Human Resources are the building blocks of any business and any economy. Salespersons, staff, specialists, managers, office workers, janitors, and all other roles are necessary for a company to function. Nowadays, every large or even medium-sized company has a dedicated HR department. Its purpose is to manage the company’s human resources, to ensure that all required positions are filled, and to facilitate cooperation between workers. HR department has seven functions. These functions are (Kim, & Sung-Choon, 2013):
- Risk management and worker protection
- Employee and labor relations
- Strategic HR management
- Equal employment opportunity
- HR recruitment (Staffing)
- Total Rewards
- Talent Management
While all seven functions are necessary for efficient human resource management, some of them have priority over other. Based on my experience and research, crucial functions of the HR department are HR recruitment, employee and labor relations, and total rewards.
In order to understand their importance, let us address the purpose of the HR department in a broader and more generalized perspective. In order for an enterprise to function, the HR department is supposed to find suitable candidates for the required jobs, and keep these candidates in the company.
The recruitment process is where HRM begins. It entails finding and hiring skillful and talented employees while sorting out the rest of the candidates who are deemed unqualified for the job. The staffing process involves numerous sub-processes, such as putting up vacancies, conducting interviews, analyzing potential candidates from professional and psychological perspectives, and many other. Without employees, there is nobody for the HR department to manage.
The second most important function of the HR department is managing employee and labor relations. This factor is very important if the enterprise wants its workers to stay together and work as a team. According to Fossum (2015), working in a comfortable physical and emotional environment is one of the primary factors that determines the productivity of employees. The reasons for that are simple – nobody likes working in a hostile and aggressive environment, where everyone is at odds with one another. It is damaging for the enterprise as well. In hostile environments, productivity tends to fall, failures become more common, teamwork is inexistent, and sabotage is likely (Fossum, 2015). Mediating conflicts between employees and groups within a company ensures positive results and low turnover rates.
The third most important function of the HR department is managing total rewards. Total rewards is a relatively new blanket term, which encompasses all the benefits and profits that employees receive from their job. This includes salaries and other monetary rewards, promotions, healthcare and education benefits, and other (Schlechter, Thompson, & Bussin, 2015). This factor plays an important role in both attracting potential employees and keeping them. Despite the lies commonly repeated during the interviews, most employees are interested in money and benefits in exchange for their skills and services. A fair salary and a benefits package may attract many potential employees. Once they are hired, however, it is up to the HR department to ensure that all the benefits promised are actually there. Otherwise, the employees would feel deceived and disillusioned, are would be much more likely to leave. Even if they stay, the employee motivation would quickly plummet, once they discover that the promise of free dental care was a hoax.
This is why I chose these three functions as the crucial functions in the HRM. The rest of the functions are also important. However, their purpose is only to enhance the effectiveness of the HRM process. Without the three crucial functions, which were outlined in this paper, the entire process would fall apart.
Fossum, J. (2015). Labor relations (12th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Financial.
Kim, H., & Sung-Choon, K. (2013). Strategic HR functions and firm performance: The moderating effects of high-involvement work practices. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 30(1), 91-113. Web.
Schlechter, A., Thompson, N.C., & Bussin, M. (2015). Attractiveness of non-financial rewards for prospective knowledge workers: An experimental investigation. Employee Relations, 37(3), 274-295. Web.