Human Resources in a company play a fundamental role, since they constitute the human capital that makes it possible for an organization to function. The companies of the future have understood that employees and the Human Resources department can make the difference between a satisfactory work environment and one where lack of motivation, dissatisfaction and conflicts prevail.
Likewise, the functions of the Human Resources department are among the most valued when it comes to obtaining, training and maintaining human talent. Of course, the journey has been long and HR has evolved over time, perfecting its structure, assuming more responsibilities and facing the challenges of current market dynamics and a more demanding workforce .
In this publication we will deal with the most important topics in Human Resources, taking a tour of all those aspects that help us understand the evolution, importance and usefulness of this profession for organizations.
Definition of Human Resources
Within the scope of business management and administration, the entire set of people in the organization is known as Human Resources, that is, its human capital . However, the abbreviation of Human Resources or HR is currently also used to name the sector, department or area that, within an organization, is responsible for managing everything related to personnel.
The human resource shows the value that employees have and the relevance of their functions, contribution and training for the correct performance of an entire work structure. Regardless of the machinery or technological development that is available, people and their knowledge are the most precious thing in a company , as they allow it to continue growing over time, adapt and open new business opportunities or areas of influence. Of course, there are other relevant resources such as economic, material and technical, but their correct use depends on the intelligence and disposition of the human hand .
For all the above, the reasons why, within business administration, the need has arisen to create methodologies and disciplines that help the correct management of personnel and that facilitate the recruitment processes, job analysis, work environment, etc. Thus, an indispensable and comprehensive professional area has been born that combines legal principles, psychology and even in recent years coaching.
What does the acronym HR mean?
This abbreviation is the usual and comfortable way of referring to the phrase Human Resources. It comes from the English human resources and is written repeating each letter twice to mark the plural.
What are human resources in an organization?
Currently, a medium-sized company or business has an HR department to help the organization’s strategies, policies and philosophies be known, respected and shared by the talent that compose it. Also, so that the board of directors knows and understands the needs of their team and knows how or when to act to improve the work experience of each member.
People are perceived as active agents and agents of change who possess a set of skills, qualities and aptitudes that are indispensable for the company. Also, an organization can tap into other talents such as creativity and innovation.
According to these parameters, the most suitable candidate to fill a job is sought, always thinking about the growth of both parties in a respectful and beneficial employment relationship.
What do Human Resources managers do in an organization?
Among its usual tasks is the management of personnel according to aspects such as recruitment, hiring, management of schedules, assistance, payroll, channeling of requirements, among others.
Also, there is another sphere of action that has to do with the promotion, communication and enrichment of the organizational culture, conflict resolution, motivation, leadership and training . Of course, these are the most common, but each company can create new responsibilities, areas of action and work methodologies according to its needs, size and vision of the future.
The principle of equity as the basis of the employment relationship
In labor relations, equity is sought between the company and the worker, on that it depends that the union is maintained over time and that the expected results are achieved. There are values that must be shared and put into practice from both parties; we mean responsibility, transparency, respect and honesty . These should not only be sought or required of the worker, they must also be a constant within the organization.
Just as the collaborator must prove their capabilities, the company must guarantee the environment, technical resources and time for knowledge and skills to be adequately expressed.
Simply put, you cannot ask for what is not offered. Performance also depends on the conditions and policies that help teams have positive experiences in their jobs, understanding that this is a fundamental part of their quality of life and personal development.
Today more than ever it is urgent that organizations rethink and make their structure more flexible to promote work spaces where collaboration, camaraderie, learning, fun and creativity prevail . Similarly, implement ongoing training programs and various incentives that help retain professional talent.
Modern times demand a more proactive attitude from the company in its quest to hire and retain staff, hence the functions of HR managers depend directly on their ability to balance the needs of the organization with that of the work team. Also, ensure that both parts of the equation see their commercial, financial and, of course, personal interests satisfied.
Origins and evolution of HR
The Industrial Revolution meant a before and after in the emergence of Human Resources, since during this period the so-called “ welfare departments ” arose aimed at solving some problems of the workers. This was the beginning of what would later evolve as the business area we know today.
It is also at the end of the 19th century when the Classical School or Scientific Direction of work appears and the work The principles of Scientific Direction by Frederick Winslow Taylor; where the foundations on personnel management, payroll management and negotiation with unions were established.
Today the postulates by Taylor’s works have been discarded, since they do not consider the worker an active agent, of value and in constant development, but mere employees motivated solely and exclusively by economic remuneration. However, this was the first attempt at personnel management .
Starting in the 20th century, the work of Elton Mayo and FJ Roethlisberger at Harvard University overturned the conception of the man-work relationship. Now, it was known that for the employee there are psychological reasons that influence his work and his idea of it, that technical development was not the only factor necessary for productivity and that there are other motivations in addition to money.
