Human resources (HR) is the department within a business that is responsible for all things worker-related. That includes recruiting, vetting, selecting, hiring, employee onboarding, training, promoting, paying, and firing employees and independent contractors. HR is also the department that stays on top of new legislation guiding how workers need to be treated during the hiring, working, and firing process.

HR is considered by many business strategists to be the most important of all company resources. That’s because employees can gain new skills, thereby increasing the size of a company’s competitive advantage over time. Other resources simply don’t have that capacity.

The Trend toward Outsourcing?

As with many aspects of business, HR is one function that some businesses now outsource. By handing over responsibility to an outside agency to find, hire, manage, and pay qualified workers, the company can stay focused on developing its core competencies. At least that’s the thinking, which seems to be gaining ground.

E-services – Using an online HR platform enables small businesses to maintain control of their HR activities while leveraging information technology to do it more efficiently.

The list of tasks the HR department oversees is quite lengthy. Besides hiring and firing, HR professionals also take care of:

  • Recruiting
  • Background checks
  • Drug testing
  • Relocation
  • Training and professional development
  • Compensation plan development
  • Employee assistance plan
  • Outplacement
  • Payroll management
  • Benefits administration
  • Legal
  • Employee relations

A well-functioning HR department ensures that a business has all of the right employees it needs, at the right time, at an affordable cost, and it helps support the continued development of those workers, providing the company with an appreciating human asset.