Human Resources 101: What You Need To Know

Aside from the service or goods that a company or business offers, one of the most important functions of any company is that of hiring, firing, training and compensating its employees. These things, among a few others, are the function of the human resources department, as it is typically called.


Many small businesses with only a handful of employees do not have an HR department; all of their personnel issues are handled by a manager or, perhaps, the owner. Some companies may even hire outside services to handle payroll and training. Most medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, all the way up to international corporations, have multiple employees who work in HR. The employees who work at a company are often looked at as valuable resources for that company. Therefore, the HR department is responsible for managing the various aspects of the employees’ experiences.


The human resources department often works alongside the specific department managers to determine which prospective employees are a good fit for the company. Recruiters are often the first contact point for a potential employee. HR officers will often review resumes, references and background checks. When a candidate is seen as a good fit on paper, the HR department will often work alongside the future employee’s immediate supervisor to do interviews and make the final determination of whom to hire.


The job of the HR department is certainly not complete after a new employee has been hired. An HR officer typically sets up a new employee orientation that involves giving information on benefits and company policy, as well as signing tax and legal documents, if necessary. Depending on the sort of work the employee has been hired to do, the HR officer may arrange for the employee to attend an outside training, or the HR department may have trainers on staff.


Once an employee has completed all of the necessary tasks to begin regular work, the HR department will typically manage payroll and benefits. This involves ensuring that all necessary tax documentation is in place so that the employee is getting the proper amount deducted from his or her taxes. This also involves making sure that the proper payments are deducted from the employee’s paycheck and made in a timely manner to the various benefit providers.


The HR department typically manages disciplinary actions against an employee as well, including termination. After an employee quits or is fired, the HR department will usually be the point of contact for other potential employers to gain information about the former employee, according to what state and federal law will allow.


The human resources department is involved in each and every employee’s job, from before it starts to long after it ends. Therefore, HR officers are a vital part of any company and help keep employees educated, protected and happy.


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