What does human resources do and when does a business need them? First, the term human resources does not quite capture the scope of the responsibilities handled by the department. Although it deals with all matters relating to employees in an organization, it also plays a significant role in developing strategies for the growth and development of the company.
Big companies usually have large human resources department with many employees. Nonetheless, some small organizations will even rely on one human resources manager who handles all the tasks in the department. But what does human resources do specifically? This article will list their top ten everyday responsibilities.
HR is the first point of contact between a potential employee and the organization. But what does human resources do when it comes to recruitment? Particular duties may differ depending on the size of the department and company, but HR tasks as far as recruiting goes include screening CVs from applicants and conducting interviews.
When the company recruits new employees, it is the responsibility of HR to conduct orientation. The department has to keep them up to speed with the benefits, policies, procedures, and any other useful information that could help in facilitating their induction.
In some companies, the HR drafts employee contracts. HR in small businesses especially will handle payroll duties. They will track vacation time and pay, formulate policies on working hours, and maintain holiday schedules.
The HR administers the overall compensation package which includes employee benefits such as retirement plans, health insurance, transportation subsidies, etc. HR will usually monitor what other companies within the industry are paying their employees as salaries and wages to ensure that their compensation remains competitive.
Other than the initial orientation, employees need training and mentorship to improve their skills. What does human resources do in this regard? It analyzes the various competencies required for different positions in the organization and coordinates training to develop the same in selected employees. Depending on the size of the company and the resources at its disposal, the training can be conducted in-house or it can be outsourced. The HR will contact external trainers and even negotiate training offers.
4. Creating and Maintaining Policies
As an organization grows, its policies and procedures tend to change. These changes may affect hiring practices, health, safety, and disciplinary action. The HR is responsible for updating policies and procedures and keeping track of them to ensure they are working properly.
The organization’s policies should be fused with government policies to ensure compliance. The HR should, therefore, monitor federal and state laws to ensure they are reflected in their policies. For example, an organization must comply with the federal regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
5. Handling Employees Concerns
HR acts as a mediator and handles common workplace disputes between employees. Whenever employees have issues with co-workers or supervisors, they can use the HR as a referee. The HR also acts as an advocate for the employees when there are major concerns that need to be addressed in the company. They are also responsible for firing and disciplining of staff. HR professionals will answer any queries related to compensation, benefits, and rules within the organization.
6. Labor Relations
For companies that have union employees, the HR handles union negotiations on behalf of the company. They play a diplomatic role by negotiating with union leaders for fair deals and settling arising disputes such as strikes.
Their day-to-day responsibilities include drafting contracts, handling union grievances, handling benefits for employees, establishing wages and establishing good relationships with the employees to minimize possible conflicts. HR professionals that handle these responsibilities are referred to as labor relation specialists.
7. Maintaining Employee Data
HR stores records of employee data and is required to provide information on particular employees when the need arises. The records may include information such as salary data, loan data, personal data, roles played, and medical claims.
An employee’s history may be retrieved when they are being promoted or transferred to another department or role, when tracking the employee’s attendance for compensation purposes and when an employee is exiting the company to facilitate their full and final settlement.
8. Rewards and Recognition
In some companies, the HR recognizes the employees ‘efforts and rewards them for their good performance and contribution to the company. The gesture is meant to encourage employees to perform better. Although the rewards have monetary value, they are not part of the salary or wages. Rewards and recognition systems have always been an ubiquitous presence in large companies. However, small businesses have also begun using them in a bid to lure employees and to improve employee performance.
9. Employees’ Safety
The employer has a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. The HR’s primary role as far as workplace safety is concerned is complying with the federal guidelines as established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Day-to-day responsibilities may include training employees on how to handle potentially dangerous chemicals and heavy machinery.
Additionally, HR creates workplace safety policies including evacuation policies and procedures that deal with workplace violence. HR also handles the implementation of the organization’s drug-free workplace policy.
10. Administrative Support
HR also performs basic administrative duties. Every employee’s detail including pay scale, disciplinary actions, and special accommodations job descriptions are continuously tracked electronically and in hard copy. These tasks are usually performed by entry-level staff in the HR department including HR assistants and clerks.
These individuals are responsible for retrieving, updating, and organizing files. They also monitor the front desk, handle phone calls, and pass messages to and from employees and clients within and without the organization.
So what does human resources do? HR is an integral part of any organization. Large companies and small businesses alike need HR professionals to handle employee matters including hiring, training, and compensation and to develop strategies to promote the growth and development of the company.
Are you a human resource manager or small business owner looking to better your team? You should look for candidates with excellent communication, customer service, and decision-making skills.
An efficient human resource department will assist your business in creating a talented, efficient and properly motivated workforce. What does human resources do in your company? Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.