The 5 Main Roles in HR
The 5 Main Roles in HR

The 5 Main Roles in HR

An effective human resources department can help provide organizational structure and the ability to meet business needs by managing your business’s most valuable asset – your employees. Several disciplines make up the HR department, but HR practitioners might perform more than one of the six main duties: talent management, compensation and benefits, training and development, compliance and workplace safety.

  1. Talent Management
  2. The talent management team in the HR department covers a lot of ground. What used to be distinct areas of the department have been rolled up under one umbrella. The talent management team is responsible for recruiting, hiring, supporting and retaining employees. Recruiters are the primary players in developing any company’s workforce. They’re responsible for posting positions on job boards, sourcing candidates through job fairs and social media, serving as the first-line contacts for screening candidates, conducting the initial interviews, and coordinating with the hiring manager responsible for making the final selection. A recruiter’s success is typically determined by two key metrics: the number of positions they fill each year and the time it takes to get those positions filled.

    Employee relations or support is the area of the talent management team that is concerned with strengthening the employer-employee relationship. HR practitioners in this role study job satisfaction, employee engagement, organizational culture and resolving workplace conflict. If the company has a unionized workforce, this team will also work on labor relations, including negotiating collective bargaining agreements, creating managerial responses to union organizing campaigns, and interpreting labor union contract questions.

    Talent management also has HR managers who focus on workforce planning and management. This area includes succession planning and retention efforts across the business, from the C-suite on down. When an employee resigns, retires, is fired or laid off, gets sick, or dies, the workforce planning team kicks into action.

  3. Compensation and Benefits
  4. In smaller companies the compensation and benefits roles can often be handled by a single HR professional, but companies with a larger workforce will typically split up the duties. HR functions in compensation include evaluating the pay practices of competitors and establishing the compensation structure. The compensation department is also responsible for creating job descriptions in tandem with department managers, as well as succession planning.

    On the benefits side, HR practitioners can be responsible for negotiating group health coverage rates with insurance carriers or coordinating with the company’s 401(k) administrator. Payroll is also part of the compensation and benefits area of HR, but many companies choose to outsource this function to a bookkeeper or payroll service provider. Those that don’t generally put payroll practitioners in a separate team that works on the tactical process of generating payroll, with the compensation team focusing mainly on planning and strategy.

  5. Training and Development
  6. Every company wants to see its employees thrive, which means providing them with all of the tools they need to succeed. These tools aren’t necessarily physical like laptops, software or tools for a particular trade; they can include new employee orientation, leadership training, personal and professional development, and managerial training. Training and development (sometimes called learning and development) is an integral component of the HR team. Depending on the type of employee role played at the company, the training team might be responsible for building out instructional programs that have a direct impact on the success of the business. Today, many colleges and universities offer degrees in training and development; an instructional design degree would also be helpful in this role.

  7. HR Compliance
  8. Compliance is a critical component of any HR department. Employment and labor laws can be highly complex, and having a team devoted to monitoring this ever-changing landscape is essential to keeping companies out of trouble with federal, state and local governments’ laws. When a business is out of compliance it can result in applicants or employees filing claims based on discriminatory hiring and employment practices or hazardous working conditions. The compliance team must fully understand employment laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, and dozens of other rules and regulations.

  9. Workplace Safety
  10. Of course, every company wants to provide a safe place to work for its employees, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) actually mandates that employers provide a safe working environment for its workers. A large focus area for HR is developing and supporting safety training and maintaining federally mandated logs if injuries or fatalities happen at work. In addition, this department often works hand-in-hand with benefits specialists to manage the company’s Workers Compensation filings.

Ready to take the next step?

As you can see, there can be a lot of cross-over among the five main areas of the HR department and it can be tough to cover all of those moving parts. But the success of your business depends on full HR coverage. If it’s too much of a burden to go it alone, we can help. Whatever your HR and benefits challenges are, we can help you solve them with technology that works for your business. Take a tour of our products today and see for yourself how Paycor can help.

Take Tour

More to Discover

5 Tips for Developing Company and Employee Objectives

5 Tips for Developing Company and Employee Objectives

If you’ve ever Googled “What’s an OKR?” you’re not alone. OKRs mean objectives and key results and they’re becoming a very popular way for business leaders to get everyone on the same page. By making your organization’s OKRs visible and transparent, employees get a better sense of how they can contribute. And the more they understand the overall impact they make, the more engaged they’ll be.But setting organizational objectives isn’t easy. You have to take into consideration internal factors such as financial resources and human capital as well as external factors such as competitors, demand for the products, and the economy. You’ll also want to encourage employees to set their individual objectives by aligning their contributions to the...

TECH+ 2021: Executive Summary

TECH+ 2021: Executive Summary

Paycor hosted TECH+, our annual national partner conference on Feb 1st and 2nd and this year, the event was virtual. As always, TECH+ brought together benefits brokers, financial advisors and HR consultants for two days of learning, insights and strategies designed to improve business development and client retention. View the sessions on-demand, here.Here are 11 key takeaways: #1: Transparency, Technology and Data Analytics are Transforming Employee Benefits Benefits teams are in the spotlight now that American business is undergoing a “revolution in caring.” Business leaders are focused on making improvements: 61% focused on improving health and well being 55% focused on improving employee satisfaction and engagement 49% focused on...

Case Study: Midwest Security Services

Case Study: Midwest Security Services

Midwest Security Services needed an HCM company who could provide accurate payroll and tax withholdings. They chose Paycor. “The experience of using Paycor’s payroll is clean and easy—and that’s something I need. There’s a lot more follow-up and communication. If I have a request for a new garnishment or there’s a change, I get emails at every step of the way from Paycor. I don’t have to wonder if something was taken care of because I receive confirmation notices. It’s great.” - Shelly Mize, head of HR, Midwest Security Services Prior to Paycor Based in Kettering, Ohio, Midwest Security Services develops security solutions for schools, hospitals and corporations including video surveillance, access control systems, fire alarm and...

Case Study: Ruthmere

Case Study: Ruthmere

Paycor is a trusted partner that helps Ruthmere eliminate payroll errors and track employee hours. “With our previous provider we had to collect timecards and upload them to the payroll system. One whole day (each pay period) was eaten up just trying to do payroll. With Paycor the entire process only takes 5 minutes.” - Jennifer Johns, Curator Prior to Paycor As the Curator of a nonprofit with fewer than 10 employees, Jennifer Johns wears many hats, HR included. Unfortunately—with their previous provider—Jennifer had to manually enter employee information into the system multiple times. In addition, the system didn’t offer an easy way to track PTO. As a result, Jennifer had to approve PTO requests through email.To make matters worse,...