What Does HR Stand for, and How Is It Used in Business?

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

What Does HR Stand for, and How Is It Used in Business?

The Human Resources Department (HR department) is involved in several business functions and administrative tasks, including recruitment and other hiring efforts, training, employee and labor relations and employer-employee relations. However, the role of HR departments can be broad and far-reaching depending on the organisation.

What Does HR Stand for and What Is the Function of the HR Department?

HR is short for Human Resources.

Human resources play an essential role in designing and maintaining the process that helps businesses function and compete in their sector and the broader job market.

Typically, HR teams ensure that businesses are compliant with the various rules and regulations related to employment law. These responsibilities entail managing things like:

  • Contracts
  • Health and Safety
  • Recruitment
  • Payroll

While these are the main functions of a Human Resource department, they are involved in many other work-related goals.

For example, HR departments also need to uphold local employment laws, ensure that workplaces are free of discrimination, deal with disputes, and manage employee packages and benefits.

Additionally, HR departments are also responsible for making sure that the company's mission, vision, and core values are part of the company culture.

There are seven main areas where HR teams are involved in the day-to-day running of the business. Responsibility for these categories can vary from business to business. However, HR is typically engaged in some or most of these tasks.

1. Recruitment and Hiring

Recruitment is one of the primary functions of HR. A lot goes into finding the right employee for the job, and Human Resource teams are involved in the hiring process every step of the way.

Once a position becomes vacant, an HR professional can be involved in writing the job postings and sifting through the applicants through background checks. From there, they can help put forward good candidates. Many teams are even heavily involved in the interview process of possible new employees.

Finally, HR is involved in salary discussions, checking references, preparing contracts, and going through the employee onboarding process once a candidate is chosen.

2. Employee Benefits

The human resources departments are also involved in creating the packages and sets of employee benefit programs that ensure a business can attract and retain employees.

The HR department needs to understand what their competitors are offering and ensure that the financial compensation and benefits they provide the company's employees are a close match.

Additionally, the human resources department plays a big role in deciding what benefits will motivate their employees. They can do this through competitor benchmarking or interviewing their current employees and finding out what they need.

3. Performance Evaluation and Management

Performance management is a vital part of Human Resources. While direct management will be involved in assessing employee performance, HR helps ensure employees settle in, monitor their attendance, and perform evaluations.

Performance evaluation can occur in several different ways, depending on the individual business. HR teams can be involved in annual appraisals, one-to-one interviews, or even reward processes for high-performing employees, which improve employee motivation levels.

4. Learning and Career Development

Human resource teams are also involved in learning and development. They can organise further education on an individual or group level. In some businesses, these programs will be targeted at some employees to improve performance. However, learning and development programs are commonly used to help employees upskill or advance.

HR teams can provide access to employee development and training programs of a wide range. They can cover various things like health and safety, leadership training, business management, or diversity and inclusion training.

5. HR Analytics

Tools to assist Human Resource teams have advanced over recent years. These days, HR teams have access to sophisticated software that helps track attendance, performance, learning, and payroll administration.

Some tools can assist with recruitment, like Applicant Tracking Software. Other applications, like general Human Resource management systems (HRMS), are built to manage employee records, payroll, documents, etc.

Several HR data and analytics tools have emerged alongside these tools over recent years. Like most professions, Human Resources has become more data-driven thanks to high-quality software that helps organisations use the information to gain deep insights from their existing data.

Organisations can use this data to establish, track, and analyse key performance indicators (KPIs) related to their staff and overall business. These insights can assist HR teams in making predictions about a whole host of business-related future events, like resource requirements, staff turnover, and more.

6. Succession Planning

Succession planning is another vital Human Resources responsibility. If key employees retire or leave, businesses can face difficulty replacing them without a significant loss of productivity.

Human Resources teams can plan for these contingencies in many ways. For example, they can draw up a shortlist of qualified candidates with potential and ensure they have access to the appropriate training and development programs that could guide employees in new roles.

Having employees that can step in when executives or senior management leave is an essential component of a solid business continuity strategy.

7. Disciplinary Actions

Unfortunately, there are some situations where an employee's behaviour falls below the acceptable standards. These problems can be related to general behaviour or performance.

HR teams play a big role in ensuring that any disciplinary action taken is legal and appropriate. For example, if an employee is late too often, Human Resources can examine the situation. They can explore the reasons why the employee is struggling to attend work on time and offer support or assistance.

At the same time, there are specific situations where employees might not be able to improve their behaviour. If support and disciplinary actions don't work, the employee may need to be removed. HR teams ensure that this process is handled fairly, legally, and compassionately.

Why Businesses Need HR

People are a company's biggest asset. However, management teams are often specialists in a particular sector and don't always have the skills or knowledge to handle people in the best way. HR teams understand people and know how to create engaging employee experiences.

Having a team that is responsible for recruitment and retention ensures companies have qualified staff. This process can involve setting compensation and other benefits to attract and keep staff while also managing the recruitment process.

Additionally, a department with oversight in learning and development can help with career progression and succession planning.

Businesses need to ensure they observe and stay on top of employment laws and regulations. These rules can change quickly and be tricky to interpret, so having a dedicated team to understand these issues is vital.

Finally, HR is essential for establishing company culture. The employee experience is crucial for creating engagement and happiness. When organisations get this right, they can boost loyalty and productivity.

Key Takeaways

Human resource teams are a vital part of modern business. They are responsible for ensuring that relations between the employer and employee are healthy. HR professionals have a mixture of soft and hard skills that help employees flourish.

The employee experience has a massive bearing on staff retention and recruitment. Several company review sites, like Glassdoor, where employees can anonymously detail what it's like to work for a specific business.

Potential recruits use these platforms, plus social media, to evaluate the employee experience. If it falls below their expectations, it becomes difficult to attract the best staff.

Qualee's platform automates many employee experiences processes, helping HR team save time, make date-driven decisions and focus on what is important for your organisation. Bring your business into the digital age and assure the best experience for your employees - sign up for our FREE Starter Plan today!

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