Small business often start as solo operations, but successful entrepreneurs must soon hire employees to meet demand as their companies grow. Some companies create human resources departments to deal with the various issues that arise as a result of hiring employees. HR departments serve important roles in organizations related to recruiting and employee relations.

Hiring and Firing

One of the main purposes of human resources is to handle the hiring and firing of employees. Human resources specialists read resumes, attend career fairs, perform background checks and conduct interviews to recruit qualified workers. In some cases, business owners, managers and supervisors may assist HR specialists in vetting candidates and making hiring decisions. HR departments may also handle employee layoffs and termination.

Compensation and Benefits

Another role that HR plays in organizations is administering employee compensation and benefits. Recruiters are responsible for describing the pay structures and benefits to prospective employees. Human resources workers need to be able to answer questions employees have about benefits and assist workers with making use of those benefits. For example, HR is typically in charge of helping workers set up their 401k retirement plans and making sense of group health and dental insurance policies.

Training and Team Building

In some organizations, HR departments may be involved in employee training and team-building. Recruiters often provide workers with orientation and basic training before they start their jobs. HR may also track or grade employee performance and assign employees to different work groups based on the development of their skills and performance. Team-building describes activities aimed at increasing communication, trust and cohesiveness between employees. Team-building activities can range from short game sessions that occur during the workday, to weekend retreats or even travel to foreign countries.

Employee Problems

HR departments are responsible for handling problems that arise with employees, such as disputes between workers and violations of company policies and laws. HR needs to provide employees with information about company rules and relevant business laws. If workers violate rules, HR may take disciplinary action, such as suspending or firing employees. HR is also responsible for dealing with legal issues like claims of sexual harassment and discrimination.