Blog·HR Management

July 16, 2019

Human Resources Functions: 8 Areas to Focus on

There are 8 key Human Resources Functions to focus on when creating your HR department. Having an HR department can have positive effects on company performance.

Human Resources Functions can seem like a bit of a black box from an outsider's perspective. Depending on the size of your organization, there may be just one person in the role or a large team. Even if you’re a growing small business, there is a demonstrable benefit of having a dedicated resource to organize and standardize the employment process.

The Human Resources department is not only there for human resources management but also to ensure the long term success of the company by managing the needs of employees and allowing them to be effective in their roles. Let’s review some of the key functions of HR to emphasize the importance of the role they play:


Recruitment and selection

It takes time and planning to attract and recruit highly talented employees. In addition scheduling interviews, screening and communicating with a large pool of candidates, the HR team must also make sure individuals are a good fit for the company and the team. Not to be overlooked is the onboarding process; making a good first impression can pave the way for a productive and engaged employee long term.

Training and Development

Once we’ve found the best talent, it’s time to provide training to enable them to complete their assignments. Whatever the training is, it needs to be customized to the organization so that we understand the “why” when we begin to perform our role. Even professional employees have room for growth, and proactive companies anticipate and offer development opportunities for employees to grow their skills in ways that benefit both the individual and the organization.

Company Brand and Culture

Often overlooked is the role the Human Resources plays in creating and maintaining the company brand and culture. Just as on-the-job training prepares employees to complete tasks, introducing new employees to “how you do things here” is important to make sure they feel included and are aware of how to communicate and interact with others. This is also related to the brand or the “who we are” of a company. Promoting and reminding everyone of the vision and mission of the organization ensure we are living up to those principles in everything we do.

Safety and Health

If you think of a workplace in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, we first must make sure that everyone has their basic needs cover: comfortable working space, reasonable temperature and access to food/water, and feeling safe. In addition to supporting a comfortable working conditions, HR should also have an open-door policy to hearing feedback and managing workplace misconduct that can lead to hostile work environments. Of course, physical safety is also of importance and HR may be involved in ensuring accessibility for employees in up to par. Many employers now offer no-cost healthy snacks for employees to incentivise healthy habits increase productivity and support employee welfare.

Performance Management

Performance appraisals are important not only because they allow you to track performance over time, but they also can help identify areas for performance improvement and opportunities for growth. Although the review itself will likely be carried out by a manager and employee, the HR team is often responsible for tabulating and verify the results and taking or suggesting corrective action when required. The review process doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom: you can incorporate a second dimension of performance, like potential, to highlight where employees could set stretch goals to improve in the future.

Succession Planning

Even the greatest companies to work for have turnover, but the best ones monitor and predict it both to intervene and keep talent but also to make sure vital roles are always filled. As a key player in choosing employees for advancement and management positions, Human Resources should take into account not just performance (being good at your job), but also reputation, feedback and leadership skills. This ongoing process links to recruitment as well, as the team should plan and be aware of current and future staff demand.

Compensation and Benefits

While you might associate these two with the recruitment process, compensation and benefits should also be reviewed and update based on promotions, change in roles and other factors. Understanding what competitors and understanding the demand in the market is crucial to offering competitive incentives to maintain employees. Additionally, the HR department is often involved in evaluating and setting up perks programs that recognizse and reward employees for doing exemplary work. Sometimes small, intangible or personal gestures are as effective as monetary compensation.

Compliance and Legal

Depending on your place of business, there are likely labor laws or other regulations that define the relationship between employer and employee. The HR team must understand these legal matters to ensure the company and the employee are protected. This may include, but is not limited to employee contracts, payroll legislation, regular leave calculations, and government and tax reporting.

In addition to these 8 areas, Human Resources frequently partner with other departments or functional areas to execute company objectives. For example, role definition may be handled in part by line manager and HR to ensure candidates are brought on board to fulfil specific needs. In conduction with the legal team they may also maintain and produce documents as required by law. And even not directly involved, HR works as a mediator between fellow employees, managers and executive leadership to settle disputes, disseminate information and provide advice.

As you can see, the role that HR plays is very important and can have measurable impacts on company performance. To manage this large workload, many organizations begin to use a Human Resource Information System, to track and document employee details. Contact us here to find out more about how PeopleGoal is helping HR teams across the world maximize their productivity while engaging, motivating and developing their employees. Keep reading to find out more about HR trends in 2019 and what you should be looking for in a HR software.

Further Reading

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