Introduction to Human Resources

by Luke Arthur; Updated September 26, 2017

Human resources is a discipline that involves relations with employees and how a company handles them. This discipline can involve employee training, benefits packages, diversity in the workplace and many other aspects. Some companies have a specific human resources department while others outsource many of these tasks to outside consultants.


One of the most important components of human resources is employee benefits. Companies rely on human resources professionals to handle the benefits packages for their employees. For example, the human resources department might be in charge of administering a health insurance plan for the employees. This department could also be in charge of handling the retirement account such as the 401k. Any questions that employees have about these benefits packages are generally directed to the human resources department. The human resources department typically works with upper-level management to make decisions regarding the benefits packages.

Compensation Policies

The human resources department also typically handles the compensation policies for a company. Human resources can help decide how much a company should pay for a particular position. The HR department also works closely with the owner of the business when developing a compensation package. In many companies, the HR department will work to develop a tier structure when it comes to pay levels. They might conduct employee reviews periodically to determine when an employee reaches a certain level.


The human resources department also will be involved in the hiring of new employees. When a position needs to be filled, the company will count on the HR department to bring in qualified applicants for the job. In many cases, the human resources manager will conduct interviews with qualified applicants. Depending on the type of business, the owner or a different manager might have the final say on hiring, but the HR manager saves them time by narrowing down the applicants. The HR department will be in charge of posting ads for the position on job boards and potentially working with recruiters to fill the position.

Risk Management

Some human resources departments help their companies with risk management. This is a discipline that involves helping a company identify potential areas of risk and then mitigate them. For example, the HR professionals might conduct safety inspections throughout a facility. They might also develop employee handbooks and rules to help decrease the risks for the employees. Some HR professionals also engage in dispute resolution to help reduce problems between employees.

About the Author

Luke Arthur has been writing professionally since 2004 on a number of different subjects. In addition to writing informative articles, he published a book, "Modern Day Parables," in 2008. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Missouri State University.