The new dawn of HR


An efficient HR strategically contributes to growth and might well be the most complex department of an organization. Previously the unsung heroes, functioning largely in the background, the role of the HR department really came to the forefront recently with the rise of working from home. New working contracts were needed at short notice and it fell to HR to save the day, with remote team engagement and rapid onboarding of new technologies.

In the most basic of terms, the HR department is responsible for managing the full employee lifespan (i.e., recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and exiting employees) as well as performance management and overseeing total rewards (including but not limited to employee benefits).

HR is there to support employees, protect the business and be the glue that holds the human element together. HR contribute massively to a company’s culture, liaising early on to discover how people feel in their roles and raising any issues early, along with a roadmap towards improvement.

Here are some of the responsibilities that HR may be completing daily:

1. Talent acquisition

HR needs to understand the organization’s requirements and make sure those requirements are met when recruiting for new positions. Analysing the market, consulting stakeholders, and managing budgets.

Once the role is advertised, more research is required to make sure that the right candidates are being attracted and presented. Recruiting is a massive-and costly-undertaking; the right candidate can rejuvenate an entire organization.

2. Hiring the right talent

HR oversees arranging interviews, coordinates hiring efforts and onboards new employees. They’re also in charge of ensuring that all documentation involved with hiring someone is completed properly and they make sure that everything from the first day and thereafter is navigated successfully.

3. Payroll process

Payroll is its own beast. Expenses need to be reimbursed and raises, commissions and bonuses need to be added in as well. If you think it’s a hassle doing taxes just once a year, just imagine what it’s like in HR! This is the work going on behind the scenes, which, when running smoothly employees never even notice.

4. Oversee HR policy

When handled appropriately, managing people before disciplinary action can result in the success of an employee.  HR can intervene and investigate and extend benefits or additional resources to help the employee improve before the situation develops. Mitigating the cost of recruiting a replacement, it can be a learning opportunity that also enhances an employee’s career long-term.

5. Policy updates

Policies need to be updated (or at least examined) every year as the organization evolves. It’s HR’s job to make official updates to policies and to suggest changes to policies when they no longer benefit the company or the employees. Sometimes a policy should be updated because of an occurrence. HR should always be included in this decision-making process.

6. Maintain employee records

Maintaining HR records is required by law everywhere around the world. These records help employers remain complaint, manage people equably, identify skill gaps to support the hiring process and analyse demographic data to ensure the company is getting the best from their investment in people. They also contain personal details and emergency contacts for each employee.

7. Conduct benefit analysis

Staying competitive is crucial when trying to attract the best talent. A promising candidate may choose a different company with lesser pay if the benefits are more attractive. HR should be aware of where the organization is positioned in comparison to the market and/or industry sector. They should be up to date on how competitive their benefits are in relation to the market and should not be afraid of engaging the support of external partners or providers.

How does HR support employees?

People are the single biggest asset to any organization. Protecting their well-being is of utmost importance. Here are four ways HR helps support the emotional and career expectations of employees:

1. Providing career growth

Inactivity is not conducive for business and it’s smart to retain your best people. HR can provide career paths to nurture each employee to ensure a long future within the company. HR can also check in to give guidance to employees to help advance their careers.

2. Offering continuing education

HR can help determine which training programs would be best to enhance that employee’s career path. HR can also work with managers to accommodate learning and development. Organizations are now adopting micro-learning (learning parts of a job in small sections, which is correspondingly less time consuming and provides additional benefits that employees can utilize daily).

3. Training and supporting managers

People are not born managers, they are created. HR can help provide management guidance to managers, making sure that departments and teams are as strong and functional as possible. This may include providing them with access to online and/or on-site webinars, workshops, or other interactive training programs.

4. Supporting employee well-being

Even the greatest of employees may need help in managing their mental health and dealing with unforeseeable life events. HR can help support employees through these events, however, they should also consider engaging external professionals, where necessary, to enhance their support.

We see you HR and thank you for all you manage behind the scenes, you know you’re doing a great job even if you feel nobody notices you!