Having a Human Resources department is not necessary for a company to function. However, why do companies choose to incorporate human resources into their organization and appoint an HR manager regardless of not needing one? For one, the human resources department oversees the recruitment for their company. That includes filtering through dozens of resumes and selecting the best candidates that fit their company’s business needs and culture. Afterwards, Human Resources will conduct interviews to get to know the candidates on a deeper level by asking behavioral questions, which goes beyond just asking questions based on their knowledge and experience. This also saves on time so that managers can concentrate on the operations of the company instead of having to deal with doing interviews themselves for each potential employee.
Additionally, Human Resources makes sure that their company’s compliance with state and federal laws. An executive or supervisor may not strictly follow a state’s rules and regulations and this could lead to a lawsuit if they are not careful. Human Resources will consistently monitor the labor laws that their company is responsible for based on where their employees are located. Each state will have certain laws that vary on what employees are entitled to. For instance, paid sick leave in California must be provided to each employee after they have worked for 30 days within a year from the beginning of their employment unlike Utah which does not require employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave.
Another benefit for companies having a Human Resources department is maintaining diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace. Some companies may have biases that they are not aware of or their organization is not as diverse as they would like it to be. This goes back to recruiting and the work environment. Are employees able to communicate their ideas or concerns freely without judgement? Are there barriers that make it harder for some employees to advance? Human Resources can investigate their company’s workplace and recruiting methods to see what needs to be addressed for a company to become more diverse, inclusive, and equal. To promote more diversity and inclusion, Human Resources can update their company’s policies, train management on best practices for decision-making, identify and remove any barriers that infringe on equal opportunities, and strategize to make sure their company is on the right path.
Human Resources also contributes to a company’s performance management. They are able to run the onboarding and training of employees to make sure they are performing to their company’s standards. If an employee is lacking then Human Resources will find a solution to improve that employee’s performance. It goes beyond just looking at the analytics, it takes listening to employees and observing any deficiencies. Human Resources will also collaborate with management to pinpoint any performance issues as well. Once the problem is found, Human Resources will find a solution, which may range from redesigning the training program to coaching managers on providing feedback.
Furthermore, Human Resources manages employee conflicts when it requires a professional to resolve it. Cases that involve sexual harassment or bullying, needs to be handled with care. If companies are not meticulous with sensitive situations then it can lead to diminished morale, a hostile work environment, or even legal repercussions. Depending on the situation, employees require a suitable mediator to investigate and resolve a conflict without any biases or false promises.
A company could just outsource typical human resources functions if they needed to, like payroll or hiring. Yet, they will risk not having a work culture that truly reflects their values. Human Resources works hard to create a fair and moral bridge between a company and their employees. Also, a company might suffer from low productivity since there isn’t enough time to monitor their employees’ wellbeing and development.
by: Chris Drew