The HR (Human Resources) department is a group who is responsible for managing the employee life cycle (i.e., recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and firing employees) and administering employee benefits.
- HR needs to understand the organization’s needs and make sure those needs are met when recruiting for new positions. It’s not as simple as just throwing an ad up on Indeed: you’ll need to analyze the market, consult stakeholders, and manage budgets.
Maintaining HR records is mandated by law. These records help employers identify skill gaps to help with the hiring process and to analyze demographic data and comply with regulations. They also contain personal details and emergency contacts for each employee.
HR can help provide management guidance to managers, making sure that departments and teams are as healthy and functional as possible. This may include periodically sending managers to formal training and retreats.
- An HR department that never interacts with employees isn’t doing its job. While you’re developing an onboarding procedure, educate new employees on when to reach out to HR and what resources HR has to offer.
- The HR department should regularly schedule one-on-one interviews with employees to check in on their career progression, comfort in their roles, and any other issues the employee may be having.
Considering these responsibilities, employees should feel comfortable reaching out to their HR departments in these, and similar, situations:
- When you (or a co-worker) experience harassment or discrimination from your colleagues, including your manager
- When you have questions about advancing at the company, including opportunities to shadow other employees or participate in additional training
- The human resources department heavily contributes to a company’s culture. If HR genuinely cares about the well-being of employees, the culture will be one of openness and growth.