What is Human Resources (HR)?

Human resources or HR is the department of a company assigned to find, screen, recruit, and train job applicants and implement the employee-benefit programs of the company. The Human Resources department plays a vital role in helping organizations deal with a fast-changing environment and suffice the demand for quality employees.

The HR department is also responsible for advising the senior managerial staff about the impact on people of their financial, planning, and performance decisions. Managers don’t much discuss the effects of their decisions on the workforce, and it is the HR that disseminates the information. Human Resources evolved from the term ‘personnel’, as the responsibilities of the HR moved beyond paying employees and managing employee benefits.

The responsibilities of an HR include compensation and benefits, recruitment, firing, and being updated with laws that may affect an organization and its employees. Many companies, nowadays, have shifted from the traditional in-house HR administrative duties and started outsourcing tasks like payroll and benefits to outside vendors. An HR department helps to maintain the core values and culture of an organization.

Why is HR Important?

An HR department is an essential part of business or organization and exists in every company regardless of its size. The HR department focuses on maximizing employee productivity and protecting the company from any issues that may arise from the workforce.

The HR is mostly entitled to the following activities primarily:

  • Managing and using people effectively
  • Combining performance appraisal and compensation to competencies
  • Developing performance and skills that enhance individual and organizational performance
  • Increase the innovation, creativity, and flexibility necessary to enhance competitiveness
  • Apply new approaches to work, career development, and inter-organizational mobility
  • Manage the implementation and integration of technology through improved staffing, training, and communication with employees

HR departments implement human resource management strategies for enhancing productivity. The human resources management process is a strategic and comprehensive approach for managing employees and handling the culture and environment of an organization.

The HR department is also involved in improving the organization’s workforce by recommending processes, approaches and business solutions to management.

Evolution of HRM

With the advancement of organizational set-up, the duties and responsibilities of an HR professional have increased. As such, there is also an increase in demand for the HR professional and people who possess more specific expertise in one or more areas. Some of the career titles associated with the HR department include:

  • Training development specialist
  • HR manager
  • Benefits specialist
  • Human resource generalist
  • Employment services manager
  • Compensation and job analysis specialist
  • Training and development manager
  • Recruiter
  • Benefits counselor
  • Personnel analyst

Some of the activities of the HR professional in brief:

Addressing Employee Concerns

Unlike the managers or supervisors who supervise the day-to-day work of employees, the HR departments deal with employee concerns like benefits, pay, employee investments, pension plans, and training. Their work also includes settling workplace conflicts between employees or between the employees and their managers.

Recruiting New Employees

The human resource management team hires potential employees, oversees the hiring process and provides new employee orientation.

Managing Employee Separation Process 

The HR professionals carry out the tasks that follow when an employee quits, is fired, or is laid off. They carry out the paperwork to ensure that the processes are carried out legally. They oversee the requirements for the smooth exit of an employee, like severance pay, settlement of benefits, and oversees severe of access to company resources like keys, badges, computers, or sensitive materials from the employee.

Improving Morale

An efficient HR professional sees that the company employees perform their best, which contributes to the overall success of an organization. Their work involves rewarding employees for excellent performance with appraisals and creating a positive work environment in the organization.

What is HR Human Resources

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Diana Coker
Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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