Everything helps to understand that the evolution of Human Resources has moved towards the ever higher consideration of human talent, the only element that guarantees success and long-term productivity.
The importance of including social development factors within business plans that serve employees to achieve a better quality of life and happiness and the inclusion of technological innovations in personnel management.
Types of Human Resources policies
The policies are guidelines created by the Human Resources area that, together, guide what is known as the life cycle of employees, taking into account the process of recruitment, adaptation, development of functions and possible retirement from the organization.
These policies should not be construed as general company guidelines, although they are related. Rather, they are a set of strategies that serve to carry out all functions and fulfill responsibilities within the HR department.
It is important to clarify that, regardless of the type of policy, it must be useful in the long term. But it can also be modified, in order to regulate processes and establish norms of action according to reality. Next, we will address the types of HR policies that are usually implemented within an organization.
They regulate the guidelines for treating candidates, the values or outstanding traits to consider. In the same way, what will be the sources of recruitment, the selection stages, the methodology used and the duration.
The hiring methods are established according to the position and the treatment to be given to the new recruits, reception and follow-up to check the adaptation and the climate with colleagues.
The minimum remuneration and complementary benefits according to the law and for each position. Also, the complementary incentives, remuneration for seniority, performance and bonuses that are contemplated.
How is the promotion of training, who is in charge, what is the plan for each position or if the company promotes a more self-taught instruction. Whether or not there are news media, which ones and how they should work. Similarly, if there are promotions or employee learning tracking.
All issues concerning resignations, layoffs, vacations, retirements, paid and unpaid leave are covered here. All applicable laws in this matter and any additional considerations that may increase employee satisfaction must be followed.
Applicable codes to maintain a harmonious work environment. Of course, it has a lot to do with the organizational culture, its mission and vision. Here some companies may be more flexible than others. They enter in these types of policies: dress, relations between employees, vocabulary, use of mobile phones, entertainment spaces, etc.
The importance of Human Resources
The importance of Human Resources is of enormous importance for any company, since its primary role is to help the organization meet its productive and commercial objectives thanks to the use of the workforce and, in turn, assist the work team to achieve their full potential and full satisfaction for the provision of their services and talents to the company in question.
Thanks to their intervention, the HR department can ensure that a company has the right talent at the most precise moment, guaranteeing that employees have the attitude, knowledge and, of course, the skills required to achieve the expected productivity levels. .
A modern organization cannot afford to do without an HR area, since its professionals are in charge of locating, hiring, training, maintaining and coordinating the most fundamental value of all: people. A company owes its success or failure to the people who make it up, therefore, talent is the most valuable capital of all.
Some reasons that reaffirm the importance of HR:
- The search, hiring and retention of the right people to perform different functions within the company.
- They are in charge of diagnosing the positions or profiles necessary to increase productivity and fill vacancies quickly and effectively.
- They implement policies that increase employee satisfaction, loyalty, motivation, and a sense of belonging.
- They make the management aware of the needs of their work team and look for the best tools, channels or solutions to satisfy them.
- They optimize the decision-making process that affects the workforce and the work environment.
- They create and promote professional growth opportunities for all workers.
What are the functions of the human resources department in an organization
Some of the most relevant functions are the following:
The process begins with the diagnosis of the need for a new profile or the provision of a vacancy, which depending on various variables, the hiring can be temporary or indefinite, full-time or part-time. The announcement to find candidates can be done through traditional means, through specialized online portals or on platforms such as LinkedIn.
During this phase, it is intended to gather crucial information to make a first selection of potential collaborators with the best profiles and a good number of applicants must be obtained to satisfy this responsibility.
The HR analysts, the manager or directive must first specify the needs of the company, the objectives that are intended to be met with the new talent, the responsibilities that they must assume and the qualities they need to meet to be selected.
Research the labor market to specify the trade or profession that best suits the vacancy and choose the most appropriate recruitment method.
Once the above process is done, comes the important work of selecting the perfect candidate. Here the notion of competence comes into play, that is, to determine if the applicant has the knowledge, experience, training, intelligence and skills to fully perform the functions that the vacancy merits.
Likewise, those skills that can or should be learned within the work environment, how similar is the talent culture to that of the company and what are the attitudes that distinguish it and can be an added value to the organization.
In short, estimate if a person is qualified for the job. In some cases, a scoring system can be applied to choose between applicants or any other measurement instrument that is considered pertinent.
It consists of creating the workforce according to the organization of the company and its productive activities. It includes the design of the jobs, with their respective functions and duties. Analyze and anticipate the needs of the staff in the short, medium and long term, study the parameters to set the remuneration and promotion systems.
