What is Human Resources (HR)

A recent Bloomberg HR Analysis report stated that companies should have 1.4 full-time HR staff members for every 100 employees. The report states that this level of HR talent is necessary to recruit new employees and meet a company’s organizational demands.

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Define HR

Chances are, at some point someone has asked, ‘What does “HR” stand for?’ Most always the answer to that question is related to the workplace as “HR” is the abbreviation for "human resources."

HR also describes the entire workforce within an organization. Within an organization, the HR department oversees administering employee-related concerns for the company.

What Does the Human Resources Department Do?

An HR department’s primary task is to take care of a company’s top priority: its employees.

HR staff make sure the company’s environment is a place that allows employees to do their best work. The HR department also leads the company’s efforts to attract and keep a qualified workforce.

What Are the Human Resources Functions?

Recruit Candidates

Recruiting candidates is a process for finding the right person for a vacant position. A source for qualified candidates might be the public at large. It might also be your existing workforce.

Recruitment efforts include writing job descriptions, posting job announcements, and creating interview questions.

Hire the Right Employees

Hiring the right staff means having a workforce that grows and develops as your organization does. Finding these kinds of workers is a two-step approach.

Fist, companies must analyze how many people they need to support their current objectives. These companies must also analyze their company’s future goals. That way, they'll be able to identify what kind of workers they’ll need in the future.

When a company has this information, they can determine if existing staff members need coaching to develop as the company grows. They can also gauge whether they'll need new talent to reach company goals.

Process Payroll

Payroll processing involves tracking hours worked and calculating salaries. Part of the process requires withholding state and federal taxes and other deductions from paychecks; printing paychecks and making direct deposits to the employee’s bank account.

Most companies use a payroll management software program. These programs track different components of an employee’s pay package.

Maintain Employee Records

HR departments manage employee hiring records and retirement/end of employment actions. Employee records also cover benefit enrollment records, promotion, or disciplinary actions.

Managing these records must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These regulations safeguard employee confidentiality.

Manage Compensation

Managing compensation means planning and distributing the company's salary and benefits package. Compensation comes in four different models:

  • Hourly rate
  • Salaries
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses

HR professionals maintain a close watch on their company's wages and bonuses. Compensation should show the company appreciates the ongoing needs of their workers. Doing so helps the business stay competitive within their industry.

Manage Benefits

Managing benefits means administering all non-wage compensation that supplements a worker’s salary. Benefits include retirement funds and private medical insurance. Other benefits might include dental insurance, gym memberships, or profit-sharing. Managing benefits means administering all non-wage compensation that supplements a worker’s salary. Benefits include retirement funds and private medical insurance. Other benefits might include dental insurance, gym memberships, or profit-sharing.

Conduct Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary actions are the procedures employers follow to address issues of employee misconduct and circumstances that may need to change. Disciplinary measures also ensure that employees are fairly treated.

An effective disciplinary action will tell an employee when their behavior is unacceptable. This action will also involve a plan to resolve the situation.

What’s a Human Capital Management System?

A human capital management system is an integrated technology. It connects and streamlines these varied human resource processes together.

Your HCM links all employee management tasks from recruitment to retirement. Some of these HCM components include:

  • Recruitment and applicant tracking
  • New employee onboarding
  • Performance management
  • Payroll
  • Benefits administration

What Are the Types of Human Resources Roles?

HR Assistant

A human resources assistant is an entry-level position within the HR profession. HR assistants provide clerical support, such as answering phone calls and scheduling appointments.

HR Administrative Assistant

HR administrative assistants offer support to HR managers and directors. They’re tasked with preparing correspondence for HR managers or handling travel arrangements.

HR administrative assistants will also collect job applications and notify individuals of their hiring status.

HR Associate

An HR associate provides direct service to the internal workforce of a company. They help new employees with benefit enrollment protocols and issues and execute employee contracts prior to hiring. An HR associate will conduct new employee onboarding orientations and explain employee benefits, as well.

HR Administrator

An HR administrator helps with managing a company’s HR databases. The database that an HR administrator uses is the Human Resources Information system or HRIS.

HR administrators routinely update these databases. These databases track employee leaves (i.e., sick, active duty, vacation.) They also use these systems to distribute employee contracts or new-hire manuals.

HR Analyst

HR analysts are responsible for recruiting and hiring new employees and conduct these duties consistent with local and federal regulations. They must also comply with company policies as well.

HR analysts screen job applications and check professional references. They’ll also represent the company during new employee hiring negotiations.

HR Specialist

HR specialists are trained to work in a specific field of human resources. These fields might include benefits administration or safety compliance.

HR specialists also work in areas such as organizational or space planning.

HR Generalist

HR generalists help manage the daily operations within an office or company. HR generalists are typically dedicated to managing the company’s human resources policies and procedures.

Duties range from employee orientation to conducting performance management.

HR Supervisor

An HR supervisor helps manage employee relations. When necessary, they address employee conflicts and conduct investigations. They directly supervise HR analysts, associates, and administrative staff as well.

HR supervisors are also responsible for assessing employee performance. They work with their staff to identify and improve any performance areas that are falling below company standards.

HR Managers and HR Executive

An HR manager is different than an HR advisor. An HR advisor will guide stakeholders to comply with current regulations. They recommend courses of action that facilitate a disciplinary hearing. They might also be present as a source of additional support.

The HR manager provides overall management to a section of an HR department. These professionals provide support and guidance to HR supervisors when sensitive issues arise. These issues might include investigating claims of wrongdoing and terminations.

The HR manager role also differs from a senior HR manager position. Senior managers partner with the leadership team to execute the organization’s talent strategies that relate to recruiting, retention, and succession planning.

An HR executive reports to C-level staff to execute company-wide HR changes to employee benefits and other policies.

The HR manager role also differs from a senior HR manager position. Senior managers partner with the leadership team to execute the organization’s talent strategies that relate to recruiting, retention, and succession planning.

They also differ from an HR Executive. An HR executive reports to higher authorities to execute HR changes to employee benefits and other policies.

HR Recruiter

HR recruiters create the recruiting plans for a company. This involves searching for new talent through a network of industry organizations. They'll also search for talent through professional contacts, social media, job fairs, and more.

An HR recruiter is different than a recruitment manager. These managers lead teams of HR recruiters. They are responsible for designing a recruitment process that adheres to the organization’s hiring strategy.

Payroll Manager

Payroll managers oversee an organization’s payroll tasks. Their job ensures that payroll is processed accurately and is compliant with government regulations.

Payroll managers review payroll transactions such as tax deductions, garnishments, and other paycheck actions. These professionals help the company comply with all local, state, and federal wage and hour laws.

Benefits Administrator

These professionals provide oversight to employee health, disability, and life insurance programs. Benefits administrator’s also help keep a company's leadership updated on any changes to federal or state laws affecting these benefits.

Benefits administrator’s also advise new employees about company benefits, which can range from profit sharing to retirement plans.

Talent Acquisition Managers

Talent acquisition managers create strategies to find leaders and executives for a company. As a talent acquisition manager, they focus on finding candidates for positions that demand a highly specific skill set.

They differ from recruitment managers, who are more focused on filling vacancies quickly and efficiently.

Safety Manager

A safety manager helps a company comply with state or federal laws that promote employee safety in the workplace. These professionals also conduct ergonomic assessments of employee’s workstations.

Safety managers also provide ongoing safety training to recognize hazards. These skills are vital to promoting a safe working environment.

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