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What Does Human Resources Do?

human resources.jpgWhile the inner workings of your company's human resources staff may seem a mystery even to management, in fact, a properly-functioning HR department serves an essential role in any well-run organization. As federal and California employment law grows increasingly complex, effective HR managers can help keep your business out of legal hot water with the variety of federal and state organizations that oversee the workplace. So what does human resources do? Its functions can roughly be broken down into three categories: human, administrative and strategic.

HR's Human Function

First and foremost, your HR department is the bridge between your employees and company management. As the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics observes, HR helps your organization attract, develop and retain the best-qualified workers in the positions where they fit best. As the department responsible for recruiting, interviewing and hiring, human resources is the first point of contact between the business and a potential new hire. Often, HR managers conduct initial interviews, thereafter coordinating with the relevant departments for further meetings. As part of the hiring process, HR handles background checks and drug testing as well. Once a new hire comes aboard, HR takes charge of employee orientation and training.

But HR's responsibilities does not end with hiring. Your HR staff provides your workforce with a resource for basic company information on an ongoing basis, including supplying employee handbooks. Typically HR is also involved in performance reviews and disciplinary procedures, as well as employee terminations. Equally important, HR coordinates with management to establish and disseminate equal opportunity employment and sexual harassment policies, and acts as the front line for receiving employee complaints and resolving disputes.

HR's Administrative Function

One essential job human resources does is manage your employee benefits programs, and sometimes payroll as well. Further, HR oversees the record-keeping and administration required by the alphabet soup of government regulatory agencies and employment laws, including:

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC);
  • The Department of Labor (DOL);
  • The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA);
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA);
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA);
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA);
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and
  • The California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH).

HR's Strategic Function

Finally, the human resources department serves as a resource for management in planning your company's long-term growth and development strategy. A good HR department will track compensation and benefit packages in your industry to maintain your competitiveness in that arena, and coordinate with company managers to plan pay structures. Additionally, consulting with your HR staff helps maximize efficiency by placing employees in the positions where their talents are put to their best use.

Contact a California Business Attorney

If you are a business owner concerned about the effectiveness of your human resources department, the skilled San Jose employment attorneys Diemer, Whitman, & Cardosi, LLP can provide a wide range of legal strategies and solutions for you. Reach out to our office today at (408) 971-6270, for support in Santa Clara County, Alameda County, San Mateo County, and nearby areas.




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