But what do you ACTUALLY do? I don’t know a single HR person who hasn’t been asked this question at least once.
More than just hiring & firing, HR is an integral component of any business looking to succeed. Human Resources is the function in an organisation that manages all employees and ensures maximum engagement & productivity, as well as make sure the company is protected from any issues that may arise from the workforce.
While a lot of senior managers view HR’s role as being there solely for the company, a good HR person will balance whats best for employees against a managers expectations. HR’s main objective is to minimise risk against an organisation, so understanding how managements expectations will impact the workforce, both in a positive and negative way, and being able to communicate that in a respectful and persuasive manner, is the role of HR. Theres no point in acquiescing to every request from management if it’s likely to bring the organisation before Fair Work and / or totally destroy the reputation of the organisation within the community and as a good employer.
Here are the key components of a typical Human Resources professional’s responsibilities;
In recent years, there has been a shift whereby HR is seen more and more by organisations as a strategic business partner. Employers are slowly realising the crucial role in which HR plays in developing a organisation’s strategy, as well as handling the employee-centered activities of an organisation. The value HR provides as a strategic business partner cannot be overlooked. The implementation of your strategic plans cannot be successful without employee involvement and input from human resources in implementing policies and initiatives to realise the company’s vision & strategic priorities.
Compensation & Benefits
One way to stay competitive in any industry is through compensation and benefits. HR Professionals work to design compensation and benefits programs that attract & retain the right talent. This process involves the management of employee expense budget, setting the performance standards, setting compensation policies and introducing competitive benefits for employees. For example, if the industry that your business is currently operating in attracts talent of seasoned candidates that have families and are looking for stability, your compensation program may rely heavily on benefits such as family friendly rosters and salary sacrifice opportunities. Conversely, if your organisation mainly attracts a young and dynamic workforce, your HR professional may consider cutting down on benefits initiatives and increasing flexible work practices and a focus on career development in order to attract the right talent. Effective compensation and benefits programs should bring the best out of your employees.
Legislation and Compliance
Human Resources professionals do not specialise in Employment Law like an employment lawyer, however they are expected to be very knowledgeable in this area. They need to keep abreast of all the new legislation that could impact the business. With legislation constantly changing, it is the job of the HR Professional to educate themselves on the changes that need to take place in order to remain compliant. Updating policies and changing business practices with new legislation is imperative to ensuring the business remains both compliant and relevant in the changing workplace environment.
Learning and Development
As discussed earlier, retaining talent in your business is an ongoing challenge and another way it may be addressed is through learning and development initiatives. Employees appreciate employers who are willing to invest in their people. HR Professionals analyse the skills & knowledge of the employee group v’s the skills & knowledge required to effectively perform their role, and work to provide opportunities for learning and growth. This encourages top talent to remain within the organisation and cultivates a positive workplace culture. A good organisation culture works to attract talent, reduce turnover, keep up morale, and motivate and engage employees – and as an employer you can’t ask for more than that.
Human Resources plays a very important role in ensuring there are solid working relationships between the employer and employees. Through contemporary policies and procedures HR professionals ensure there is an effective employee relations program in place that provides fair and consistent treatment of all employees and make sure employees are engaged in their jobs. They are responsible for tracking, managing and resolving any employee conflicts that may arise.
HR professionals work with management to identify strengths and areas of development for employees. They help the management team to develop performance reviews that are based on the organisations strategic goals, values and behavioural expectations. Should there be any challenges in performance; the HR professional will work on courses of action such as individual performance improvement plans.
Recruitment & Talent Acquisition
Recruitment, as any business owner will agree, is difficult, time-consuming and often expensive. Talent selection and acquisition is a complicated and complex process that HR professionals can do effectively. HR professionals ensure that the talent being hired has the knowledge, skills, motivation and cultural fit with the organisation. Efficient navigation of this process and solid knowledge of recruitment is essential for an effective search for talent. Businesses and hiring managers often forget the recruitment process is a two way process, yes you are assessing the candidate but remember they are judging you too. From your advertisement to the questions asked at interview you are building a brand for your business, remember, the candidate has a choice too and as the skills shortage begins to make a significant impact on business operations the ability for business to showcase why working for you will be a great career move will be pivotal.
Based in Kalgoorlie, The People & Culture Office is an independent HR Consultant who can partner with you to offer a one stop HR solution, we only charge you for the work we perform; no contracts, no annual or monthly fees, just quality service. Click here to learn more