What’s it: The human resources department or HR department is the division responsible for and dealing with managing individuals within the company. It handles human resource planning, recruitment, training, appraisals, dismissals and resignations, promotions, occupational safety and health, and industrial relations. It is a major business function apart from operations, marketing, and finance.
This department exists to help a company to create more value. It doesn’t just ensure the company has adequately qualified individuals to achieve its goals. But, it also ensures they enjoy working for the company and bring out the best for the company.
What do human resource managers do?
The manager or division head oversees the human resources department. They report to the human resources director or chief human resources officer. They plan, coordinate, and direct administrative functions within their department. They play roles such as:
- Liaison between top management and their staff
- Consult with top executives on human resource planning.
- Supervise staff and ensure they do their job properly.
- Oversee the running of human resources functions, such as recruitment, training, employee appraisal, and compensation.
How does the human resources department work?
This department develops a human resource plan to determine how many employees and qualifications are needed to meet company goals, including the steps to be taken. In addition, it aims to anticipate both current and future staff needs. The process begins with a workforce audit.
The audit examines the existing human resources within the organization, including those related to positions, salaries, working hours, skills, and qualifications. It also includes examining existing or implemented human resource management policies, procedures, and activities. It aims to identify areas for improvement and align with company objectives and comply with applicable regulations.
The human resources department then identifies gaps and considers ways to address them, including how many employees are needed by considering aspects such as years of service, turnover rate, workload, qualifications, and budget. In addition, this department also plans matters such as recruitment, training and development, assessment, and promotion.
The roles and functions of the human resources department
The human resources department takes on several key roles in planning business needs for human resources, from hiring, training to firing. It also plays a role in maintaining interpersonal and employee-company relationships and establishing a positive work environment.
The HR department is responsible for identifying, finding, and hiring the right individuals according to the company’s needs. Recruitment involves several processes such as:
- Identify the company’s need for new employees – how many are needed, in what positions, and what qualifications are required. This involves analyzing the job and creating a job description to outline the job title, duties, responsibilities, hours worked, salary, and required qualifications or skills.
- Specify the applicant – what qualities, skills, and qualifications the applicant should have. This will later be used in preparing job advertisements and screening employees.
- Attract suitable candidates – how to inform about job vacancies in the company. It may require a company’s intranet or bulletin board for internal recruitment. Meanwhile, external recruitment can be through advertisements in newspapers or the internet.
- Screening applicants and selecting the best – who is the most appropriate to hire. The process involves preliminary screening based on application forms, selection tests, interviews, and negotiations.
Training and development
Training is essential to address employee skills or knowledge gaps with what is required in their current job. So, after attending the training, they can work more effectively in their current role. Development is similar to training, but it usually prepares employees for higher positions.
Although it costs money, some companies consider this an investment. This is because it doesn’t just contribute to increased productivity. But, it is also a way to increase employee satisfaction and morale. As a result, they are more motivated and give their best for the company.
Training can take various forms, including:
- Induction training to help new staff adapt quickly and efficiently to their new roles.
- Cognitive training to improve abilities such as reasoning and information processing.
- Behavioral training to improve skills such as negotiation, conflict management, and communication skills.
Employee appraisal is related to monitoring progress and evaluating employee performance and effectiveness. This role involves an active role between HR management and the department where the employee is assigned.
Employees are assessed based on predetermined criteria and compared with predetermined targets. The output is used for determining salary increases, bonuses or promotions. It is also used to identify barriers in a particular job, thus becoming an important component in designing training and development programs.
Compensation and promotion
Indeed, the accounting department is the one usually paying the salaries. However, compensation program planning and policy are under the HR department.
The HR department determines the compensation structure, including the basic salary and benefits, adjusted to the position and sometimes the employee’s service period. For example, an employee is promoted. This department determines his salary and what facilities he gets, considering organizational policies.
The role associated with it is promotion. The HR department develops work process designs, career paths, succession planning for positions within the company, including setting requirements for occupying higher positions such as required skills.
Dismissal and resignation
Not only handling recruitment, but the HR department also establishes policies and procedures related to dismissals, resignations, and retirements. For example, an employee is not immediately fired when deemed incompetent. Instead, the HR department may issue a warning letter and provide counseling for improvement. If there is no improvement, dismissal is an unavoidable consequence.
These policies and procedures must take into account the applicable regulations. Companies can not arbitrarily fire employees. They have to comply with government regulations, not just internal policies. Failure to comply could lead to prosecution in the future for unfair dismissal. In addition, it can also demotivate those who are still working.
Occupational health and safety
Ensuring health and safety is another role for the HR department. It becomes vital because it is often regulated by the government and can affect employee morale.
Some jobs are high risk, resulting in physical harm, injury, illness, or violence in the workplace. In this case, the HR department strives to create a comfortable environment for employees to do their jobs and prevent or reduce losses or risks.
This function deals with developing and maintaining positive relationships among employees. The HR department establishes policies around fair compensation, beneficial benefits, proper work-life balance, reasonable working hours, dealing with employee violations, and resolving ongoing conflicts.
Then, we also know industrial relations, which deals with creating a harmonious employer-employee relationship. Each acquires rights and fulfills responsibilities following the contract. In addition, it seeks to facilitate resolution when complaints, disputes, or conflicts arise, which often involves employer representatives and employee representatives such as labor unions.