What is the Role of Human Resources?

Julie Shenkman
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To some, human resources is a mysterious department, especially in today’s business world, where the human resources department is a little more obscure than it once was. However, HR performs arguably one of the most vital roles in a company’s success and helps retain quality employees while weeding out inefficient workers. The main functions of human resources are some of the most important factors in working for a company. But what does this department do?

Human resources has six main functions. Recruiting, employee and employer safety, employee relations, compensation, benefits, training and compliance are all major functions of the HR department and without these functions, many companies would have to spend precious time and money getting such tasks accomplished. An efficient HR is one that performs these functions so smoothly that they all occur under the radar—that is, employees of all levels can trust that proper recruiting and training techniques are efficiently handled by the human resources department.

HR handles both new employee recruiting and employee training. These two tasks keep a company in the know and up to date with the latest trends and technologies. HR helps decrease the number of bad hires while ensuring that current employees are happy, paid competitively and receiving the best possible benefits. HR does all of this while juggling the legal aspects of these functions such as observing proper employment and hiring practices while providing safe and satisfactory working conditions. The human resources team must be constantly up to date with federal and state employment and workplace laws.

In a business world that is moving in a virtual direction, it can be difficult, especially for those just entering the workforce, to see the role that human resources plays in the company culture. Human resources is still an important part of running and sustaining a company. Without human resources, lazy employees might not ever get called out on their inappropriate behavior. Conflicts between co-workers may go unresolved, creating tension and dislike in the company environment.

While companies do care about their employees, they rarely ever have the extra time or funds to deal with employee aspects like these directly. HR fills this gap and ensures that company leaders are in touch with the needs, wants and performance levels of their current employees. This could include tasks such as improving the benefits package or resolving employee conflicts.

Human resources is arguably one of the most important departments in a company’s structure. Managers that don’t have the extra time, money or training to handle employee relations can rely on human resources to get the job done. The HR department’s key functions are vital to keeping a company running legally and ensuring its employees happy, healthy and productive.


Image courtesy of Lex McKee on Flickr.com


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