BambooHR automates HR activities and supports the HR team by reducing manual tasks.

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