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Effective human resource management is arguably one of the most important elements of running a successful business.
Working in HR involves taking on a variety of duties, but there are key responsibilities that every HR professional ought to be able to grasp and implement.
If HR people fail to understand these basics, the HR strategy of a business will not be executed effectively.
This blog will explain what HR means, why HR is important, and explore the day-to-day HR operations of a business.
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Human Resources (HR) is the department that is responsible for overseeing the employee life cycle of a business.
On one end of the scale, HR functions as an internal recruiter, sourcing and hiring new employees.
Similarly, HR help with the onboarding and training of new employees, as well as ensuring wider company wellbeing.
Maintaining a positive workplace culture is the purpose of what HR does.
In addition, HR work involves several employee-related administrative tasks, such as handling payroll, implementing job benefits and organising annual leave.
On the opposite end of the scale, human resource management also entails business success planning.
It is the role of the HR Manager to oversee employee performance and job satisfaction, planning for all eventualities.
In essence, it is hard to provide a simple human resources definition.
HR services cover a plethora of employee-focused areas and will vary slightly from business to business – this will be fully explicated later in the blog.
Though HR services vary from business to business, the overarching aim of all HR divisions is to manage the staff cycle and culture of their organisation.
It is also important to understand what each role within the HR department is for.
Of course, due to the variation in size and capability of every HR department, what human resources roles exist at every company will differ.
Here are some of the most common human resources jobs:
Human Resources Manager
Director of People
Human Resources Officer
Head of People Operations
Human Resources Administrator
Human Resources Coordinator
The responsibilities of each of these HR positions will vary depending on seniority, team size, business aims and so on.
For instance, a HR Administrator will be responsible for managing internal databases, handling employee payroll and maintaining personnel records.
In contrast, an Internal Recruiter will be responsible for identifying hiring needs, advertising vacancies, sourcing and interviewing candidates and onboarding new hires.
Human resource management (HRM) refers to the implementation of a company’s internal strategy, from hiring aims to employee wellbeing checks.
HRM also refers to the tasks that HR staff undertake as part of this strategy. Such tasks include:
One of the main duties of an HR professional is to handle payroll.
Employees want to be paid in full and on time, and HR is responsible for ensuring that is the case.
The compensation you offer employees needs to be satisfactory for them to be happy and fulfilled at the office.
You need to pay amounts that your company can afford and that are in line with their goals, but also figures that are attractive enough to bring in some talented workers.
The benefits you offer are another thing that HR is tasked with handling.
They need to work to ensure a benefits package is both fair and acceptable for the company and the employees.
These people may also need to work directly with healthcare providers to negotiate plans.
Of course, there are other benefits HR professionals need to think about outside of healthcare.
What should be included in a benefits package?
HR professionals also need to do their research to make sure they are going about things in the most efficient way.
For example, there are many different approaches to PTO software, so be sure to take time to find one that works for you.
Another basic that HR workers should be aware of is managing performance.
It is often up to HR to monitor employees and make sure they are performing adequately.
If no one is managing the performance of workers, it can be hard to know whether the team is being effective and efficient or not.
Performance management is all about helping workers be their best, and providing them the appropriate tools and feedback along the way.
The importance of feedback cannot be overstated. It can help to clarify expectations, build confidence, and simply help workers perform their tasks better.
If necessary, this can be facilitated within a mentoring programme.
Each employee will have a certain list of duties and responsibilities, and you need to ensure they are completing these in a satisfactory manner.
This can often be done by performance reviews, general feedback, or even things like peer evaluation in some cases.
Generally, employee performance will be evaluated a couple of times a year.
Any issues should be addressed, and a plan of attack should be created to get the performance of the employee to the level it should be.
Communication and postivity are important during these times, as well.
The last thing you want to do is publicly call out a worker or make them feel like a failure - employee mental health should be safeguarded at every stage.
Constructive criticism and finding ways to improve performance without tearing them down should always be a goal.
HR professionals also need to organise their employees' annual leave calendars.
Taking time off is so important for employees, so it's equally important that there is an individual taking full charge of the process.
There are many different ways to track annual leave, but each HR professional will need to find a software or method that works well for them.
If you want to learn more about annual leave, check out our detailed annual leave calculator!
Job training and development
Another primary responsibility of HR is to train and develop new employees.
New hires need to be shown the ropes, and you need to prepare them to become a functioning member of your team.
If the training efforts that have been implemented are low-quality, new workers might not be getting the information they need to thrive.
While the initial onboarding process is likely the most important, your training shouldn’t stop there.
You should offer various programs and/or courses that allow people to build their skills or knowledge throughout their careers.
By doing this, you not only help workers be more productive and skilful, but also loyal to the company.
If an employee sees you putting time, effort, and money into building their skills, they are sure to appreciate it and will want to work hard for you!
Before you can hire and train people, you need to recruit them.
Recruiting the right team is a crucial element of being a successful HR professional.
Internal recruiters are responsible for advertising open positions, using tools to sort and observe the candidates, and then choosing some to interview and eventually hire.
HR pros will also be responsible for checking any references, administering assessments, setting up interviews, and communicating with interested candidates.
If a HR professional isn’t well-versed at hiring effectively and knowing good interview tips, it can deter top candidates and waste a lot of time.
Making poor hiring choices can be expensive and have a negative impact on company culture.
So, ensuring that the HR recruitment side of things is up to scratch is a must, particularly for internal recruiters.
Business succession planning
An incredibly underrated part of the job that every HR employee needs to be well-versed in is succession planning.
This is all about having a plan in place for when key members of your team retire or move onto new opportunities.
This process includes pinpointing and developing the employee or employees who can step in and fill these roles.
In general, you want a pool of interested and qualified individuals who can quickly step into these senior or management roles, without a lot of downtimes or additional training.
This will ensure there is a smooth transition, and not one full of roadblocks and confusion.
If this type of planning isn’t done, the loss of an executive can have a major and lasting negative impact on the company, and finding a suitable replacement can take a lot of time.
By preparing and planning ahead of time, you can ensure your company can continue to grow and succeed without a major drop in efficiency.
HR departments are essential to the running of any successful business.
Companies are reliant on HR divisions to ensure employee wellbeing, productivity, retention, and growth.
Without human resources, businesses would struggle to implement operational policies and fulfil administrative duties.
Whilst that responsibility can place a lot of pressure on HR professionals, it also provides a lot of job security, high job satisfaction, great earning potential, and plenty of opportunity for progression.
Human resources skills are also highly transferable; Problem solving, change management, administrative abilities and communication skills are an asset to any aspirational professional.
HR is also a great career choice if you are looking for a high impact job that is predominantly people-facing.
In conclusion, while HR can be a complicated profession, we hope that this article has helped you learn some of the basics in HR management.
Without these, HR professionals will not have the fundamentals that they need to succeed in their job.
This was written by Ashley Lipman. Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer at Study clerk who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.