5 functions of human resource management

The functions of human resource management are designed to recruit potential employees, hire and train them, and then support them in improving their performance so they can reach their full potential and help the organization achieve its targets. Put simply, it’s important to find the right people, develop their skills over time, and create an environment where they can do their best work.

No matter the industry or the size of the organization, human resource management plays a lead role in the success of the business and its people. Here are five of the functions of human resource management.

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1. Recruitment and hiring

One of the most well-known functions of human resource management is recruitment and hiring. To remain competitive in the industry, businesses need to attract and retain top talent. 

The HR team typically meets with a hiring manager to learn more about open positions and gain a detailed understanding of the kind of people that will fit best in those roles. While they also consider education, experience, and skills, HR must look at personality traits and working styles to increase the chances of long-term compatibility.

A strategic HR department has a long-term recruiting and hiring plan that aligns with the company’s growth goals. This plan includes creating job postings and sharing them through their networks, screening incoming applications, conducting interviews, performing reference and background checks, and finalizing hiring paperwork.

2. Onboarding and ongoing training and development

Once a company hires employees, it’s vital to properly onboard and train them so they have the tools to excel in their roles. Human resource management provides onboarding for new employees, which can include sharing the company mission, vision, and values, in addition to internal policies and procedures. It may also include safety training, depending on the workplace.

Image of Employee Onboarding App
An employee onboarding app can help both HR professionals and the new hires

In addition to onboarding, HR also facilitates ongoing professional development through training, seminars, workshops, and certifications. They may create internal training or outsource it to training experts. Investing in employees’ professional development helps build loyalty and reduce turnover, not to mention increasing performance and productivity.

3. Managing employee and employer relationships

A company’s success relies on its people, so human resource management must focus on fostering healthy relationships among all levels of employees.

This can include conflict resolution during tense situations or negotiating positive outcomes for all involved parties. It may also include providing specific types of training, such as anger management or mindfulness, to ensure employees have the resources to manage themselves effectively in the workplace.

4. Creating a rewarding company culture

One of the most overlooked functions of human resource management is developing an engaging company culture. Keeping employee morale high doesn’t happen only during team lunches or after-work drinks. It happens through the ethos of the company — the mission, vision, and core values.

Another HR responsibility includes making sure employees have competitive pay and both tangible and intangible benefits. The department should identify potential negative workplace cultural issues that could create problems among employees and help steer the organization in the right direction.

5. Overseeing disciplinary action

A difficult aspect of human resource management is disciplining employees when required. HR professionals must have a disciplinary process in place and must ensure all employees are aware of it as part of their onboarding.

If an incident occurs that requires disciplinary action, HR may need to notify the employee with a written warning and include it in their file. It may even be necessary to suspend, demote, or terminate the employee, depending on the issue. It’s best to have a legal expert on the HR team who can ensure the company follows all labor laws properly in terms of disciplinary actions.

Functions of human resource management can also include meeting compliance regulations and industry safety standards, maintaining the integrity of employee data, and overseeing employee benefits. Above all, the goal is to support employees in performing to their full potential to help the company reach its objectives.

This article is originally published on Jun 11, 2021, and updated on Dec 19, 2022.

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