Human Resources, or HR, is a commonly misunderstood discipline within the world of business – both by employees and new businesses.
There are even those that believe HR to be a redundant career path, and an unnecessary business expense. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Here, we will attempt to dismantle the misconceptions that surround the world of HR, and outline the sheer importance of an HR department to a business of any size.
What is HR?
HR is, in essence, the management of people and processes within a business. An HR department is responsible for the handling of personnel administration and issues, from the onboarding of new staff to the enforcement of the business’ code of conduct. HR may also be somewhat responsible for managing the personnel aspect of business trips and excursions, but this is at the discretion of the company in question.
HR departments exist to lighten the administrative load on other management teams, and are crucial in the creation of a positive and respectful working atmosphere. They can also be instrumental in the protection of the business against difficult situations arising from staff issues or interpersonal disagreements.
HR departments carry out these recruitment and management processes often with the help of human resource management systems, which can expedite certain tasks and ensure the efficiency of work. In tandem with interpersonal communication, HR departments are able to effectively manage staff levels and employee satisfaction, while protecting the company from legal difficulties relating to employment law.
Why Do You Need an HR Department?
HR departments deal with some vital aspects of staffing a business, but are not a legal requirement. Businesses are not required to staff an HR department. So, why exactly should they? This is an especially pertinent question where a new company has grown from the ground up, with a skeleton crew and no departments to speak of.
As it happens, one of the tell-tale signs a business needs an HR department is the act of growth itself. If you are finding yourself hiring a lot of new people, or expanding your offices in other areas, you may find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time examining CVs and interviewing candidates. An HR department removes this responsibility from you, enabling you to focus more directly on the growth of your business.
With a fast-growing team, you may also be finding it harder to communicate effectively with them. Repeated reminders relating to working hours and office etiquette are small beer in comparison to the larger needs of your business and its growth strategy. Again, HR can bridge that gap and ensure effective communication of requirements and expectations.
You may also find that, despite your business’ rampant growth and solid prospects, employee turnover is unexpectedly high. Poor onboarding may well be the cause, with a surprising number of new workers leaving jobs due to a difficult or impersonal transition phase. HR departments can manage onboarding on your behalf, minimising employee losses and helping you build a long-lasting professional team.