What is Human Resource (HR)?

Human Resource is the management of all things related to one’s employees, from the leadership of staff to the structure that supports the organization.

Effective HR management reduces the risks associated with the various compliance issues that all organizations face. Compliance with governing legislation and best practices are paramount in ensuring that Human Resource practices are effective and costs stay low.

The following 5 areas should be at the top of an organization’s Human Resources to-do list.

  1. Recruiting

    Although the elements of recruiting are rudimentary, having an inexperienced employee in a hiring position not only puts the organization at risk, it also sends a poor message to candidates. Recruiting should be thought of not only as a need to hire but also an opportunity to sell and market the organization.

    One of the most important aspects of effective recruiting is compliance with guiding legislation. To avoid costly fines and improve efficiency, it is important that the staff responsible for hiring are skilled and aware of what topics are appropriate to discuss in an interview.

    Legislative compliance is not the only aspect of effective recruiting. It is also important for the internal process to be transparent to existing staff. It is important to create an environment where they are aware of what is going on and where they can be part of the process, as appropriate.

    Finally, understanding the information received during an interview and how it compares to the needs and requirements of the vacancy will require practice. Understanding this piece will help find the ideal fit for the organization and avoid hiring just to ‘fill the job’.

  2. Policies and Procedures

    Policies and procedures help to determine the culture of one’s organization. It is a way of explaining the rules to staff. Some may perceive this as being restrictive. However, if done well and with an eye on the culture and demographics of the organization, it can be effective in ensuring consistency and clarity throughout the organization. Once the guidelines have been set, downtime usually associated with these matters will decrease, allowing managers to focus on growing or directing the business of the organization and spending less time dealing with nagging internal issues.

    When creating policies, in addition to ensuring legislative compliance, it is necessary to look at the best practices in the related industry as well as what competitors are doing. It should be noted that compliance to legislation usually means doing the minimum required by law. Depending on business of the organization and the demand for staff in the sector, the organization may need to adjust policies accordingly.

  3. Management Training

    The manner in which organizations deal with employees’ development is very important. It is not uncommon to find that managers in many organizations may not have been exposed to formal development consistently. Training in management skills, including conflict management, communication and employee relations will help develop the management team.

    Training and development of managers promotes positive employee relations and also empowers managers by giving them the skills they need. Skilled managers work more effectively because they are able to deal with the difficult and complex Human Resources issues in a professional and consistent manner and, as a result, spend more time on the growth and promotion of the organization.

  4. Performance Assessments

    There are many benefits associated with the informality found in some organizations. However, in the area of performance assessments this can be a significant handicap. Formalizing the performance assessment process, specifically providing regular feedback to staff, clarifying expectations and setting goals will create an environment of clear expectations and reduced friction, and ultimately lead to increased productivity. It also ensures that communication and regular feedback takes place.

  5. Compensation

    A competitive compensation package has many components including salary, vacation time, sick days, incentive programs and other similar perks. Employer should scan their workforce, their competitors, and the overall economic environment to determine the right compensation mix for the organization.

The role of the HR department affects all aspects of the organization. A seasoned HR professional can assist with assessing and anticipating the organization’s needs and ultimately reduce significant costs and risks associated with this function over the long term.

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Through our collaborative approaches, innovative HR products and customized advisory solutions we impact four leadership priorities: managing risk, driving productivity, strengthening talent capabilities and supporting your bottom line.

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