What Is Human Resources (HR): Here’s The Answer You’ve Been Looking For!

Human resources are the backbone of any successful organization. It’s the glue that holds everything together, from hiring the best talent to developing and retaining them.

But what exactly is human resources, and why is it so essential? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into human resources and explore its critical role in shaping today’s and tomorrow’s workforce.

So buckle up, and let’s dive in!

In This Article

1. What Is Human Resources (HR)?

Human Resources (HR) is a company’s department responsible for recruiting, training, and managing employees.

Human Resources (HR) is a company’s department that handles all administrative tasks involved with hiring, training, and managing employees.

HR departments are often responsible for interviewing potential candidates and conducting background checks before making an offer.

They also handle employee relations issues such as firing or disciplining employees.

2. Why Are Human Resources Important?

Human resources (HR), holistically, is about increasing and optimizing employee performance within the organization.  

Here’s why the human resource(HR) is important:  

  • It focuses on essential HR functions like hiring, screening, recruitment, training, payroll management, employee benefits, rewards, etc.
  • It improves employee engagement, work satisfaction, and productivity.  
  • It plays a crucial role in developing business culture.  
  • It improves the quality of labor, increasing the company’s overall productivity.
  • It focuses on bringing the right talents to the company.
  • It helps build the overall company reputation and culture.
  • It is essential because a company’s growth relies heavily on its employees, skills, productivity, and office culture.

3. Types Of Human Resources

[3.1] HR Recruiter

A Human Resource (HR) Recruiter is critical to a human resource department.

He/She is a trained, certified professional with the primary responsibility of finding and hiring the most suitable candidate for the job opening within the company and further retaining them. 

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR recruiter in the United States is around $50,000 annually, with more experienced recruiters earning upwards of $70,000 annually.

? Fun Fact

HR recruiters get creative to find the best candidates for a job by using social media, networking events, and employee referrals. They also read between the lines of a candidate’s resume and interview to assess if they are a good fit for the company culture.

[3.2] Senior HR Manager 

A Senior HR Manager’s primary responsibility is monitoring the overall hiring process, designing and implementing HR policies, and setting objectives for the HR team.

They are also tasked with other responsibilities such as HR Business Partnering, Performance appraisals, HRIS, HR operations, and managing payrolls.

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for a Senior HR Manager in the United States is around $105,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $150,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

Senior HR Managers need to be skilled negotiators, negotiating contracts with staffing agencies, benefit providers, and vendors on behalf of their organization. They also handle complex employee relations issues and resolve conflicts. This challenging but rewarding role requires problem-solving and relationship-building skills.

hr job titles

??‍? Ready to lead the way in HR? Discover How to Become a Human Resources Manager and take your career to new heights

[3.3] HR Executive

An HR Executive focuses on the most administrative aspect of the human resource department, involving communicating with employees, their education, training, motivation, and compensation.

Their responsibilities include overseeing the recruitment processes, regulating HR policies, and creating referral programs.  

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Executive in the United States is around $53,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $75,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that HR Executives are often referred to as the “people person” of the C-suite? They are responsible for developing and executing HR strategies that align with an organization’s overall goals and values, while also fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture. They are the driving force behind a company’s most valuable asset – its people!

hr executive responsibilities

[3.4] HR Administrative Assistant

An HR Administrative Assistant is responsible for maintaining employee records and organizing and updating HR databases, personnel records, and documentation.

They also assist in payroll preparations by providing relevant data and calculations. 

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Administrative Assistant in the United States is around $40,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $50,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

HR Administrative Assistants are key to maintaining a positive company culture. They are often the first point of contact for job applicants, new hires, and employees with HR questions or concerns. By providing excellent customer service, they create a welcoming work environment. They also plan fun projects like company events and recognition programs.

hr assistant duties

[3.5] HR Administrator 

The responsibilities of the HR Administrator are to organize, manage and maintain all the company personnel records and update internal databases.

They are entry-level positions in a human resource department and are considered the first point of contact within the company for all sorts of HR-related tasks and operations.  

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Administrator in the United States is around $51,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $70,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that HR Administrators often have to be experts in HR technology? They may be responsible for managing HR software systems, such as applicant tracking systems and HRIS databases, which requires them to have a deep understanding of how these systems work and how to troubleshoot any issues that arise. They are the tech wizards of the HR world!

become HR administrator

[3.6] Payroll Manager 

A Payroll Manager is tasked with monitoring and supervising all payroll-related work.

This includes implementing, maintaining, and reviewing the payroll system to ensure timely payroll transactions, including taxes, salaries, etc.  

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Administrator in the United States is around $51,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $70,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that Payroll Managers need to have strong math skills and attention to detail? They are responsible for ensuring that employees are paid accurately and on time, which requires them to calculate complex payroll deductions, tax withholdings, and benefits contributions. One small mistake could lead to a big problem, so accuracy is key in this role!

[3.7] HR Analyst 

HR Analyst uses programs like HRIS ( Human Resource Information System) to gather, organize and analyze HR data accurately.

Their responsibilities include creating hiring plans, measuring turnover and retention rates, and designing compensation and benefits packages. 

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Analyst in the United States is around $59,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $80,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

HR Analysts use data and analytics to make better HR decisions, analyzing metrics like turnover rates, workforce demographics, and compensation data to identify trends and areas for improvement. They are like HR detectives, using data to solve problems and drive positive change within their organization.

hr analyst

[3.8] HR Assistant 

An HR Assistant is simply responsible for performing daily HR administrative tasks, services, and duties to support the human resource department of an organization effectively.

They also assist HR managers with the hiring process, payroll processing, record maintenance, and other administrative support to employees.

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Assistant in the United States is around $41,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $50,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

HR Assistants must be masters of organization and multitasking, responsible for administrative tasks like scheduling interviews, maintaining records, and answering employee inquiries. They must juggle multiple tasks while providing excellent customer service and attention to detail.

life of human resources assistant

[3.9] Recruitment Manager 

The responsibilities of a Recruitment Manager are to work closely with recruiters in the overall hiring process, including sourcing, screening, interviewing, and other recruitment procedures.

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for a Recruitment Manager in the United States is around $65,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $100,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that Recruitment Managers have to be experts in marketing as well as HR? That’s because they must develop compelling job postings and recruitment campaigns to attract top talent. They also have to constantly stay on top of the latest trends and strategies in recruitment in order to stay competitive in the job market.

[3.10] Talent Acquisition Manager 

The Talent Acquisition Manager is responsible for planning, developing, strategizing, managing, and monitoring the organization’s talent acquisition and hiring process.

Their role in an organization is to build teams of qualified employees with in-demand skills to help grow the business.  

? Salary

The average salary for a Talent Acquisition Manager in the United States is around $90,000 per year, but this can vary depending on factors such as the size of the company, location, and level of experience.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that Talent Acquisition Managers are sometimes referred to as “headhunters”? This is because they actively seek out and recruit top talent from other companies, often using creative methods such as social media outreach and networking events. It’s a fast-paced and exciting role for those who love the thrill of the hunt for the perfect candidate!

talent acquisition

[3.11] HR Generalist 

An HR Generalist is a professional in the human resource department with the primary responsibility that the employees follow each and every policy, procedure, and rule.

They handle a wide variety of daily HR-related tasks, including hiring, screening, interviewing, etc.  

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Generalist in the United States is around $55,000 annually, with some earning upwards of $80,000 annually.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that HR Generalists have to be jacks of all trades in the HR world? They are responsible for a wide range of HR functions, such as recruiting, onboarding, training, benefits administration, and employee relations, to name a few. It’s no wonder they are often seen as the backbone of HR departments!

hr generalist roles

[3.12] HR Advisor

The responsibility of an HR Advisor is to oversee the HR administrative procedures in an organization and ensure that required labor policies are implemented.

They also provide tips and insights to Hiring managers and help them design company policies, navigate through labor legislation, explore effective performance evaluation methods, and more.  

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Advisor in the United States is around $60,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $90,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that HR Advisors need to have excellent communication skills? They not only have to communicate effectively with employees, but they also have to translate complex HR policies and procedures into simple language that everyone can understand.

[3.13] HR Specialist 

An HR Specialist is a specialized professional in the Human Resources department who monitors all the HR functions like hiring, interviewing, training, compensation, employee benefits, rewards, employee relation, and more.  

? Salary

According to salary data from PayScale, the average salary for an HR Specialist in the United States is around $55,000 per year, with some earning upwards of $80,000 per year.

? Fun Fact

Did you know that according to a survey by CareerBuilder, HR Specialists have some of the highest job satisfaction rates among all professions? In fact, over 80% of HR Specialists reported being satisfied with their jobs!

hr specialist reponsibilities

4. Role Of Human Resources

In a company, human resources are the department that provides administrative support to employees. They manage the hiring process, employee benefits, and other administrative tasks.

Human resource is an important part of every company. They play a vital role in recruiting and hiring new employees for the company. They also take care of all the administration related to an employee’s benefits and leaves.

➥ Utilizing and managing people well

➥ Relating compensation and performance evaluation to competencies

➥ Acquiring skills that improve performance on a personal and organizational level

➥ Increasing the creativity, innovation, and adaptability required to boost competitiveness

➥ Utilizing innovative techniques to enhance career development, succession planning, work process design, and inter-organizational mobility

➥ Using better staffing, training, and employee communication to manage the adoption and incorporation of technology

➥ Monitoring the HR systems. A crucial component of delivering HR services is HR systems like the Human Resource Information System or HRIS. It is crucial to ensure that these systems function correctly and provide HR and the rest of the organization with pertinent data.

➥ Ensuring that the law is being followed. between HR and regulatory alignment

➥ Data collection, analysis, and reporting are the main areas of attention for the HR analyst. To produce ad hoc reports, the analyst collaborates with HR IT and the HRIS.

➥ The cornerstones of efficient HRM are seen to be recruitment and selection, performance management, learning and development, succession planning, compensation and benefits, HR information systems, and HR data and analytics.

