Human Resources Functions

By Anita Kalra5 min read · Posted Mar 13, 2024


Human resources, or HR, is the corporate department tasked with managing the people needed to work in a corporation. Compared to other departments, like a procurement department handling goods procurement or a technology department handling technological needs, the HR department manages the most valuable asset for the corporation: its human capital.

HR manages human capital from procurement to dismissal and all stages within. Functions of a human resources department include posting jobs, finding appropriate candidates, screening, recruiting, onboarding, training, and performance management guidance and monitoring, as well as managing employee benefit programs like payroll and other benefits, addressed in a separate article on the Pitch Labs platform. HR must also keep up with government regulations around labor laws as they pertain to their specific line of business.

Another aspect is to keep the human capital trained and happy for a high retention rate, since it costs corporations to find and train staff in the first place.

The duties of the HR team are as follows:

  1. Setting of HR policies and adherence to labor laws are the first steps. The department must review past precedents or follow new guidelines from their CEO and board to set internal HR policies, which must adhere to the labor laws about their line of business. The policies must be clear to everyone involved and approved and signed by the board.
  2. Health and safety compliance is another critical aspect mandated by state and federal labor laws that HR must incorporate in policies and employment forms.
  3. Diversity and inclusion requirements as per law or public influence are other essential factors that a corporation’s HR department must keep in mind while hiring. They want to set and embrace policies and programs that promote inclusion and foster the mindset internally.
  4. Advertising for open positions. When a team or manager requires additional staff, HR must get a detailed description of job requirements, such as education and past work experience, as well as any issues like typical expectations around work hours and wages, demeanor on the job, lifting of any weight, technical expertise, etc. Appropriate ads should be posted on different online platforms or with external placement companies.
  5. Screening candidates. HR will need to screen talent from the applicant pool for the advertised positions. Applicants can range from dozens to hundreds, depending on supply and demand, offered salary, and other benefits.
  6. Recruitment. This may involve an initial interview of the screened applicants to make sure they meet the criteria that HR received from the hiring managers.
  7. Background checks and drug tests. If needed, it is the HR team’s responsibility to get applicants’ permission for such tests and get them conducted before passing on the candidates to the hiring managers.
  8. The interview process, managed by the HR team, includes setting up interviews, reserving conference rooms, letting security know of visiting applicants, and greeting them at the door if the interviewing facility is large and has security needs for applicants to be led in and out of designated areas.
  9. Onboarding applicants who accept a job offer is the duty of the HR team. Onboarding may include gathering information like their mail and email addresses, emergency contacts, and any health concerns, covering expectations of both parties.
  10. The HR team will tailor the compensation and benefits package as negotiated.
  11. Payroll and tax management needs to be carried out by HR for all employees once they become part of an organization.
  12. Benefits administration will include time-off policy adherence and monitoring.
  13. Training and development of staff on an ongoing basis is the responsibility of the HR team.
  14. Performance reviews over the career of employees is HR’s responsibility.
  15. Employee records maintenance, which includes keeping confidential employee information updated. This includes their salary and compensation, vacation and sick day leave, performance feedback, training, and desired moves within the organization.
  16. Dismissal. Finally, due to changing needs of the business or employee resignations, the dismissal and off-boarding of staff also falls on the shoulders of HR. They must ask for any tools, machinery, or notes or documents that the employee had been entrusted with to carry out their job. Final severance or retirement packages are handled by HR, ensuring the parting employee is leaving on amicable terms and protecting the corporation from any legal action down the road.

In situations where the parting is not amicable and an employee is being fired or laid off, HR must handle the notification themselves and ensure safety of company materials by requesting security be present from when the employee is informed to when the now-former employee leaves the premises.


The duties mentioned above are dynamic and will vary depending on the size of a corporation and its work sector, funds available, and workforce size. Nevertheless, an HR team’s role is essential for the success of any business.

Staff productivity and satisfaction within the corporation depend heavily on HR efforts to manage resources successfully. Continual training, feedback, and performance management of the staff at each level, workers and managers alike, are vital to keeping an open line of communication among staff, HR, and upper management.

Human resources management (HRM) strategies: There has been a push for strategic initiatives within HR departments since the 1980s. This movement arose out of research on the impact of employee-related issues on a firm’s long-term business success.

Human resource management (HRM) initiatives present a comprehensive approach to managing employees and an organization’s culture and environment. It focuses on the recruitment, management, and general direction of the people who work in an organization.

The recent hybrid model of work, or requests to work entirely remote, is a perfect example of HRM strategies adopted to attract more talent.

HR outsourcing is a growing trend and sometimes necessary for smaller firms. They outsource their payroll, tax management, and staffing needs to allow a small HR team to focus on managing employee attraction and retention strategies, in order to create a positive mindset within the firm and build a loyal and cheerful workforce.

Please refer to another Pitch Labs article, titled Employee Benefits, which goes hand in hand with the roles carried out by human resources.

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