Human Resources (HR) departments play integral roles in companies and businesses. HR personnel are typically responsible for finding new employees, filling job openings, managing benefits and defining a company’s policies and culture. The HR department has several roles, which is why it is very important that it have set operating procedures in place.

Recruiting and Hiring

Most established HR departments have set operating procedures regarding the hiring process. These procedures typically include a position opening request form, job vacancy notification process, interview processes and set hiring requirements. This enables the HR department to ensure that the open position fits in the budget, the best possible candidates can be identified, and that all job applicants are treated equally and fairly.

Benefits Management

Many HR departments work with set procedures for all types of employee benefits, such as medical and health insurance, vacation policies and retirement plans. Examples of these types of procedures include having set eligibility requirements (such as a 90 day qualification period before an employee is eligible for health insurance), as well as defining set enrollment periods (usually at the beginning of the annual or fiscal year).

Other set procedures are created around personal and vacation time. For example, if an employee wants to take a vacation day, he must fill out a vacation request form and have his manager approve it in order. This prevents chaos by having too many employees taking the same day off together.

Organizational Communication

The HR department should also have set organizational communication procedures in place to ensure effective, consistent messages throughout the company, for messages like changes to company policies. It’s important to have consistency in company communications because it links the communication with the overall company brand and strategy and ensures that employees are kept in the loop, preventing miscommunication and rumors.

Employee Management

In order to ensure that all employees are treated equally, many HR departments have set procedures in place regarding employee reviews, promotions and raises, and terminations. These procedures make it more difficult for department managers to choose “favorites” and it levels the playing field for all employees. For example, HR departments usually have annual or quarterly employee performance reviews that measure everyone on the same scale. Some HR departments also have procedures regarding set requirements (that are measurable) in order for an employee to receive a pay increase or promotion. These types of procedures may also raise employee morale, because it gives employees set guidelines to achieve their career and monetary goals.