It is critical to point out from the onset that there is no successful
organization that exists without an effective and robust human resource
department. The human resource department performs a number of
functions, which ensures the expected performance by employees, as well
as their satisfaction. The HR department is tasked with the
responsibility of training employees, looking into their benefits and
remunerations, dispute resolutions at the workplace and conducting
appraisals. However, it is paramount to note that the HR department also
carries out other functions in an organization (Kaila, 2005). Besides
the HR department keeping constant communication with the employees, it
is paramount to note that the department also keeps a constant
communication with the senior managers of the organization. The
department’s functions are considered as being vital in an
organization since they manage the human capital resource which is
primary to the success of an organization. Besides the generally known
functions of a HR department such as training and appraisals, there are
other vital functions carried out by the department.
To start with, it is critical to point out that recruitment and the
selection processes are key functions of a human resource department.
The department is tasked with the responsibility of advertising vacant
positions in the organization, sourcing potential candidates for the
posts and conducting preliminary interviews. The department consults
with the top management after the interviews to complete the hiring
process. The HR department comprises a critical part of an organization
(Kaila, 2005). This is solely because the workforce in an organization
forms the most vital resource of an organization and it is selected by
the HR department. The HR department is tasked with the responsibility
of only selecting candidates who are qualified for the vacant positions
in the organization. It is paramount to point out that the HR department
carries out a thorough selection and interview process to ensure that
the most qualified candidates are hired (Kaila, 2005).
The department designs the criteria through which to hire new
employees. Whether the HR department is in-house or external, the
employer expects the department to hire employees who will contribute
immensely towards the growth of the organization. The recruitment and
selection processes cannot be underrated in any organization since it is
through these processes that the human resource capital is formed. The
selection processes is guided by a series of preliminary interviews
where the best candidates are selected and hired for the job (Kearns,
2001). The HR department assesses the skills, knowledge and experience
of all candidates before settling for the final employees for a
particular position. For instance, a HR department in a banking
organization seeking for new accountants will settle for candidates with
accounting knowledge and relevant experience. It is also worth noting
that it is during the recruitment process that the HR department
stipulates the duties and responsibilities and the newly hired
employees. The contracts of such employees are also stipulated at such a
time (Kaila, 2005).
In addition, the HR department may conduct relevant training to the new
employees if need be. It is vital to note that some positions may
require specific training to the new employees. This may be in
accordance to the requirements of the particular organization. The
training may also be aimed at sharpening the skills of the staff members
or training them for specialized skills in order for them to take up new
roles and duties in the organization (Lussier & Hendon, 2013).
Therefore, it is clear that the HR department in an organization plays a
critical role in the success of an organization.
Secondly, the HR department has the responsibility of ensuring optimal
utilization of the human resource capital. It is worth noting that the
human resource capital forms the most vital resource of an organization.
Whereas the HR department is tasked with the responsibility of
remuneration and employee benefits, it is critical for the department to
ensure that employees are performing their duties effectively. Employee
motivation is vital in ensuring that employees perform optimally. For
instance, the HR department may adopt a reward system where hardworking
employees are rewarded. This is meant to encourage employees in an
organization to perform to their best and to work in accordance to their
potential. The HR department also conducts performance appraisals which
are aimed at ensuring that employees perform to their potential (Kaila,
2005). To ensure maximum utilization of the human resource capital, the
HR department communicates with the staff individually, where they
communicate their duties and responsibilities. The department also
provides information to the staff regarding their duties and
responsibilities. This goes a long way in ensuring that the employees
meet their set goals and hence contributes to the overall optimal
performance of the human resource capital. The performance appraisals
have also been cited as being critical in motivating employees (Lussier
& Hendon, 2013).
The HR department also ensures that there is optimal utilization of
human resource capital by only hiring the required number of employees.
A majority of the HR departments will only hire employees on contracts.
This is meant to ensure that such employees are utilized optimally and
their services can be terminated whenever they are no longer needed
(Kearns, 2001). Lastly, the HR department determines remunerations and
benefits of employees according to their performance. It is vital to
note that this has led to performance contracts where employees have to
meet their set goals in order to secure their jobs. Therefore, the human
resource department is a vital department in ensuring utilization of the
human capital resource. Their role in ensuring maximum performance from
employees cannot be underrated. This is because employee performance
leads to the overall performance of the organization.
Another function of the human resource department that is normally
overlooked is balancing the needs of the employees and those of the
organization. It is evident that both employees and the organization
have needs to meet. For instance, employees may have personal and family
needs to meet. On the other hand, the organization also has needs to
meet such as providing goods and services to customers, as well as its
obligations to the stakeholders (Kearns, 2001). More often than not,
these needs tend to conflict and a balance needs to be found. This is
the point at which the HR department comes in to ensure there is harmony
and satisfaction between both sides. The department takes note of the
fact that dissatisfied employees will not perform effectively. The HR
department communicates with individual employees to ensure that their
personal needs are catered for (Lussier & Hendon, 2013). For instance,
the department may decide to give parent employees some time to attend
to their children.
In addition, the HR department may opt to provide flexible working
hours in order to provide efficiency for employees with personal needs.
For instance, employees may be allowed to report late and leave their
work stations after the official leaving time. A majority of
organizations have also adopted the concept of paid leave to ensure
employee satisfaction. The HR department, which is tasked with the
welfare of employees, ensures that employees are paid during sick leave
(Kaila, 2005). This is all meant to ensure that there is a balance
between the employee’s needs and those of the organization. The HR
department may also opt to plan business meetings outside the workplace
in order for the employees to invite their families. Such business
meetings may be organized in cottages along the beach where employees’
families can have fun while employees are in business meetings.
Therefore, it is evident that the HR department in critical in ensuring
a balance between employees’ needs and those of the organization
(Lussier & Hendon, 2013). This function is critical in ensuring employee
motivation hence organizational success.
One last role of the human resource department, which is largely
forgotten, is the advice they give to the organization’s leadership.
The HR department is tasked with the responsibility of advising the
organization’s leadership on all matters relating to human resource.
Such matters may include remuneration and benefits of employees and the
personal needs of employees. The HR department acts as a link between
the employees and the organizational leadership. The department
communicates employees’ grievances to the organization’s leadership
and advises the leaders on what ought to be done (Kearns, 2001). Lastly,
the HR department also advises the leadership on ways to motivate
employees. This may include rewards and rise in wages. The human
resource department advises the leaders of the organization on how to
balance between organizational needs and those of the employees. This is
aimed at ensuring that employees are extremely motivated and perform
according to their potential.
In conclusion, it can be argued that the above HR functions are more
often than not overlooked despite their huge significance. It is
critical to hire the right employees and ensure that they perform
optimally. It is also paramount to ensure a balance between the need of
the organization and those of the employees. Providing an
organization’s leadership with advice regarding human resource aspects
such employee motivation and remuneration and benefits are critical for
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Kearns, P. (2001). The bottom line HR function. Oxford: Chandos Pub.
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Kaila, H. L. (2005). A reading for HR professionals. Delhi: Kalpaz
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Lussier, R. N., & Hendon, J. R. (2013). Human resource management:
Functions, applications, skill development. Thousand Oaks: SAGE
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HR FUNCTIONS PAGE * MERGEFORMAT 6