In business, HR stands for Human Resource. It’s a division of a business that is responsible for workers-related situations. The main activities of an HR department are finding and recruiting skilled professionals for the organization, providing required training to the job applicants, and maintaining a healthy relationship between the employee and workers.
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Functions Of HR
The HR department plays a very important role within an organizational structure. They perform a lot of activities that ensure the business remains fully functional. Some important functions of HR are –
1. Recruitment & selection
2. Performance management
3. Learning & development
4. Succession planning
5. Compensation and benefits
6. Human Resources Information Systems
7. HR data and analytics
Recruitment & Selection
This is a very important function of HR. In our professional life, we are very familiar with the term “interview.” It’s the duty of the HR team to select and recruit the best candidate to come and work for the company. It’s a very important responsibility to find a professional who is the best match for the company’s requirements. Skilled and appropriate professionals are the lifeblood of a company therefore finding the best is very important. The work of HR management starts when a new job is created or an existing job opens up. In this type of situation, the direct manager sends the job description to HR, and then HR starts looking for candidates that best match the job description. The HR management goes through a process that includes interviews, different assessments, reference checks, etc.
This is also a very important function of HR. After finalizing the selection process when the professionals join the company, it’s a routine duty to monitor the performance of the new employees. In fact, performance management is the second most important HR function. Performance management helps the employees to perform better in their jobs. Every employee has a set of responsibilities that they need to take care of. Performance management enables employees to get feedback on their performance which encourages them to reach a better performance. Some activities of performance management are formal one-on-one performance reviews, 360-degree feedback, the evaluation of peers, clients, and other relations, etc. Usually, most of the company has an annual performance management cycle and it includes activities like planning, monitoring, reviewing, and rewarding employee performance. With these monitoring activities, performance management can categorize employees as high vs. low performers and high vs. low potentials.
Learning & Development
It’s a common scenario for new employees to struggle to perform well in a new company/environment. So it’s the responsibility of HR to organize learning and development sessions and help the employees to improve their performance. Learning and development are led by HR and proper policies can help the company to advance towards its long-term goals. It’s the duty of HR to organize training opportunities for future leaders and other high potential employees. Usually, HR takes different development programs depending on the performance of the employees.
This type of planning is required when key employees leave the company. Succession Planning is the process of planning contingencies for situations where senior or experienced professionals leave the organization. When a senior manager quits his/her job, having a ready replacement will save a significant amount of money and ensure the company continues to work in the same way. In most cases, HR does the Succession Planning based on performance ratings and L&D efforts. This process creates a talent pipeline in case of emergencies. The HR trains a group of employees who are qualified and ready to fill the position of the seniors in case someone leaves.
Compensation And Benefits
Compensation and Benefits is also an important function of HR. It’s the duty of HR to motivate the employees and push them to achieve their goals. One of the best ways to motivate the employees is by giving fair compensation. There are two types of compensation. They are primary compensation and secondary compensation. In the primary compensation, the money is directly paid for the work, for example, a performance-based bonus. The secondary compensations are all non-monetary rewards and it includes extra holidays, flexible working times, day-care, pensions, a company car, a laptop for work, etc. So the main target of Compensation and Benefits is to reward the employees to motivate them.
Human Resources Information Systems
The Human Resource Information System supports all the functions that I have discussed above. For example, HR uses the Applicant Tracking System to keep track of applicants and hires. HR also uses a performance management system to keep track of different goals and put in performance ratings. The Learning Management System (LMS) is used for the distribution of content internally. Many HR also use the LMS to keep track of budgets and training approvals. A payroll system is used by HR management for effective succession planning. So it’s quite clear that the HR management uses different tools to maintain their functionality.
HR Data And Analytics
Over the last half-decade or so, HR has become more data-driven. Therefore, Human Resource Information Systems is playing a very important role in the functionality of HR management. Now HR maintains a data-entry system to make better and more informed decisions. HR follows the HR metrics or HR KPIs to understand how the company is performing under a given measurement. Moreover, using the proper data, the HR manager can make predictions about the future of the company including workforce needs, employee turnover intention, new recruits, etc.
Importance Of HR For A Business
1. Every business/company has a culture and HR monitors that culture. HR helps to maintain the relationships among the workers and employees and maintains the culture
2. HR plays a very important role in the talent management processes. HR works with other managers and leads the way in management development
3. HR helps the managers and executive staff to execute the plan properly that will lead to effective practices in the organization
4. HR helps the business to create a superior workforce by recruiting skilled and experienced professionals who will help the business to reach its desired goals
5. HR conducts important tasks that include various training, scheduling assistance, following the systematic hiring process, and many more
6. HR develops a strategic compensation plan to ensure proper market-based salaries for the employees
7. HR creates and implements employee benefits programs that motivate the employees and retains the best employees of the company
8. HR helps the management with data-driven strategies to make the best decision and help the business attain its desired goals
9. HR leads the way with employee programs and help the business develop new products as well as change the mission, vision, and goals of the business
10. HR ensures there are opportunists for the employees to do workplace activities, events, celebrations, ceremonies, etc. for team building as well as building a friendly relationship with other workers
11. HR takes care of employees who have issues or conflicts with management and helps develop an effective working relationship between the management and employee.
12. HR keeps the work environments of a business healthy and employee-friendly. HR provides all the basic tools and facilities to enhance the employee performance
13. HR helps to maintain smooth communication between the employees to avoid misunderstanding for the daily interactions of the business
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.