Nearly all businesses incorporate human resources into their operations in one way or another. At its most basic, the role of human resources is to manage the people that make up an organization. It is important for everyone – employer, employee and aspiring HR professionals – to understand the basic principles and responsibilities of a position in this field.  


Develop Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines

One of the major roles of HR professionals is to develop the written expectations, processes and protocols that apply to employees. This usually takes the form of an employee handbook, although it may also include other documentation such as forms and written agreements. HR does not, of course, do this in isolation. Rather, HR management will seek direction from organizational executives as part of ongoing discussions  about compliance requirements, basic HR principles, and best practices. At the same time, HR must also always strive for improving these rules, company processes and more.


Hiring and Firing Employees

One of the biggest roles HR plays in business organizations is the hiring of new employees. Their responsibilities might include recruiting, interviewing and having input on final hiring decisions, always working with other departments to ensure new hires are the best fit for the organization. HR usually onboards new employees, which may include conducting orientation programs and making sure that employees complete necessary forms and documents. HR is also heavily involved whenever the unfortunate decision is made to fire an employee. While decisions about firing are often made by department heads and/or upper management, HR departments may have input into the decision. They are usually responsible for conducting the termination process in a professional and legally compliant manner.  


Serve as Liaison

HR serves as a direct link between every employee in the company and the upper executives who are in charge. This can cause friction when employee wants and needs conflict with the interests of the employer. Trained HR professionals play a valuable role in trying to resolve these conflicts. Human resource departments also respond to all types of complaints and concerns from employees about other employees. HR responsibilities may include, depending upon the particular situation, investigating, mediating, and taking corrective actions.