Let’s analyze the keys to the perfect Human Resources department and explain the functions of this team of professionals who have become a fundamental part of companies to manage talent.
During the last years, we have observed how the Human Resources departments of companies have become increasingly important and have expanded their functions.
Their role is key not only in the recruitment process but in the development of the worker in the company and their motivation; something that translates into the results and productivity of the organization. But, how has that evolution been? What is the origin of Human Resources? And their most important functions? What does the future hold for them?
Definition of Human Resources:
Although its meaning has varied throughout history, currently the term Human Resources is used to refer to the department of the company that is in charge of all those tasks related to people management and talent attraction.
A department that not only considers the employee as a resource but looks after his interests, his employee relations and his satisfaction at work. The term of the training required requires this: Degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources.
One of the most complete definitions that encompass these ideas is that of Barney and Clark, which includes “the knowledge, experiences, skills and commitment of workers with the company, as well as their relationships with other colleagues, subordinates and managers; and its relationships with people outside the company as customers and suppliers ”.
Origin and Evolution of the term Human Resources:
As we mentioned, the term Human Resources has evolved. We find its origin in the economic theory of Frederick W. Taylor, who introduced new concepts about efficiency and productivity, and which ended up leading to numerous psychological and adequacy analyzes throughout the 20th century. It was then that the idea of human capital as a business value was born.
Functions of the Human Resources department:
The change in concept is directly related to the change in human resource management. Until recently its functions were limited to the recruitment and selection of personnel.
However, today the main mission of a Human Resources department is to organize and manage the people of the company so that the objectives are achieved in the most satisfactory way possible for all those involved.
Also, you must take care that the tasks do not overlap and ensure that there is a good working environment, among many other issues. But let’s specify:
- Employment function in Human Resources
- Administration of Personnel in Human Resources
- Employee Relations Function
- Disciplinary function – One of the most overlooked functions of the Human Resources department
- Work Climate Function
- Personnel Development – One of the forgotten Human Resources functions
(A) Employment function in Human Resources:
The employment function is one of the most important functions of the Human Resources department. It includes everything related to the recruitment and selection of personnel, but also that which has to do with the attraction of talents and their incorporation. To achieve this you must determine the needs of the company.
Regarding the recruitment part, it determines and implements the procedures focused on attracting candidates for the company. These techniques can be internal or external, depending on whether or not people are part of the organization. It includes the planning, the design and description of the positions, and the definition of functions and responsibilities.
With the selection, we mean the choice of people who will work in the company through a series of tests. These two tasks are the best known of human resources. Equally important is the insertion of new personnel into the company, that is, taking measures so that the new worker adapts quickly.
To help improve efficiency in the execution of these tasks, there are personnel selection tools that optimize these processes and save operating costs. With them, recruiters can automate the publication of job offers from multiple recruitment sources such as premium job portals, job boards, universities, and so on.
As for the selection part, it is already possible to better monitor the candidate and automate communications with him depending on the phase of the process he is going through, and even save his CV in a database that We may appeal on subsequent occasions.
(B) Administration of Personnel in Human Resources:
With the administrative management of the personnel, we refer to the legal-administrative tasks related to contracts, payroll, social insurance, permits, sick leave, vacations, absences, time control and the like. We are talking about “paperwork”.
However, this can be avoided by implanting specific Human Resources software that makes the basic functions of personnel management easier: maintaining an employee database, attendance control, recruitment of workers, vacation and absence management, etc.
It even allows having an employee portal that makes it easier for the staff to carry out any management with Human Resources.
(C) Employee Relations Function:
Human Resources solves employee problems and negotiates with union representatives of workers. This addresses issues with hiring, wage policy, employee disputes, collective bargaining, etc. It is also concerned with ensuring equality among company employees and taking steps to achieve an adequate working climate.
But you should not only get it but worry about measuring it regularly through, for example, workplace climate surveys. Automating them is also helpful here. It is a way to avoid the biases that can occur when they are carried out manually, during the day (with the team leader looking at the worker), etc.
Another of its tasks is to ensure the health of workers and the conditions of their work -what is known as risk prevention-. That is, it includes hygiene at work and safety of employees, as well as the company’s social action.
(D) Disciplinary function – One of the most overlooked functions of the Human Resources department:
We could not fail to include in this list the disciplinary factor. It is here where warnings, faults, dismissals, sanctions and calls for attention have a place; a necessary part within an organization.
(E) Work Climate Function:
Measuring the climate and job satisfaction of employees serves to detect problems early and improve decision-making about them. Besides, promoting a positive work environment increases worker productivity and favours the achievement of objectives, while a bad one, on the contrary: creates conflictive situations and worsens results.
To know the work climate, we can pass a work climate survey, a specific tool that, among other advantages, reduces the risk in decision-making, allows us to know the weaknesses, problems and needs of the team, contribute to its development, increase the profitability of the company in general, create long-term reports and analyze the organization’s work.
(F) Personnel Development – One of the forgotten Human Resources functions:
A Human Resources department must also implement the necessary training plans to promote employee growth within the company. Not only to motivate him but to retain him and to take advantage of the potential of internal talent. Here the employee participation has to be encouraged. Also, it is continuous training, a continuous learning process that allows you to develop the essential skills and that meet the requirements of the organization.
To develop a good plan, planning must be carried out that includes:
- The study of the needs of the company: that they may come from the environment, from the organization’s strategy, or be the result of other incidents such as an accident at work, low productivity, etc.
- Developing a career plan
- Execution of the training plan: through classes, simulations, performances, conferences and others.
- Analysis of results: if it has been successful, if the attitudes and skills of those involved have changed, etc.
- Precisely for the analysis of results and the management of courses, training and resources, having an LMS platform will be essential. It is a place to centralize all this information, measure the training results, the progress of the workforce and much more.
How Human Resources interact with other departments?
It is necessary to further define how Human Resources interacts with the rest of the organization’s departments.
Thus, it must promote internal communication and interact with the rest of the employees and departments, attending to their queries and requests.
Human Resources and Sales:
On the other hand, the Human Resources and Commercial Management department should always go hand in hand to improve sales results. And it is that Human Resources policies are capable of conditioning the behaviour of commercial teams.
Besides, it must be taken into account that, at present, the importance of the professionalization of commercial teams is increasing. Those companies that define their strategy together obtain better results than those that do not.
The Future of Human Resources and Human Resources functions:
One of the typical questions that almost any worker has asked himself at some point in his career has to do with what would happen if the robots ended up replacing him.
An ever closer hypothesis that also reaches Human Resources, where the question is even more logical. In any case, those in charge of this department can rest easy since, according to experts, the chances that a robot ends up doing the work of this professional are 0.55%.
That does not mean, yes, that technologies or Big Data have no place. Nothing further. The use of artificial intelligence and data helps decision-makers make better decisions.
For example, an algorithm can help us detect the most motivated employees; while recruiting software will allow us to automate processes and find the best candidates faster. However, these decisions must be humane for a simple matter: people are managed, their well-being and how comfortable they feel.