What is Human Resources (HR)?

The task of the human resources department is to focus on hiring and managing all the employees working for the concern. All the records about employees, including personal data, training records, and any hiring/firing information are maintained by this department.

The other responsibilities of the department personnel may include assisting the managers in dealing with the employees. While hiring a new candidate, they assist in setting and negotiating salaries of the prospective hires. During an employee’s tenure with the organization, the human resources staff assists the supervisors in evaluating employee performance by providing evaluation sheets and also train them in effectively carrying out a performance evaluation. In case of an underperforming staff member, they prove quite helpful by tactfully handling the firing process.

They may assist other management team members in creating an organizational structure which is not only effective but also provides clear lines of authority and communication. They are also capable of advising the management and employees to help resolve any conflicts and other workplace interpersonal relational issues. They also play an important role in the career development of the employees.

Traditionally, all these tasks used to be handled by the management, but as these tasks became progressively more complex and began to carry legal implications, separate departments developed with employees having specific training in the field.

Trained individuals will find it a challenging and interesting area to build their career. A college degree is the basic requirement for a person willing to work in this field usually in business, psychology, or organizational communication. Increasingly, those who wish to advance in the field have an MBA, or earn the business masters degree while they work.

Hiring and terminations

Hiring new employees forms a major part of the task of human resources. When a company needs a new employee, human resources handle the complete recruiting process. They may decide to hire a professional head hunter, place ads in a local newspaper, or hold a career fair, depending on the demands of the situation. Once they receive all the resumes from various candidates showing interest in the position, the department will review all resumes, rate them, and pick out the resumes from the best candidates for the management’s consideration.

The initial interview for any position is usually conducted by the human resources department and background checks and drug testing are also performed.


The management of employee benefits including salary, health care, dental plans, and retirement plans is another important part of the human resources department’s task list. They are also entrusted with the management of any other benefits provided by a company, such as performance bonuses, tuition reimbursement, or child care assistance. These are issues of vital importance to every employee of the organization.

Training & Certification

Employee training is another task generally delegated to the human resources department. Training and certification is a major activity in any business. Even when people are hired with good skills and abilities, they often need some sort of training so that they can better mold themselves to the new job.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000, Six Sigma, Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) are some of the popular certifications for which the employees of the organization may be trained. It helps the businesses in improving the productivity, capability, standards, and quality of work produced by the employees.

Safety issues are also the responsibility of human resources. They could be asked to help a company develop and carry out a plan for safety training and complying with all government regulations, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.

Time & Attendance

Time and attendance play a major role in personnel management both for a paid employee as well as a volunteer. An organization may choose to either record only the time an employee spends at the office, that is the log in and log out timing, or keep track of the time spent on each task completed on the job. This is accomplished by using a variety of advanced software programs.


Outsourcing may be defined as subcontracting a job to another person or company. It involves not only tangible products or goods but also the management of day-to-day execution and oversight of entire business functions to a long-distance, external service provider. This is often done in order to cut the costs involved or due to the lack of certain required expertise. Ranging from accounting or legal assistance to customer service, information technology support, hiring, and even employee food services may be outsourced depending on the size and requirement of the organization outsourcing its services.

The two participating organizations in an outsourcing agreement are called the supplier and the client organization. Together, they both enter into an agreement that defines and sets boundaries on the services being transferred.

Payroll, Employment law, Labour relations, WSIB, Health and Safety

Comments on this entry are closed.

Next post: