People Operations Guide: Roles And Responsibilities

People Operations is commonly referred to as the management of people in an organization such as a business.

The term includes responsibilities such as recruiting new employees and managing their onboarding process, scheduling work activities and travel arrangements for employees, designing employee policies and governance structures, interviewing candidates for hiring or promotions and coaching employees on career development.

People Operations is a relatively new term in the business lexicon that attempts to bring all the various human resources responsibilities into one practice area. It is the management of employees and their interactions with the organization.

It includes all aspects of HR, including organizational design and employee growth, talent management, performance management, labor relations, employee engagement, people analytics, succession planning, and executive coaching.

People operations can be called HR management in some organizations. It is also largely a predictive job function, while HR is most often reactive. The fact remains that it is that function which controls people in an organization.

Responsibilities of People Operations include:

Instructing the employee engagement

It is the internal process of acquiring and developing knowledge, skills, and abilities and inculcating a culture of service for the employee. The people operations should define employee engagement as a key management responsibility and must be aligned with the overall business strategy.

It should be measured periodically to identify the areas of opportunity and adjust the strategy as needed. It includes educating about human resource policies, job responsibilities, skills, and competencies required for success at the workplace.

Developing a people strategy

It is the process of establishing a strategic approach to address the people-related needs of an organization. It includes workforce planning, career development, and capacity planning. It is a strategic management function that can effectively link human resource objectives with business goals.

It should be considered a critical aspect of strategic direction for the organization and closely linked to the business strategies. It should be conducted regularly to identify strengths and weaknesses and adjust the plans accordingly.

Creating a talent management plan

It determines the competencies, skills, and knowledge required to achieve organizational objectives and the work capabilities needed to support them.

It includes assessing the talent pool and current employees using various selection tools such as competency mapping, 360-degree feedback surveys, and talent screening tools.

The assessment results will provide insights about employees in terms of their competencies, and it also helps in selecting people for future success.

The recruitment process will define the levels of experience required for different positions and screen candidates on salary requirements, geographic location, availability, and cultural fit with the organization’s goals.

Managing the performance

It is a management process of setting goals for employees and evaluating how well they adhere to them. It includes training programs, compensation programs, performance assessments and feedback, and employee recognition.

People operations also measure the effectiveness of the performance management program by comparing the results with goals set at the beginning of a project or job function. It will also help identify the most effective training methodologies and courses for different skill levels.

Supporting the strategic objectives

It manages internal and external communication, executes change management, develops metrics, and establishes linked performance evaluation processes.

It includes communicating change, explaining the roles and responsibilities of individual contributors in new initiatives or project execution, and developing metrics for measuring improvements in employee engagement levels.

It also involves continuous performance review and assessment, employee surveys, talent management reports, and other feedback loops.

Managing the engagement process

It is the process of managing workforce engagement to achieve business goals. It includes executing an employee feedback program and providing a communication channel for employees to give feedback about company products, services, or policies that impact their job performance.

The process also involves linking employee satisfaction results with the overall productivity of the organization and setting employee priorities for improvement.

It also includes measuring employee engagement levels and taking action to increase or decrease employee engagement.

Modernizing HR systems

It includes modernizing HR systems for sustainable performance improvement and managing people based on innovation and an entrepreneurial approach.

It includes managing process flow such as hiring, hiring decisions, onboarding, and training. The people operations must focus on recruiting new employees, training existing employees about the change in the organization, and growing the workforce to meet business needs.

It includes implementing new technologies, improving existing software programs, updating incident tracking procedures, and providing learning tools.

Building HR policies

It is developing internal human resource policies and procedures to maintain employee relations within an organization.

It includes establishing a performance evaluation process, a workplace harassment policy, an induction program for new employees, and career development programs documenting various job responsibilities for various employee roles in the organization effectively.

It also involves developing policies for hiring, compensation, and employee benefits with specific job designations. It also involves the goal-setting processes for different people groups in the organization for developing HR strategies.

Elevating Employees value

It is the process of improving employee value by elevating the talents of each employee. It includes identifying talents, developing skills for each employee, and strengthening talent to contribute to the organization.

It includes assessing the strengths of a person and uncovering unique opportunities in their talent. It also involves identifying their organizational potential and providing them with development programs.

The organizations can also establish a network to create opportunities for collaborative teamwork. It also involves preparing the environment by providing opportunities and tools to succeed.

Analyzing metrics

It is the process of measuring employee engagement with organizational performance. It includes setting up new measurement guidelines, providing open communication between employees, using modern tools and methods to measure employee engagement, and making frequent analyses.

It includes assessing the value of employee engagement toward organizational objectives and setting performance indicators for evaluating the success of various programs.

These performance indicators should present measurable aspects such as time to perform a task, sales figures, customer satisfaction levels, and employee retention rates.

People Operations vs. Human Resources vs. Talent Acquisition

HR is one of the nine skills of people operations. Talent acquisition includes hiring, recruiting, training, onboarding, and other skills required to manage employees effectively.

People operations include employee assessment, recruitment, and talent management processes to help companies improve their workforce performance and achieve business goals.

This is a collaborative effort by all HR executives and talent acquisition managers as various departments, such as human resources, finance, legal, and other related functions, are involved in talent acquisition.

One of the challenges of HR Operations is identifying where the gaps in current workforce performance exist.

At the same time, they must also take care of developing and managing people with diverse skill sets to fill these gaps. The solution lies in understanding how employees approach their work and interact with each other.

It includes the value each employee provides to the business and their various roles in achieving the business goals.

People Operations

This approach involves recruiting and managing people in different functions to achieve business goals. It includes recruiting the appropriate workforce and planning for their growth within the organization.

This process is called talent acquisition and is a collaborative effort by HR executives, managers, hiring managers, and marketing professionals. They should develop a robust research approach to find appropriate candidates and make strategic decisions about the workforce, their roles, and their responsibilities.

It involves identifying skills gaps within the current workforce, developing a recruitment plan with strategic staffing, organizing a fair and transparent hiring process, and providing training and development programs for new recruits on key skills.

Human Resources

It is the process of managing human resources available within an organization regularly to manage employees and meet business goals effectively. It includes hiring, training, and recruiting new employees. It also involves retaining existing employees long-term and motivating them to achieve business goals.

An HR professional must conduct various research activities, establish clear processes and review a strategic workforce plan to develop skill sets for the workforce.

The HR professional evaluates the results effectively based on their experience and expertise in talent management.

It includes key aspects such as evaluating skill sets, recruiting new employees based on positions opening, developing quality candidates, assessing the performance of existing employees, providing training programs to develop key skills, and managing competitive compensation packages within an industry.

Talent Acquisition

This process includes identifying the talent available within the organization, analyzing their skills and abilities, and understanding their career paths to determine how they can benefit from this initiative.

It also involves assessing the performance of the existing workforce in various departments across an organization. This analysis helps identify where talent gaps exist within the current workforce, including management, sales, marketing, technical, and other specialized roles in an organization.

It includes developing policies for hiring, compensation, and employee benefits with specific job designations.

Who Needs People Operations?

Any organization incorporating people operations can apply it to their workforce, regardless of the size and industry. This approach requires various recruitment tools and the appropriate people with the right skill sets to fill in the gaps.

The HR professional must evaluate the needs of various organizational departments, including sales and marketing, engineering, software development, and other specialized roles.

This evaluation helps identify the talent required for the organization and set up the appropriate human resources plan to meet its business goals. The HR professional evaluates various organizational roles, identifies skill gaps, and sets up a plan to develop the correct skill sets required to achieve their business goals.

It also involves providing employees with training programs based on their organizational roles and responsibilities.

HR professionals should be well-versed in handling people operations within an organization. It includes making efficient decisions on hiring new employees with appropriate skills or training the existing workforce with relevant skills.

This process requires a strong knowledge of employee retention strategies and improving employee performance by setting goals that focus on improving overall workforce performance.

People operations roles

People Operations Manager

This role involves defining and implementing organizational policies that focus on developing people over time.

They conduct various tasks such as planning and implementing an effective people operations program, evaluating the current workforce, and determining their future roles in the organization.

These professionals must possess strong knowledge of hiring and selection strategies, building up an engaging workforce with key skills to achieve business goals.

People Operations Coordinator

This role is responsible for contributing to the success of an organization by managing various activities related to people operations.

They are responsible for delivering high-quality outputs, identifying workforce performance gaps, and providing solutions through training, developing the key skills required for achieving business goals.

It also involves planning and implementing strategies to retain employees based on business goals.

HR Assistant

This role involves executing various tasks related to people operations. They must schedule interviews, draft job postings, and manage communication with hiring managers based on business goals.

It also involves entering new recruitment data into the database, maintaining the current hiring process, and determining key skill sets for different organizational roles. These professionals must possess strong analytical skills for identifying the key skill sets for different job descriptions within an organization.

Director of People Operations

This role involves defining and implementing an effective people operations plan to support various business goals. Their main task involves planning and coordinating individuals with the right skill sets to achieve business goals.

They are responsible for managing the recruitment process, which includes analyzing data from various departments like marketing and sales for job postings.

It also involves developing the key skill sets for different organizational positions by providing training programs.

People Operations Specialist

This role is responsible for managing all activities related to people operations. They must manage the recruitment process, evaluate the existing workforce and develop key skills required to achieve business goals.

It also involves assisting management with policy definition and implementation, dealing with employee issues, and representing an organization in various human resources conferences.

It includes many tasks like conducting performance evaluations of employees, maintaining a database of resumes for hiring roles, and other workforce-related activities.

People Operations Analyst

This role involves managing various processes related to people operations. It involves capturing human resources data into the database, analyzing the effectiveness of human resources initiatives and providing solutions through training, and identifying key skill sets required for different organizational roles.

It involves planning and conducting training programs for employees to achieve business goals. This professional is responsible for developing policies and procedures related to people operations and generating reports with relevant information based on organizational goals.



This process involves coordinating activities related to new employee orientation. It involves scheduling interviews, conducting screening and assessment tests, developing job descriptions based on organizational requirements, and other tasks like updating employee profiles.

It also involves communicating information with hiring managers to ensure a smooth onboarding process for new employees.

Internal Communications

Communication with employees about various human resources-related initiatives through various mediums like posters and newsletters.

It includes sending HR-related emails to employees and developing an effective communication strategy for new stores and other business units within the organization.

It also involves updating employee profiles through existing job descriptions, providing an effective employee transition process, and communicating with employees.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

This includes providing information about employment benefits, company policies, and objectives.

It involves sending confirmation messages to employees on their performance at their new positions, communicating with managers to ensure they are happy at the organization, and other general HR-related tasks like receiving feedback from managers.

It is also responsible for employee referrals and the processes they go through to ensure the organization hires the right employees who align with its business goals.

Engagement and Connection

This involves developing an effective employee engagement plan for the organization that aligns with its business goals.

It involves activities that motivate employees to work towards organizational goals, such as training programs and the right skill sets to achieve them. It also includes defining performance expectations for managers and employees, developing job descriptions, and other activities related to employee engagement.

Manager Empowerment

This includes defining performance expectations for employees and helping managers effectively manage their teams. It involves providing tools and training programs to help managers manage their teams effectively.

It also involves mentoring employees to maximize their effectiveness, developing a plan to retain them, and other activities related to manager involvement.

Performance Management

This includes developing an effective performance management process for employees and managers.

It involves conducting performance reviews, conducting training programs to develop the right skill sets for employees, and other tasks related to performance management.

The work of a people operations specialist includes defining the general responsibilities of different teams and their roles within an organization.

Learning and Development

This includes developing training programs with the right skill sets based on business goals, conducting assessments, and creating employee skill profiles.

It also involves developing learning and development plans for managers, employees, and teams to achieve business goals.

It also includes developing policies and procedures related to employee training programs, conducting training programs, identifying key skill sets required by different organizational roles, and other related activities.

Milestone Recognition

This includes recognizing employee milestones, celebrating important events, and rewarding employees for their good work.

It involves handling award programs, assisting with releasing employee awards, and other activities related to employee recognition.

It also involves analyzing employee performance, presenting relevant data to the management team, and other activities related to employee milestone recognition.

PTO and Leave Management

This includes developing policies and procedures related to vacation, sick leave, performance bonuses, and other leave-related issues.

It involves creating a plan for all employee leave-related processes, training programs to develop skills, and other rituals related to employees, like PTO, vacation, and sick days.

It also involves analyzing employee performance and leave-related issues, assisting in releasing employee awards, and other activities related to paid time off.


This involves communicating information with employees about their move from current job roles to new ones.

It involves creating an effective transition plan for all employees, including their personal belongings and office equipment and other aspects like compensation, delineation of job responsibilities, and other human resources-related activities.

It also involves sending them feedback about their performance and other activities related to offboarding.

How do People Operations differ from Human Resources?

People Operations involve managing the human capital of an organization. It involves tracking information related to candidates, employees, contractors, and vendors.

It also involves managing basic human resources activities like managing employee benefits and designing employee training programs. People operations are more interdisciplinary compared to Human Resources.

It is a broader term that encompasses several roles within an organization, including the role of a recruiter, data analyst, and talent evaluator.

The primary difference between People Operations and Human Resources is the organizational structure of their departments.

Some organizations may have one team for people operations, while others have more than one team for different operations. It is important to have a separate department for HR and the equivalent team to ensure that the roles are honored, and reports are shared between them.

Human Resources involves managing the human resources of an organization, including recruiting, developing, training, and retaining employees.

It is closely associated with the management of hiring activities that include filling open roles, evaluating candidates’ skills and performance, and other related tasks. HR also plays a role in employee development to build skills that will help increase productivity at their workplace.


Through people operations, data related to employee recruitment, retention, and engagement are analyzed to improve business goals. It also helps organizations in developing the right skill sets for their employees.

People operations is a broad and interdisciplinary field involving big data analysis to predict employee turnover and help organizations design the right employee training programs.

People operations is a multidisciplinary field that involves the work of several employees. It involves employees from business analytics, software development, data science, marketing, sales, and other disciplines.

The role of people operations will vary from one organization to another. In some organizations, the role of people operations can be quite different from that of human resources.

Businesses with fewer employee roles and a limited number of employees can have a team for people operations that handles all aspects of HR-related work, including employee benefits, training programs, and recognition activities.

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