Human resources (HR) is a vital department that every organization needs to manage its employees effectively. A well-run HR department provides structure, manages employee needs, and ensures that the company can meet its business objectives. In this article, we will explore the six essential functions of HR and how they can benefit your organization.
Recruitment: Finding the Right Fit
Recruiting the right people for the right job is critical to your organization’s success. HR professionals are responsible for developing the workforce and filling vacant positions. They create job postings, source candidates, screen applicants, conduct interviews, and coordinate the hiring process. The success of recruiters is measured by the number of positions filled and the time it takes to fill those positions.
Workplace Safety: A Top Priority
Maintaining a safe work environment is a top priority for every organization. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. HR professionals support workplace safety by providing training and maintaining federally mandated logs for workplace injury and fatality reporting. They also work closely with HR benefits specialists to manage the company’s workers’ compensation issues.
Employee Relations: Building Strong Relationships
Employee relations is the HR discipline focused on strengthening the employer-employee relationship. HR professionals measure job satisfaction, employee engagement, and resolve workplace conflicts. In a unionized work environment, the employee and labor relations functions of HR may be combined and managed by a specialist with specific expertise in each area. The labor relations function may include developing management responses to union organizing campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, and rendering interpretations of labor union contract issues.
Compensation and Benefits: Ensuring Fair and Competitive Pay
HR professionals also manage the compensation and benefits functions. They set compensation structures, evaluate competitive pay practices, and negotiate group health coverage rates with insurers. They may also coordinate activities with the retirement savings fund administrator. Payroll can be a component of the compensation and benefits section of HR, but many employers outsource such administrative functions.
Labor Law Compliance: Staying on the Right Side of the Law
HR staff must be aware of federal and state employment laws such as the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the National Labor Relations Act. Compliance with labor and employment laws is critical to avoid workplace complaints based on unfair employment practices, unsafe working conditions, and general dissatisfaction with working conditions. Noncompliance can affect productivity and ultimately profitability.
Training and Development: Empowering Employees
HR departments provide employees with the tools necessary for their success. HR professionals give new employees extensive orientation training to help them transition into a new organizational culture. Many HR departments also provide leadership training and professional development. Programs such as tuition assistance and reimbursement programs are within the purview of the HR training and development area.
In conclusion, human resources is an essential department that every organization needs to manage its employees effectively. The six essential functions of HR are recruitment, workplace safety, employee relations, compensation and benefits, labor law compliance, and training and development. HR professionals can provide your organization with structure, manage your workforce effectively, and ensure that you can meet your business objectives. In small businesses without a dedicated HR department, outsourcing HR functions or joining a professional employer organization can provide the same level of efficiency and workforce management.