What is the HR FUNCTIONS?

An efficiently managed human resources department can provide your organization with the structure and ability to meet business needs by managing your company’s most valuable resource – its employees.

There are many human resource disciplines, but HR practitioners in each discipline may perform more than one of the six primary functions in their discipline.

In small businesses that do not have a dedicated HR department, it is possible to achieve the same level of efficiency and workforce management by outsourcing HR functions or joining a professional employer organization.

There are six main functions of HR which are recruitment, workplace safety, employee relations, compensation planning, labor law compliance and training.

Recruiting the Right People for the Right position

The success of recruiters and recruitment professionals is generally measured by the number of jobs they hold and the time it takes to fill those jobs. Recruiters who work at home – as opposed to companies that provide recruiting and employing services – play a major role in developing an employer’s workforce. They advertise job vacancies, release candidates, screen applicants, conduct preliminary interviews and coordinate recruitment efforts with managers responsible for final selection of candidates.

Maintaining a Safe Environment

Workplace safety is one of the most important factors in any organization. One of major functions of Human Resources is to support workplace safety training and maintain records for reporting workplace injuries and deaths. In addition, HR safety and risk specialists often work closely with HR benefits specialists to manage the company’s affected workers compensation issues.

Employer-Employee Relations

In a union work environment, employee and labor relations functions of human resources can be combined and handled by a single specialist or completely separate jobs run by two HR professionals with specific expertise in each area. Employee relations is the human resource specialty concerned with strengthening the employer-employee relationship by measuring job satisfaction, employee engagement, and conflict resolution in the workplace. Labor relations functions may include developing management response to union organizing campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements and providing explanations for labor union contract issues.

Compensation and Benefits

As in previous function, HR compensation and benefits functions can often be handled by a single HR professional with dual expertise. On the compensation side, HR functions include setting up compensation structures and evaluating competitive pay practices. The corporate and benefits specialist may also negotiate group health coverage rates with insurance companies and coordinate activities with the superintendent of the retirement savings fund. Payroll can be a component of the compensation and benefits department in Human Resources; however, in many cases, employers outsource administrative functions such as payroll.

Labor Law Compliance

Compliance with labor and employment laws is one of the most critical HR functions. Non-compliance can lead to workplace complaints based on unfair hiring practices, unsafe working conditions, and general dissatisfaction with working conditions that can affect productivity and ultimately profitability. HR staff should be familiar with each state’s labor laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act and many other rules and regulations.

Training and Development

Employers must provide employees with tools for their success, such as giving new employees extensive induction training to help them transition into a new organizational culture. Many human resources departments also provide leadership and professional development training. Leadership training may be required for newly appointed and promoted supervisors and managers in topics such as performance management and how to handle department-wide employee relations issues.


Professional development opportunities for employees who are looking for promotional opportunities or for employees who want to achieve personal goals (such as completing a college degree) are often in the form of programs such as tuition assistance and tuition reimbursement programs within the purview of the field of human resources training and development.


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