How Does an HR Department Help a Business?

by Nicholas Katers; Updated September 26, 2017
How Does an HR Department Help a Business?

Recruiting New Personnel

Human resources professionals can help businesses locate new talent without expensive advertising campaigns. A human resources department sends out recruiters and asks for volunteers to speak with potential applicants at job fairs. Employee referral programs are run by human resources departments, allowing current staff to recruit qualified friends and family members for open positions at little expense. Once a successful group of applicants has been identified, human resources professionals call professional references and verify past employment before interviews begin. Large companies may ask human resources personnel to standardize interview questions and attend group interviews to ask questions regarding company policies.

Employee Reviews and Career Assessment

Every employee is put through quarterly or annual reviews by human resources professionals. These reviews are designed to identify talented employees, determine areas of strength or weakness and head off personal problems before they affect job performance. Human resources personnel work closely with individual departments to determine raises and promotions based on these reviews. The greatest benefit of employee reviews to an employer is the creation of realistic job descriptions. Human resources departments can compare job descriptions to actual performance, creating an accurate picture of the workplace for future employees.

Oversight of Employee Compensation

Without an efficient human resources department, managers and executives would struggle with day-to-day compensation issues. Human resources professionals are responsible for printing checks, double-checking ledgers and addressing payment problems before they affect employees. While direct deposit options have improved matters for HR professionals, technology has also made identity security and confidentiality more critical than ever. These compensation experts act as conduits of common-sense information for employees interested in 401(k) plans, health insurance options and company stocks. Most companies hold information sessions on benefits on a regular basis, allowing employers to ask human resources about wages and benefits. These information sessions ease employee anxieties about their finances and allow companies to initiate new compensation programs while exercising due diligence.

Employee Training and Continuing Education

Businesses can avoid lawsuits and excessive employee turnover by deploying HR professionals to training sessions. The role of human resources in new employee training includes required statements about affirmative action and accessibility as well as sensitivity training. HR trainers may be asked to discuss corporate standards and methods of resolving disputes before resorting to official mediations. Another role for HR departments is holding continuing education courses on new company policies, department-specific skills training and reminders about state and federal workplace laws.

Resolving Employee Disputes

The human resources department is the ultimate mediator of employee disputes. In most companies, HR mediators are trained to sit down with each party in a workplace complaint to get every version of the event in question. Once the mediator has reviewed these stories, he meets with all the parties in one room to find a middle ground. Human resources professionals follow this two-step process to calm tempers and assess employee histories to find solutions that will keep good workers in their jobs. In serious cases, HR mediators work with managers and union representatives to negotiate transfers and buyouts that will resolve employee complaints.

About the Author

Nicholas Katers has been a freelance writer since 2006. He teaches American history at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. His past works include articles for "CCN Magazine," "The History Teacher" and "The Internationalist" magazine. Katers holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in American history from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, respectively.

Photo Credits

  • Photo by Jimmy Flink (Flickr)