The Functional Roles of HR

Many large, middle-sized and even small business organizations have a human resources department. The functional roles of an HR department remain the same regardless of the size of your business. As the name indicates, the department exists to manage and assist the human element of the company. Since human capital is the most important asset of any organization, having an efficient and quality human resources department is key to the quality and success of the organization.


One function of a human resources department is to recruit employees. Hiring the right people and putting them in the right positions for their abilities and skills is crucial to the success and efficiency of any organization. The human resources department plays a role in this process, as it recruits and interviews prospective employees and administers various ability or psychological tests. This role can be particularly important in a small business that is just beginning to experience growth.

Performance Evaluations

Another function of an HR department is conducting annual performance evaluations. They may provide the paperwork and a time frame for supervisors and managers to complete the evaluations with their staff, then collect and work through the results of the evaluations. Often, results of performance evaluations affect compensation, promotions or terminations.

Compensation and Benefits

Another important function of an HR department is to coordinate benefits, compensation, tax withholding and other wage-related items. An HR representative is generally required to meet with new employees to carefully explain their insurance coverage and wage information. For hourly employees, human resources is responsible for tracking time reports and ensuring that employees are meeting their time requirements and are accurately reporting hours. It is the responsibility of HR to make sure that the payroll system is always running smoothly, whether your business is large or small.

A Resource for Employees

A human resources department also functions as a haven for harassed or otherwise abused employees. Unfortunately, workplace misbehavior can occur in any sized organization, and employees should report harassment, discrimination or other unethical practices to the HR department. HR staff may act as the go-between for individuals involved in these situations and will also help to resolve any issues involving employee relations. HR departments also manage union relationships.