The human resources department handles a range of different functions within an organization. The department is responsible for hiring and firing employees, training workers, maintaining interoffice relationships and interpreting employment laws. The department works diligently behind the scenes to ensure an organization runs efficiently. The HR department's duties will vary between companies, but can generally be summed up in six main functions.

Hiring and Recruiting

One of the primary functions of the human resources department is to oversee hiring and recruiting within an organization. The department actively recruits, screens, interviews and hires qualified candidates for open positions. The department administers skills assessment and personality tests to match candidates with the right job within the company. The human resources department also develops employee handbooks that explain company policies and procedures to new hires.

Training and Development

The human resources department handles the training and development of staff within an organization. It creates training programs and conducts training for new hires and existing employees. The human resources department also works in conjunction with department managers and supervisors to determine the training needs of employees. They are also responsible for contracts with training providers and monitoring training budgets.

Handling Compensation

The human resources department is responsible for various aspects of employee compensation. The department typically handles employee payroll and ensures employees are paid accurately and on time, with the correct deductions made. Human resources departments also manage compensation programs that include pensions and other fringe benefits offered by the employer.

Employee Benefits

The human resources department manages all aspects of employee benefits, including health and dental insurance, long-term care or disability programs as well as employee assistance and wellness programs. The department keeps track of employee absences and job-protected leave, such as family medical leave. Human resources department representatives ensure employees receive the proper disclosures regarding benefit eligibility or if benefits are no longer available because of a layoff or termination.

Employee Relations

The human resources department handles employee relations matters within an organization. Employee relations involves employee participation in different aspects of organizational activities. The department maintains the relationship between employees and management by promoting communication and fairness within the company. The department also handles disputes between employees and management, as well as disputes between the company and labor unions or employee rights organizations.

The human resources department is responsible for interpreting and enforcing employment and labor laws such as equal employment opportunity, fair labor standards, benefits and wages, and work hour requirements. The department also investigates harassment and discrimination complaints and ensures company officials remain compliant with United States Department of Labor regulations.