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14 Key Roles of the Human Resources Department

Nowadays, human resources departments should be present even in relatively small companies. Someone has to be in charge of administering the employee life cycle. Otherwise, it will not be too long before the work environment gets too frantic, and the productivity drops to new lows.

There may be some business owners that may be reluctant to create an HR department. The lack of knowledge is one of the reasons why someone would be taking such an approach.

This article will cover the most important human resources roles. It will also give you a better understanding of why human resources is pretty much a must to have.

Role #1 – Implementing Performance Appraisals

The lack of performance appraisals may leave employees disengaged and unmotivated. Ahoyteam answers the question of what is performance appraisal as a way to evaluate the job performance of employees.

Some employees may feel unhappy when they have to perform performance appraisals, but the process continues to be one of the best ways to help employees focus, improve performance, and decide the training goals.

Role #2 – Managing Change

The world is changing, and businesses need to adapt to these changes as well. Sticking to the same old-fashioned work policy does not cut it anymore.

Many recruits may not feel like they have ended in the right place if a company has outdated standards regarding the holiday season, days off, maternity and paternity leave, or overtime pay. And an unhappy employee will not wait too long before they start looking for a new job.

Role #3 – Carrying Out Surveys

Surveys are similar to performance appraisals, except that it is the employees who provide feedback back to human resources.

One can get the attitude of employees from a survey. However, the main focus should still be on finding out worker feelings regarding the company and which areas need improvement.

It is also worth mentioning how some believe that HR should be in charge of survey management in general, not just handing out surveys to employees.

Role #4 – Sharing Information

HR is an information hub, and when someone needs information, the human resources department is usually the place to go to.

Of course, HR also sends out newsletters to keep employees up to date. Be it new management, hiring policies, mergers, acquisitions, and other relevant news, human resources deliver this information.

Role #5 – Attracting and Selecting Candidates

The hiring process is tricky, and not just because the company might be in a competitive niche that poaches the best talent whenever there is an opportunity for it.

While there are instances when you can hire someone from within, these cases are not that common. And what if a company is expanding? The current employee list would not be enough, so looking for talent outside is the only option.

At the same time, a company may take a different approach and hire an agency to take care of certain tasks. Social media agency access to your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and other platforms would leave social media presence in the hands of an agency. And the person who has been working in the social media department could move to another position.

Besides publishing job ads, selecting potential candidates for interviews, and hiring new employees, HR also has to manage the onboarding process.

New hires need time to adjust to a different environment, particularly if they are joining the team remotely. Someone has to give them a tour of a company, be it virtual or in person, provide the necessary tools, and introduce them to company policies. This is a job for human resources.

Role #6 – Taking Care of Promotions

HR is also responsible for creating a promotion strategy. When an important talent has outgrown their position, they will look for career advancements. Losing out on someone who has been a member of the team would be a waste, and not just because of how difficult it can be to find a replacement.

Human resources should put in place procedures that enable employees from within to move up the corporate ladder. Promoting someone who is already familiar with the company also saves resources that would go into training a new hire.

Role #7 – Managing Employee Benefits

Employee benefits can range from vacations to various perks, such as extra days off, gym memberships, coupons, tickets to support their favorite sports teams, maternity and paternity leave, and training programs.

Sometimes, increasing one’s salary is not enough to keep them motivated. Other perks should be available as well. And human resources ask employees about potential rewards that would make those working hard happier.

Accommodating these needs would benefit the company. Workers would have more motivation and fewer thoughts about leaving for another job.

Role #8 – Compensating for Work

A day will come when someone has to leave the company. Be it retirement or just a better job offer that they could not refuse. Every employee should receive fair compensation.

Failing to meet their expectations sets a bad precedent. Word travels fast, and if the rest of the company finds out how someone did not receive their due, the overall morale can drop, which can be a nightmare to handle. HR ensures that these things do not get out of control.

Role #9 – Solving Problems

Some companies employ hundreds of employees. Quality circles, also known as problem-solving groups, consist of workers who are looking to improve the overall quality of the workplace by organizing meetings and discussing issues at hand.

Volunteers are the driving force behind these groups, and someone is usually at the helm leading the discussions or overseeing the meetings to ensure that they are productive.

HR can send someone from their department to participate and offer some guidance. Or, if there are no quality circles in the company, someone with the initiative to start one may ask human resources to help them.

Role #10 – Taking Care of Organizational Development

Time is money, and businesses are looking for ways to boost efficiency in multiple work areas.

Job analysis and job design are organizational development techniques that play a prominent role in the process.

Some argue that job analysis is the most tangible HR process in organizational development. Before companies hire new employees, they need to analyze the position and determine potential candidates’ necessary qualities. In other words, analyzing the job and finding the right person.

Job design is also worth a shout. If a business is looking to expand, they may create different jobs rather than increase already-existing departments.

In addition to determining what skills and tasks new jobs should have, it is also necessary to figure out the degree of autonomy that a new team member will have. Too much micromanagement is not the right approach.

Finally, you have job rotation and job enlargement. The former is when someone changes their position, and the latter is when someone receives more responsibilities.

These organizational changes affect the company on multiple levels, and HR interventions are the key to achieve a smooth transition.

Role #11 – Managing Compliance

Conflict resolutions are one of the best examples of compliance management. The world is changing, and employees are no longer afraid to raise concerns when they feel unfairly treated at work.

Just look at the #metoo movement or what happened to a famous film producer Harvey Weinstein. And it took years before these issues reached the public.

While human resources are the department to react to these issues and solve them thoroughly and as soon as possible, there is more.

HR should take a proactive approach and not wait before people come forward. Be it a simple conflict at work or harassment cases. Human resources need to solve them swiftly. It is not just a role, but also a responsibility.

Role #12 – Helping Business

While calling human resources a business partner is a bit of a stretch; you could say that HR can help. Giving tactical pieces of advice and benefiting the company would increase the value of human resources even more.

HR professionals who have been working in a company for years can and should provide their input. This input will set the organization’s direction toward the right place.

Role #13 – Analyzing Data

Data management is not necessarily something that we attribute to HR, but we should. The ability to decide, understand, and create based on analytics is inevitable in modern business. Moreover, there is an abundance of data available thanks to modern tools that gather information on multiple fronts.

Customer experience, sales, social media presence, brand awareness, employee behavior, and other metrics influence decision making. Human resources focus on people analytics, but they can also gain from other types of data. And sharing their findings would improve the overall effectiveness of a business.

Role #14 – Controlling HR Technology Management

Last but not least, HR technology management. Businesses are looking to automate processes like follow-up emails and payment gateways or create landing pages for the sake of efficiency and convenience.

Since human resources are part of a larger picture, which is a company, the department should also look for innovative means that promote efficient practices. Relying on technology seems like the best approach, particularly now, when there are so many software choices.

There is talent management software to track applicants and pre-hire them; payroll software to create a payroll system; workforce management to keep track of time off, vacation schedules, and shift allocations.

And these are just a few examples. It ultimately comes down to the company and HR department needs, but the bottom line is that controlling human resources technology and knowing when to implement it is beneficial to businesses.

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Justas Markus

Written by Justas Markus

CEO & co-Founder of GetFound XL. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.

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