In the same way, two aspects fall within this policy:
- indicate the best use of resources by staff
- create strategies in cases of business expansion or reduction
Planning guides the company in the most positive and negative economic scenarios to continue maintaining the satisfaction of its employees.
Performance control and personnel management
Everything related to managing schedules, absenteeism, overtime, overtime and evaluating whether or not the employee fulfills the functions of their position. In the administrative part: contracts, payroll, compliance with current labor laws, among others.
Enter all training plans that promote the acquisition of new knowledge or technical skills that are beneficial to the worker and the company. It is considered the most immediate training to face the new functions of the position, such as preparation in new technologies and career plans to promote promotion.
Measurement of the work environment
Constantly measure the levels of satisfaction of the team, implement improvements and solve conflicts that may affect the work experience of employees and their performance. Likewise, the department must remain attentive to incidents and always implement strategies to preserve a positive environment through fluid, immediate and transparent communication between employees and the organization.
Study the sources of accidents and take the necessary preventive measures to guarantee the health and well-being of employees within the work environment.
The new horizon of Human Resources
One of the greatest challenges for modern HR departments is to face the competitiveness of the labor market and the implementation of management technologies. In 2020, talent is more aware of the importance of their role and is changing their way of relating to work.
At the moment the big question is how to recruit and keep young professionals who expect a different, more innovative and flexible dynamic with the companies that employ them? Thus the following trends emerge as a response to current changes.
- From the working day to models focused on meeting objectives. The productivity is not measured by adherence to a partial or full schedule, but the notion of the Smart Working as a methodology where flexitime and even promotes telecommuting .
- Renewal of conventional recruitment and selection strategies for new ones where networking and marketing are combined to attract younger and more digital professionals.
- The promotion of a more diversified environment of professionals with a flexible staff of profiles, the organizational structure is changed by a much more agile and dynamic organizational network.
- The positive employee experience is imposed by the urgency of understanding that HR departments must generate high levels of satisfaction and a sense of belonging through incentives that go far beyond money.
- The development of new models of training and communication through the Internet and with tools that allow giving truthful information in real time.
- Inclusion of gamification as a tool for learning, training, motivation and for increasing productivity.
- Finally, the automation of the management and administration of personnel through specialized programs that allow to increase the general performance of the organization and its collaborators.
What is the profile of a human resources technician?
The Human Resources technician is in charge of putting into practice the HR policies for the management of personnel, assuming the responsibility of carrying out such important processes as recruitment, selection, training and administrative processes related to the payment of payroll and contracts.
Depending on the size of the company and the dimensions of the department, an HR technician can perform comprehensively in many functions or dedicate himself to a more specialized area.
Your profile fulfills the following functions:
- Define the profile of each job position and execute the recruitment based on it and the needs of the company.
- Implement training plans and career plans.
- Propose and manage the remuneration policy of the company.
- Be a mediator and negotiator between the company and its employees.
- Channel and respond to all queries or concerns of employees about responsibilities, schedules, salary, bonuses, vacations, working hours, etc.
- Process all Human Resources administration , that is, contracts, documentation, legal requirements, among others.
- Perform performance control and monitoring of absenteeism.
- Create and coordinate communication plans within the company.
What does the hiring manager do?
An HR director or HR manager has a very prominent profile and a sum of skills accumulated by training and experience that allow them to assume a position of great responsibility and scope for the proper functioning of the company.
A human resources manager is someone who:
- Designs all Human Resources policies: selection, recruitment, administration, hiring, compensation, training, security and any other necessary to maintain a good work environment.
- Study, determine and create strategies to respond to the needs of employees. He watches over good labor relations and is responsible for handling conflicts
- Manage payroll.
- Measure performance, promote high performance, track employees and choose profiles for promotions.
- It is responsible for promoting equal opportunities for growth for all employees.
- Monitors the efficiency and productivity of all departments, including your own area.
What do you have to study to work in HR?
To work in an HR department there are different careers that you can consider, there are those that impart direct knowledge on the subject and others that, due to associated knowledge, help to manage staff.
- Labor relations and Human Resources : it is oriented to training and qualification to carry out tasks such as counseling and talent management.
- Law, Labor Relations and Human Resources : it combines the above, more aimed at labor inspection, fiscal management, etc.
- Psychology : knowledge about occupational health, selection, adaptation and motivation. Also, risk prevention.
- Pedagogy : skills for the design of training strategies adapted to companies, guidance and professional development plans, management of organizational culture, among others.
- Sociology : management of organizations, relationships and social contexts in work environments.
We hope that everything discussed in this publication has given you a complete perspective of Human Resources, from its definition, functions, origins and evolution. In the same way, to guide you in the importance of this profession for the correct operation of companies and to guarantee that talent can express its potential in an adequate and satisfactory way.