What does HR really do?

HR often gets a bad rap from clueless, opinionated employees trying to underestimate its importance. Without mincing words, the most common sentiments range from:

  • HR teams are ‘ineffective’ and fail to demonstrate any value or
  • They speak gibberish and revel in red tape
  • Human resources is easily the most useless and expendable department

But going beyond all these misconceptions and unfounded assumptions, let’s try to set the record straight: What does HR really do?


Arguably one of the most crucial steps in any company, recruiting workers is an important task which the Human Resources team takes very seriously. They schedule interviews, make phone calls, test candidate skills, and sift through an ocean of CVs, all in the hopes of finding potential stars that would prove to be great assets to the company. These tasks aren’t to be taken lightly, either: HR types usually have good backgrounds in psychology and business management, and they don’t just rely on gut feel or guesswork when it comes to recruiting employees.


Training is another important aspect that comes with the HR’s job description. Tasks include 360 degree assessments, feedback reports, preparing certificates, and helping in the streamlining process. When it comes to career growth, HR managers set up talks, and training seminars that would improve the competencies of their employees. Likewise, team building activities could also be considered as part of the training process, since employees need a good chemistry and appreciation of each other to be able to mesh well as a cohesive workforce.


Payroll, timesheets and employee complaints are just some of the administration tasks that are delegated to HR departments. More technical ones include internal suggestion systems, management of employee assets and benefits, and establishing a solid grievance machinery to ensure that complaints follow the proper hierarchy in order to be disposed of efficiently. These may sound menial and basic, but if these day to day affairs are not attended to competently, a company would not be able to run properly.


Based on the foregoing, it is evident how diverse and multifaceted the work of Human Resources personnel can be. It may be argued that just about anyone can fulfill the work of HR; but once you delve towards that line of reasoning, you’re left with nothing but employees and secretaries. Such way of thinking takes for granted the richness and competency of HR personnel, their educational background, and their passion and devotion to human interactions. But despite the misconceptions, what matters most after all are results; that the department has made a positive effect in the lives of its workers, and peace of mind for the employer.


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