The primary task of a HR department is managing the most precious resource in any organisation – its employees. In large businesses, the department is placed in-house with highly qualified and trained executives carrying out all major functions. This includes setting up necessary infrastructure along with installation of sophisticated hardware and software which generally works out to substantial investments.
Small businesses and start-ups often cannot afford this huge expenditure and therefore depend on external HR agencies to carry out the same tasks for them that would have been carried out in-house. The advantage here is that the charges for outsourcing HR functions are quite affordable; resulting in savings for small businesses that in turn can be ploughed back into core activities for growth and development.
There are multiple roles that are performed by HR department in any organisation. They can be classified as follows –
- Hiring and Selection – Having the right employee at the right post is crucial for smooth running of any organisation. For this to happen, HR executives have to draw up staffing patterns for the future keeping in mind the company’s expansion plans.. Further, one-off vacancies have to be filled too when an employee retires or resigns. The selection process is not easy, starting with placing ads in papers, screening applications received and then going through several rounds of interviews with potential candidates for the job. It is a role that requires objective evaluation and a thorough knowledge of the intricacies of the recruitment process.
- Training and Development – The next step after recruitment is to obviously arm the employees with adequate job knowledge so that they can perform their duties to the best. Even the most competent of recruited staff have to be slowly introduced to the business culture. HR departments also offer leadership programmes to new and existing supervisors and managers so that they are fully equipped to handle employee relationships and their performances. Training programmes are either in-house where executives train their subordinates or external courses where industry experienced consultants structure courses that match organisational needs.
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- Optimising Employee relationships – Employees are the foundation of any organisation and it is therefore essential that they be a happy and satisfied lot. A disgruntled employee will not only have poor productivity levels, he/she will also vitiate the working environment, thereby affecting others too. It is largely the responsibility of the HR department to initiate activities that help employees prosper at both professional and personal levels.
- Benefits and compensation – While data processing relating to payroll management can be outsourced to external agencies, the HR department has to devise optimised structure for employee compensation and benefits. HR executives have to ensure that compensation packages offered are competitive enough to retain talent. Further, the department also has to monitor and administer retirement savings and funds as well as negotiate with insurers the best possible group insurance benefits.
These are some of the main roles played by the HR Department of an organisation.