What comes to mind when you think of human resources?
Generally, one of the first thoughts is centred on recruiting talent. Although this is an important aspect, it is neither the sole nor the most central task of an HR professional. Human Resources is the department in an organization that manages all employees and ensures that engagement and productivity are maximized. It is also the group that makes sure the company is protected from any issues that may arise from the workforce.
Below are the key components of what an HR professional manages for an organization:
Strategic Business Advice
HR is increasingly seen by organizations as a strategic business partner. Employers are realizing the crucial role the team plays in developing a company’s strategy, as well as handling the employee-centred activities of an organization. The implementation of your strategic plans cannot be successful without employee involvement and buy-in, therefore, including HR advisers in the process is essential. Their forward-thinking principles and business acumen will bolster your ability to achieve your organizational goals.
Compensation & Benefits
HR professionals work to design compensation and benefits programs that attract and help retain top talent. This process involves managing your employee’s expense budget, setting performance standards, creating compensation policies and introducing a competitive benefits package for employees. For example, if your industry attracts seasoned candidates that have families and are looking for stability, your compensation program may rely heavily on well-rounded family benefits. Conversely, if your organization mainly attracts a young and dynamic workforce, your HR professional may consider cutting down on benefits initiatives and increasing vacation time in order to attract the right talent. Effective compensation and benefits programs should bring the best out in your employees.
Legislation and Compliance
While HR professionals do not specialize in employment law like an employment lawyer, they are expected to be very knowledgeable in this area. They need to keep abreast of all the new legislation that could impact an organization. With legislation constantly changing, it is their job to educate themselves, company teams and leaders on the changes that need to take place. Updating policies and changing business practices with new legislation may take months, if not years, to complete, but it is an important practice to ensure your company remains compliant and mitigates risk.
Learning and Development
Retaining talent is an ongoing challenge and another way it may be addressed is through learning and development. Employees appreciate companies who are willing to invest in their people, and the role of HR professionals is to analyze the needs and gaps within the organization to provide opportunities for learning and growth. This encourages top talent to stay with their organization and cultivates a positive workplace culture. A good company culture helps to attract talent, reduce turnover, keep up morale and motivate and engage employees.
HR professionals ensure there is an effective employee relations program in place that provides fair and consistent treatment of all employees and makes sure they are engaged in their jobs. They are responsible for tracking, managing and resolving any employee conflicts that may arise. It is important for employees to understand they have the support and a resource that they can use when dealing with difficulties at work. Establishing these processes allows for grievances to be voiced within an organization prior to utilizing outside sources such as the Ministry of Labour.
HR teams work with management to identify strengths and areas of development for employees. They help the management team to develop performance reviews that are based on the organizational goals and values. Should there be any challenges in performance, an HR professional will work on courses of action such as individual development plans.
Recruitment & Talent Acquisition
Recruitment can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Talent selection and acquisition is a complex process that HR professionals assist with by ensuring that the talent being hired has the knowledge, skills, motivation and cultural fit with the organization. Efficient navigation of this process and solid knowledge of recruitment best practices is essential for an effective search for talent.
Human Resources is involved with every aspect of the employee life cycle. The success of your organization heavily relies on HR’s ability to attain, manage and grow your team in pursuit of your strategic objectives.
Jordan Rodney is president of MaxPeople and the founder of Rodney Employment Law. He is an employment lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the area of Employment Law and Human Resources. Jordan incorporates a customized approach for each of his clients in an effort to achieve the most practical and effective workplace solution. His focus is ensuring that clients are equipped to handle workplace issues using innovative and cost-effective solutions.
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