by Lorna Hordos
Without human resources, a business owner or management team might spend a ridiculous amount of time on head hunting, staff discipline and in serving its employees. Basically, when it comes to employee matters, human resource generalists handle a variety of issues, from hiring to training, to paperwork, just for starters, whereas human resource specialists might focus solely on recruitment. Not all human resource professionals work independently or with human resources service centers. In many instances, large organizations have their own in-house human resource department.
1. Identify Employer Needs
Before a human-resource generalist or specialist can narrow down the ideal candidates for a job posting, he needs to understand the employer’s needs. For instance, the company culture plays a big role, so the employee personality factors into the hiring equation. And, of course, employers’ needs vary by industry. A technical-services company will have vastly different employee requirements from those of a military department, for example.
2. Interview and Selection
Recruitment and placement of employees are serious issues; If human resource gets these tasks wrong too many times, a company is in trouble. To find the right applicants, human resource professionals may need to travel extensively, such as to visit colleges and attend job fairs, for example. In the interview and selection processes, the human-resource worker delves into applicants’ skills, education, experience and personality to determine the best fit for a particular position. With a sharp eye, human resources can spot someone who may be ideal for the job in question or another area.
When an HR worker narrows down a suitable candidate for a position, she may contact his last employer or other job references to ensure that the candidate is being honest. This is also her chance to confirm the applicant’s reason for leaving his prior position and to ask how well he got along with management and coworkers, for starters.
3. Inform Applicants
If satisfied with the candidate’s interview and references, or as part of the interview process, human resources will explain the specifics of the job, including working conditions, duties and benefits, and will also ask if the candidate has any questions. Usually, the candidate determines if the job is the right fit for her by negotiating the start date and pay rate, and also by asking questions, such as how the position became available, what her immediate priorities would be and how will her success be measured.
5. Hire or Refer
A candidate who qualifies for a position and who accepts the company’s terms may be hired by HR, on the spot. In other instances, the potential employee is referred to the employer or the company’s management team to make the final decision, to determine if the employee actually is the best fit for the job, by reviewing her credentials and by speaking with her.
6. Conduct an Orientation
It’s important to make a new employee comfortable by giving him some time to adjust to his new job. Even if he has worked in a similar position before, he needs to meet the team, be given clear instructions and a chance to adjust to changes — even subtle changes such as the environment, and working with unfamiliar computer programs. Human resources often handles these onboarding procedures, including checking with the new employee from time to time to offer appropriate assistance and to answer any questions he may have throughout the probation period.
6. Identify Needs
Whether dealing with a new employee, or a relatively new or longtime employee, HR identifies any needs or challenges that come up in employee relations. The human resources worker meets with a business owner or manager to discuss any concerns. Together, they’ll work out a plan to address issues appropriately and strategically. The HR professional may also meet with employees individually, or as a group, to keep abreast of disturbances in the company culture or to spot any concerns before trouble becomes a bigger problem.
7. Paperwork, Policies and Record Keeping
A human-resources team’s duties do not end after an employee transitions into his position. The team’s ongoing tasks can include the administration of benefits, HR policies and training. The HR department might also process payroll, keep employment records and update training modules, all the while staying in line with governmental regulations on various levels.
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