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Human resources officers, more commonly referred to as HR managers, handle or oversee a variety of human resource management functions for their employers. In some organizations, an HR manager may be solely responsible for all HR functions of a particular business unit. In others, an HR manager may oversee the work of specialists who are responsible for specific areas. Regardless of how a department is structured, HR managers play important roles in compliance and employee relations.
HR managers are involved with every aspect of the staffing process. They determine hiring needs, recruit candidates, screen applicants, conduct interviews and participate in the selection process. They must be knowledgeable about equal employment opportunity laws to ensure that staffing is handled in a non-discriminatory way. HR managers are also involved in creating and maintaining job descriptions.
HR managers are involved in employee training, starting with employee orientation. Aside from making sure that new employees have the proper training required to get started, HR managers are also involved in determining training needs on an ongoing basis. This may include individual training designed to help employees improve specific skills or prepare for new job responsibilities, as well as departmental or organization-wide training initiatives.
HR managers fulfill employee relations roles within their companies, performing various tasks and functions designed to ensure positive relationships between the company and members of its workforce. This may involve implementing and overseeing rewards and recognition programs, serving as a point of contact for employee complaints and being involved in the discipline process when problems arise.
Ensuring that employees are properly compensated for their work is an important function of HR managers. They make certain that jobs are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt and workers are paid correctly. They are responsible for properly processing payroll deductions and ensuring that payroll records are properly maintained. HR managers may also have input into establishing or updating pay scales.
HR managers are responsible for employee benefits administration, ensuring that employees are informed about and have an opportunity to enroll in the benefits programs available to them. They also serve as a liaison between the company and its benefits vendors, and make recommendations to company management regarding ways to improve benefit offerings.
Risk management is an important function for HR managers. All aspects of regulatory compliance related to personnel fall under the risk management umbrella. Topics include safety issues, equal employment opportunity laws and industry-specific requirements. HR managers must stay current with all applicable laws, advise company leadership about such matters and take steps to ensure compliance within the workplace.
Mary White is professional trainer and human-resources consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She is also the author of two nonfiction books and has worked as a writer since 2007. White holds Master of Arts in communication and certification as a senior professional in human resources.