Roles and Functions of Human Resource Management

5 Aug 2019

Human resource management (HRM) involves the management of an organization’s workforce to achieve business objectives. This includes fulfilling the organization’s staffing needs and maintaining ideal workplace conditions. The HR department accomplishes this by utilizing HR strategies and procedures that focus on the organization's personnel. To achieve its objectives, human resource management uses several disciplines, including psychology, business management, analytics, and sociology.

Human resource management employs a comprehensive approach to managing an organization’s most valuable asset, its workforce. The role of the HR department encompasses all issues related to people such as hiring, training, compensation, wellness, benefits, communication, administration, and safety.

Why is Human Resource Management Critical for any Business?

One of the most valuable assets of a company or organization is its workforce. It is a living, breathing resource that needs to be continuously managed to function effectively. Human resource department goes beyond the hiring process. It plays a crucial role in the day to day operations of a company. The importance of human resource management can only be quantified by the success of an organization.

Human Resource Management Improves Productivity

Productivity starts with having the right people for the right job. One of the critical roles of human resource personnel is to seek and hire the best employees. This isn’t just about hiring the people with the best academic background but identifying the individual who possesses the right skill, knowledge, and attitude for the job. Human resources departments are not only involved with recruiting and interviewing candidates, but these professionals also employ an HR strategy that goes beyond numbers such as years of experience, age, or test scores. They pick the perfect candidate by first setting standards and selecting only those who fit the job requirement.

However, to be able to select the best people, human resources departments must be able to attract the best candidates. And this is where a professional HR manager comes in. Aside from creating a job posting, they are also able to provide a hiring package that includes attractive work benefits that are designed to lure the motivated, productive applicants.

Human Resource Management Improves Employee Retention

Even after hiring the best candidates, business still has to spend a considerable amount of its resources training these new employees. Nobody hits the ground running. New employees must spend time familiarizing with the company’s policies and work procedures to become productive members. Human resource management does not end with the hiring process. It is also involved with another essential task of retaining valuable members of the workforce.

Human Resource Management Improves Brand Recognition

The best companies attract the best people. With a strong brand, the task of hiring and retaining the right people is half the job done. Human resource personnel are tasked with keeping the workforce happy. Brands become recognizable not only because they have the best product but also because they are the best places to work.

Human Resource Management Empowers Intellectual and Financial Success

The task of human resource personnel includes maintaining and improving workforce capabilities. This is something that can be delegated or automated. It requires a keen insight into the company's business strategy and available resources. Depending on a company's needs, HR strategy can include up training and maximizing employee performance for its short-term and long-term objectives. Human resource management can also conduct reorganizing existing processes to improve workflow and efficiency. All these can only be executed with the help of experienced, trained, and professional human resource personnel.

Human Resource Management Enables Transformation and Change

Change is constant, even in business. To ensure continued success, a company must be able to adapt to shifting markets and customer needs. This is only possible when management is able to communicate its objectives with employees effectively. Human resource management makes this possible by creating an environment where team members can freely communicate thoughts and ideas, especially during periods of change.

What are the Key Roles and Functions of the Human Resource Department?

Today’s HR manager must be able to wear multiple hats. This includes being able to functions as an employee advocate, strategic planner, and change manager. More than just hiring new employees, HR managers are also involved in managerial and operational responsibilities. To be an effective human resource manager, they must also perform leadership roles in the ongoing training of employees and maintain a solid understanding of the company’s brand and objectives.

The human resource manager should be able to function as an advisor to the different departments on matters related to human resources. This includes working with the department head in formulating policies and procedures. First and foremost, HR managers must give expert advice on how to create stronger employee relationship and morale. A good HR strategy also employs manpower planning, hiring, and promoting as part of their managerial and operational responsibilities.

Human resource strategies also include aligning human resources to current and projected needs. This is to maintain the company's competitive advantage and enable it to respond more quickly to changing customer needs. HR personnel works with the different managers in the research, planning, training, and development of workforce culture to ensure the successful delivery of the business strategy.

Role #1: Recruitment and Hiring

This is perhaps the most popular role associated with human resource managers. It involves the finding, reviewing credentials, screening, and selecting candidates for a company. An effective recruitment process results in the hiring of employees who are tailor-fit for the position and not just candidates who have the best credentials.

Popular Recruitment Methods

An HR manager can employ a variety of recruitment methods to cast a broader net to lure potential candidates. These methods include:

  • Employee referrals
  • Advertising on social networking sites (LinkedIn, Facebook)
  • Dedicated online job portal
  • Participate in job fairs (community, organizations, universities, colleges)
  • Post job openings on online job boards
  • Advertising in print media (newspapers, magazines)
  • Working with or outsourcing recruitment services to a dedicated recruitment company

Role #2: Training

Even with the most experienced candidate, joining a new company requires training. The purpose of employee training is to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their role effectively. Employers must be prepared to commit a significant amount of investment in their employee's training. This is not only beneficial for the company but also helps in the employee's self-development.

The quality of training provided goes a long way in retaining their employees. When employees feel that they can grow, they are more likely to stay in their jobs. The opportunity for employees to enhance their skills improves overall satisfaction and morale.

