Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Duties of the HR department

The duties of human resources departments vary from company to company and industry to industry. Some general duties apply to many human resources departments and HR workers. Depending on the size of the company or organisation, the department might be made up of a dozen people or just one. Whatever the size of the department, HR plays an important role in the workplace.

Hiring and firing employees

Most human resources departments handle the employment and recruitment of employees and the termination of employees from the company. Even in businesses where an employer or supervisor handles the hiring process, the human resources department submits the proper paperwork and tax information. In larger companies, the HR department might recruit employees from job fairs or colleges, then hire and place workers within the company. When an employee resigns, retires, is laid off or is sacked, the HR department handles the paperwork for the final salary cheque, stops benefits, conducts an exit interview and manages other end-of-employment details.

Handling grievances

When employees have complaints or grievances about the work environment, other employees or superiors, they can speak to a human resources representative or submit a formal complaint to the department. Common grievances include harassment, hostile or dangerous work environments and disputes. The human resources department's duty is to take action based on the validity of the complaint and ensure that the company's policies and procedures are followed.

Handling pay and benefits

The human resources department handles employee pay and benefits. For workers who are paid hourly, the HR department tracks hours and is responsible for submitting payroll information. If employees have issues with receiving pay, overtime payments or bonuses, they usually speak to the HR department. Human resources also makes sure employees have the opportunity to enrol in benefits programmes such as private health insurance, life insurance and share schemes.

Training and development programmes

The human resources department implements training and development programmes for company employees. Programmes might include ethics training, sexual harassment awareness courses, induction sessions for new employees and training to improve employee skills and build worker loyalty. An HR department might have a budget for training and development, so it must develop sessions throughout the year that fall within the set budget. Training might come in the form of online modules, group sessions, lectures or memos.