In simpler terms, the Human Resources (HR) department is a team that is primarily responsible for administering the entire worker life cycle (i.e. recruiting, interviewing, hiring, on-boarding, training, and terminating employees).
The main functions of this department are to recruit, hire, and train employees. Each employee is assigned a specific role and responsibilities according to his/her skills, job description, level of experience, work history, etc. Within the human resources department, there are departments for payroll, benefits, employment placement/activity, talent acquisition, employee relations, health and safety, and many more. The HR Department also handles employee benefit plans and retirement plan administration.
Since the HR department manages the employee pool, it is important to monitor the quality of each resource in the labor market. For this purpose, the department tracks and analyzes the data on the quality of each employee through various channels. According to the research conducted, the main drivers for the quality of labor are recruitment, training and development, and on-the-job experience. For optimal resource allocation and utilization, the human capital of the organization should be analyzed, developed, and kept updated at all times.
Another important function of the human resource department is the administration of employee benefits such as retirement and accident insurance, group health, pension, childcare, life insurance, workers’ compensation, and other employee-based benefits such as premium payments, discount cards, exchange programs, etc. The benefits administrator plays an important role in the smooth running of the benefits program. This includes receiving applications, processing claims, maintaining records, and communicating benefits to the employees. The benefits administrator is also responsible for providing advice and guidance to the company to employees about retirement and health care options. At present, companies are increasingly adopting electronic benefits management systems that make compliance with the regulations and standards more economical.
Recruiting is another critical function of the human resource department. It involves screening, evaluating, hiring, training, retaining, and promoting individuals for the benefit of the company. Recruitment comprises half of the expenses of any organization and the entire process costs a fortune. For this reason, organizations are increasingly relying on the services of professional recruiters to make sure that they hire only high-quality individuals for the benefit of the organization.
Another HR function is that of payroll administration. Without the right processes in place, payroll administration is impossible. This includes collecting the dues of employees, keeping track of their hours of work, calculating the deductions and credits, processing tax and social security numbers, tallying up the hours of employees worked, and providing the necessary reports to the management. Thus, a well-oiled HR department is a huge asset for any company looking forward to organizational growth and success.
There are a number of other HR functions that are crucial for the proper functioning of an organization as a whole as well as each department within it. Internal HR functions like recruitment, hiring, appraisals, training and development, and payroll take up most of the time. In some organizations where there is a large percentage of outsiders, the human resources department handles the external recruitment as well as interviewing candidates and manages the various job requirements until the position becomes available. New employee screening functions take up most of the time in this department also.
The other major HR function is that of employee relations. This department deals with issues like harassment in the workplace, recruitment of potential candidates, induction and promotion, discipline, and warning procedures among others. It also takes care of other activities like employment screening, equity and equal opportunity practices, compensatory and benefits settlements, dismissal, and appeals. There are many other HR functions that are crucial to the proper functioning of any organization. Therefore, it is advisable that you consult your human resources departments on a regular basis for keeping this department up to date.