Role #3: Organization Development

Organizational development is the process in which an organization implements a plan to improve its current workforce to meet its current and projected requirements. It involves increasing organization effectiveness by improving processes and systems. Organization development plays a vital role in strengthening the existing workforce, enhancing its effectiveness, and promoting positive workplace conditions.

Role #4: Communication

Human resources play a critical role in managing the workplace environment. They are the first responders for any workplace-related issues among employees. Effective communication makes it easier for employees to work for a single objective, the company's success. It is the role of the human resource department to promote better communication among individuals in the company.

Role #5: Employee Benefits

Human resource managers are involved in disseminating information on employee benefits, assistance programs, and leaves of absence. This information is usually included with the HR manual. Human resource managers are tasked with orienting new employees about the several benefits offered by the company. They also play a role during employee benefit disputes.

These are just some of the answers to the question of, what does a human resource manager do. The responsibility of an HR manager is enormous; it runs the gamut in almost every aspect of a company's day to day operations.  Roles include supervising and leading tasks that oversee all the elements associated with maintaining a productive workforce.

The human resource department must lead efforts toward organization development. They play a significant role in developing a workplace culture that improves productivity and customer service. Human resource professionals are involved in developing the skill of managers and organizations. This has led to the creation of even more roles for HR managers, making them vital members of any company.

Creating an HR Strategy

HR strategy is a long-term plan that focuses on workforce planning and development. This goes beyond traditional HR functions that are mainly involved in reviewing candidates, creating a census, and signing up employees for benefits. HR strategy is more forward-looking and involves aligning employee qualifications with the company's workforce needs.

This type of human resource management is involved with preparing, training, and developing the workforce for personal growth. Creating an HR strategy must include the participation of management to create a more comprehensive approach to workforce development.

Step 1: Planning is the first step in developing an HR strategy. HR planning plays an essential role in the development of an effective HR strategy. It guarantees that job candidates provide a good fit for available job openings. HR strategy helps avoid personnel surpluses or shortages in the workforce. Human resource planning includes analyzing the current workforce, projecting demands, and balancing the available workforce with current demand.

Step 2: After establishing the different objectives and plans, the next step is to organize the various tasks to achieve them. The HR manager sets out to design and creates programs to deliver on the designated objectives. This involves organizing activities, assigning tasks, and coordinating all related activities.

Step 3: HR managers provide the direction, encouraging people to work effectively and efficiently to achieve the objectives of the company. This is done by overseeing all tasks and processes in the HR plan. HR managers can offer a variety of benefits, up training opportunities, and improve current work conditions to provide motivation.

Step 4: This involves observing and comparing results with expected outcomes and correcting any deviations. In this step, HR managers perform appraisals, examine records, statistics, and audits.

Human Resource Department Operations

The HR department is responsible for many of the company’s day-to-day administrative operations. This runs from hiring of new employees to settling workplace disputes. Below are some of the most important functions of the HR department.

Procurement of new employees

Hiring new employees is one of the most crucial responsibilities of the human resource department. This process usually involves:

  • Job Analysis – identifying current and projected job needs. This enables the company to employ a hiring strategy that targets the necessary candidates to meet these needs.
  • Recruitment – this is the hiring process in action. To attract the right candidate, human resource managers may employ several mediums such as print media, online job sites, referrals, or recruiting within the organization.
  • Selecting – candidates are then screened initially through an interview followed by tests to measure their competency.
  • Placement – the stage in the procurement process where the selected candidate is extended an offer.
  • Onboarding – as the candidate accepts the offer and becomes a formal employee, the HR staff then proceeds with orienting them with company policies and benefits.
  • Transfers and Promotion – filling a position can be done by hiring within the organization. Companies that provide career growth opportunities are more likely to retain their workforce.

Employee Development

  • Performance Appraisal – constant checks are done to assess how an individual employee is performing. Depending on the result, a manager can create a plan to improve performance or recommend changes to work procedures.
  • Training – the introduction of new work procedures or new equipment require uptraining. Training can be delivered in-house or letting employees join seminars or classes.
  • Career Planning – human resource managers also create career pathways that provide growth opportunities for employees.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Evaluation – this involves determining compensation based on current living costs, healthcare, and taxes.
  • Salary and Wages – salaries can be based on hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly payments. Employee salaries can include payments plus benefits such as paid vacation leaves, housing, travel, and other privileges.
  • Bonuses and Incentives – these are benefits above and beyond standard salaries and wages. Bonuses can be rewards to employees who show outstanding performance. Incentives are given to employees who exceed specific goals and objectives. The conditions for bonuses and incentives can be communicated during orientation or before a project formally starts.
  • Payroll – another important function performed by the human resource department. A payroll contains a list of all the employees, the amount of salary and benefits due if any.


This refers to the role that the human resource department performs in day to day company operations.

  • Communication and dispute management– the tasks of the HR department include facilitating smooth communication between the staff and management. When things do not go smoothly, the human resource department can implement several options, including meditation, training, counseling, and developing new procedures for enhanced communication.
  • Motivation – to ensure optimum performance, companies must provide a sense of motivation for its employees. This includes providing benefits and incentives and promotion opportunities.
  • Discipline – necessary for maintaining smooth working atmosphere. The HR department can be tasked with implementing disciplinary actions for common infractions. These can include dress code violations, discrimination, harassment and other similar infractions of company policies.

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