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Human resource management relates to the firm’s responsibilities regarding recruiting and staffing, employee benefits and legal compliance. Because of the broad scope of duties involved in HR management, an employer might hire HR professionals to carry them out. Careers in human resource management include HR generalist, corporate recruiter, management trainee, compensation analyst, employee relations specialist, corporate trainer and senior human resources positions.
On the Hiring Front Line
After acquiring approval to fill positions, HR defines the qualifications needed for the roles, creates job descriptions, establishes standard interview questions, reviews job applications, schedules and administers interviews, verifies references and confirms salary. It extends offer letters to selected candidates, performs background checks, advises candidates on pre-employment testing and informs unselected candidates that the positions have been filled. HR also conducts new hire orientation and new hire reporting with the state government
Recommending Compensation and Benefits
The department gathers and assesses salary and wage data and recommends pay increases. It evaluates compensation changes resulting from promotions, transfers, demotions and rehiring. The team administers the company’s benefits program, which might include health and retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, wellness and reimbursement plans, recognition and training programs, and benefits days such as vacation and sick time
Adhering to the Law
Employers must adhere to several employment laws and develop related company policies. The HR department determines applicable regulations and writes, updates and enforces them. Procedures might pertain to health, safety, employee benefits, hiring, termination, conduct, discipline, attendance, record-keeping, workplace notices, minimum wage, overtime, paid and unpaid time off, disability, workers’ compensation and discrimination and harassment.
Communicating Rights Companywide
Human resource management involves communicating company policies to managers and regular employees. For example, the department gives employees a copy of the company manual and informs them of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. HR responds to employee concerns about their employment in general and communicates with vendors, such as insurance and relocation providers.
Mediating Disputes When Needed
The department develops grievance procedures that state how employees should a lodge a complaint and the investigation and resolution process. For example, if an employee does not agree with her manager’s rating of her performance or if she’s having serious problems with a co-worker, HR would intervene if called upon to mediate.
A Collective Effort
If employees are represented by a labor union, HR negotiates with the union and a contract is formed based on the outcome of such discussions. The contract, also called a collective bargaining agreement, explains the terms of employment, including compensation and benefits. Both HR and the labor union must abide by the conditions in the agreement.
An HR professional might be required to represent the company at hearings, such as if an employee files a lawsuit that claims the company breached a labor law. The department analyzes statistical information to evaluate staff turnover and finds creative ways to retain quality workers. HR predicts the company’s short- and long-term staffing needs by performing detailed job analyses, forecasting demand and supply, and considering applicable hiring legislation.
- University of California, Berkeley: Guide to Managing Human Resources
- U.S. Small Business Administration: New Hire Reporting for Your State
- OK.gov: Human Resources Management Specialist
- University of Kentucky: Human Resources Policy and Procedure
- University of California, Berkeley: Introduction
- Monster: Human Resources Manager Job Description Sample
- National Forum Journals: Human Resource Planning: Forecasting Demand and Supply
Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.