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The purpose of a human resources department

Smart employees avoid Human Resources and for good reason. Most large companies have Human Resource departments and they serve a purpose for a greater good of the organization. They are put into place for a variety of different reasons. Some of the areas they concentrate on are hiring, talent management, putting together compensation plans, employee benefits, compliance, and they often work with management to develop long-term goals for the growth and development of the organization. Additionally, Human Resource departments work with employees and management as a liaison between the two parties to keep the company running smoothly. I do think Human Resource departments have a place in business and organizations and they are very helpful in the growth of many companies.

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Human Resource departments are deeply invested in hiring employees for the company. The department itself sorts through hundreds and sometimes thousands of resumes to fin the right job candidates. They take this seriously too, which is one reason if you’re under qualified or not fit for a certain job you should probably just not apply for it. Your resume will get trashed and often that company won’t even give you a second look in case there is an ideal job that comes up for you. If you are fit for a job and lucky enough to get a phone screen or an in-office interview, it’s best you are very prepared. The Human Resource department are the gatekeepers that will lead you to upper management who makes the final decision (this is usually the second interview).

Talent Management

In my opinion, talent management is just another fancy word for Human Resources. However, employees in the Human resource department look at it as something completely different. This is what John Hopkins University says Talent management is, and I would imagine most Human Resource executives would agree: Talent Management is a set of integrated organizational Human Resources processes designed to attract, develop, motivate, and retain productive, engaged employees. The goal of talent management is to create a high-performance, sustainable organization that meets its strategic and operational goals and objectives.

Compensation Plans

The Compensation Plan is something that the Human Resource department works very hard on, it is in the company’s best interest to acquire excellent talent. You should expect that you’ll be asked your salary history at the time you apply. Unless you’re a top-level executive, expect to get an offer within $10K of what you are currently compensated at. Sure, there are some exceptions to this rule. At large companies, someone in the Human Resources department will most likely call you with an offer. They are prepared to negotiate, but if you ask for too much they will most likely just move on to the next candidate. Human Resource executives understand good talent is tough to find, but they aren’t going to overpay for it.

Employee Benefits

One thing you should always look at are the employee benefits when you’re taking a job with a new company. Large companies usually offer much better employee benefits than smaller companies. This is because large companies have more resources, employees, and room to negotiate excellent deals with benefit providers (i.e. health care providers, insurance, 401k brokerages, etc.). You will find that smaller companies can’t afford to provide excellent benefits but may offer more compensation than larger companies so it’s a trade off and it really depends upon what the employee values the most.

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Human resources really tries hard to make sure that everyone in the organization complies with the rules. They often speak with both employees and managers about their grievances or what they may not like within the company. For example, if an employee has a problem with his manager o another employee it’s Human Resources duty to have an open door policy. While I have never visited a Human Resources department with a grievance I have heard stories. Human Resources almost always sides with the senior executive or manager and tries to do what is best for the organization. However, everyone makes mistakes – even the Human Resources department makes mistakes. Sometimes employees get fired for the wrong reasons and the company gets sued or has to settle a lawsuit. This happens more often than you would think so it’s very important Human Resources departments get all of their facts straight before making any decisions.

Organizational Growth

Within the last decade, Human Resource executives have had to focus on company growth a lot more as part of their core responsibilities. They have to ask themselves if they have the right employees in the right departments and positions to execute the company’s mission and strategy. I’m not sure how many of you have seen the George Clooney movie “Up in the Air” where a company has two traveling employees (Alex Goran and Ryan Bingham) whose job is to visit various company locations (throughout the USA) and lay off people. This is reality; nowadays companies employ people like this to work with Human Resources and use these types of techniques to make their companies flourish essentially trying to optimize the overall company structure. After the recession, this even became more prevalent and when a large company uses a downsizing technique like this, the executives with core competencies essentially take on more job responsibilities.

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