Human Resources Department Functions

  • Staffing Needs
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Law Compliance

The purpose of human resources departments is to manage the numerous needs of company employees. From financial to legal matters, human resources departments help in maximizing the efficiency of an organization.

1. Staffing Needs

Human resources departments are mainly known for their responsibility of recruiting employees. This includes creating position announcements which involve identifying job duties and determining the skill level and requirements that are needed for a position. Personnel screen applicants by completing reference checks, administering tests, and interviewing potential candidates. This department is integral to the termination of employees as they help ensure that no laws are violated during this process. Personnel in the department frequently communicate with management in other departments in the recruitment process. Human resources departments are also heavily involved in the transfer and promotion process for existing employees.

2. Compensation

Fair payment is a huge concern for employees. Human resources department personnel evaluate and make changes to an organization’s pay structure by researching compensation trends with the aim of providing employees with industry-acceptable pay. They also assess policies and help an organization comply with the various federal, state, and local laws in regards to compensation such as the Fair Labor Standards Act which addresses minimum wage and payment for overtime work. Human resources departments review and provide documentation for unemployment claims. Personnel also helps inform new employees of the pay structure as well as provide assistance with payroll setup.

3. Benefits

Developing and effectively administrating an employee benefits program is a great recruitment and retention tool that organizations use. Common benefits of a job include health insurance, dental insurance, and a retirement plan. Human resources personnel must research and analyze information to obtain the best packages for these benefits which should provide adequate coverage for employees while minimizing the costs for the employer. During enrollment season, human resources departments provide vital information to employees to make time-sensitive decisions. They also coordinate the processes involved with specialized leave time for employees such as maternity leave and leave due to active military duty.

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4. Performance Appraisal

Human resources departments work in conjunction with individual department managers to evaluate employee performance. This department is responsible for creating the entire performance appraisal process. This process frequently occurs annually for many organizations. Thus, it’s important that the process is simple and straight-forward, yet is effective. Equitable practices must exist as appraisals are used as the basis for promotion, retention, and termination which can bring legal action if improperly executed. The department oversees this process making sure that all participants understand the process, that deadlines are adhered to, and that only qualified employees receive the rewards for exemplary performance reviews.

5. Law Compliance

Companies are responsible for the safety and equitable treatment of their employees. Laws exist to protect employees in a variety of areas. Failure to comply can bring countless lawsuits which can undermine a business’s profits. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a workplace can reduce the cost stemming from injury and illness by 20 to 40 percent when the proper safety and health systems are in place. Human resources departments keep companies up-to-date with regulations by staying aware of these laws, disseminating the proper information, and creating procedures to ensure adherence to the laws by everyone.

A properly run human resources department finds a way to balance the needs of the employer and the employees. The purpose of human resources departments can be fulfilled by completing these varied tasks.