Additionally, a human resources department is responsible for ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of its staff.

The company and its employees can minimize danger with effective HR management, which ensures that workplace policies stay up with necessary protective measures and implementation and offer solutions to problems between team members.

recruiting steps

[4.1] Choose Campaigners

When filling open places, HR must be apprehensive of the organization’s requirements and ensure these requirements are satisfied.

It’s not as easy as just posting an announcement on Indeed. You must conduct request exploration, speak with crucial players, and oversee budgets.

After the position is blazoned, fresh exploration must be conducted to guarantee that the stylish campaigners are drawn in and presented.

The perfect aspirant may rejuvenate an entire organization, but the incorrect seeker might ail operations. Recruiting is a significant and precious task.

[4.2] Make suitable hires.

All human resources responsibilities are organizing interviews, managing the hiring process, and integrating new hires.

Additionally, they are responsible for ensuring that all hiring-related paperwork is completed and that the first day and every consecutive day are successfully handled.

[4.3] Handle payroll

Payroll is a unique creature. Taxes and hourly wages must be computed and tallied every paycheck. In addition to adding raises and incentives, expenses must be covered.

If paying taxes once a year is tedious, try working in human resources, where you must ensure they are correctly withheld each pay period.

payroll management challenge

[4.4] Implement disciplinary measures

Perhaps because of this duty, HR often gets a bad rap. Discipline procedures that are mishandled might result in the termination of an important employee, as well as litigation or a bad reputation. But when carried out properly, disciplinary action can help an individual succeed.

For instance, HR could engage and look into the cause of an employee’s persistent tardiness if the employer detects that the individual is often late and does so despite receiving multiple warnings.

It might be an opportunity to provide the employee with advantages like counseling or other resources to teach them punctuality. Instead of bearing the expense of dismissal

disciplinary flowchart

[4.5] Training and development

The greatest human resources departments can identify when a worker isn’t a good fit for a corporation and would be happier working for another.

It is up to HR to establish a solid enough rapport with managers and staff members to assess a team’s cohesion and general health.

? Formal Training

With the rapid development of information technology and the change in economic patterns, people’s requirements for formal training in human resource development are changing.

Formal human resource development training trains people with professional skills so they can be qualified enough to work in the field.

Training courses should be designed according to the needs and requirements of enterprises and individuals so that they can achieve their own purposes.

There are many different training courses, such as online training courses, self-study courses, interactive training courses, etc.

? Informal Training

Informal training is a process that takes place in the workplace. It is similar to formal training, usually conducted by an outside agency or company. Informal training can be done by peers, managers, or even the organization.

Informal training can take place in many different ways. For example, it could be through on-the-job coaching and mentoring for new employees. This informal training will ensure that employees can quickly learn the skills they need to complete their job duties and succeed in their careers.

One of these is that companies can train their employees better than ever. Training employees used to be expensive and time-consuming, but now, with the help of technology, it has become much easier.

difference between HRM L&D

5. Key Functions of Human Resources

Human Resource Planning 

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a strategic procedure that an organization utilizes to forecast the human resource requirements in the future, only to figure out how their current HR capacity can be optimized to fulfill those requirements.

Simply put, it is about planning the company’s future needs in terms of HR requirements.  

human resource planning

Recruitment and Selection 

Recruitment is the process of sourcing, screening, interviewing, and hiring potential applicants for a company’s required or anticipated job position.

recruitment selection process

Performance Management 

Performance Management is a human resource management tool helping to hire managers to monitor and evaluate employees’ work.

It is an ongoing process of continuous feedback and establishing communication between the HR department and employees to achieve set goals.  

performance management

Administrative Responsibilities 

Adminstrative Responsibilities are complex tasks involving various duties ranging from scheduling to organizing information.

It includes creating filing systems, coordinating day-to-day office activities, lining up interviews, maintaining databases, and attending to visitor queries and phone calls.  

administrative assistant responsibilities

Employee Participation and Communication 

Employee Participation is about building communication between employees and managers through various engaging activities and strategies to be mutually inclined to achieve a common goal.

Developing communication between administration and employees helps build stronger teams with higher participation and collaboration.  

employee participation communication

Learning and Development 

learning development

Learning and Development (L & D) is a subset of the Human Resource department that focuses on improving individual and group performance by upskilling and training employees’ skills and knowledge.  

Career Planning 

Career Planning is a continuous process of learning, improving, and growing the company’s human resources.

Career planning aims to help employees achieve their career goals and provide them with opportunities accordingly.  

career planning

Function Evaluation

Function evaluation is about comparing different parts of HR operations in much more technical aspects.

It includes job responsibilities, location, quality of work, availability of workers, and more.  

☞ Rewards 


The benefits offered to employees in an organization for their job performance are called a reward.

It can include bonuses, wages, special perks, and even non-tangible rewards like recognition, appreciation, workplace flexibility, and more opportunities.  

☞ Industrial Relations

industrial relations

Industrial relations is a crucial function in human resources which primarily focuses on maintaining a good relationship between the administration, the company, its employees, and its stakeholders or business partners.  

☞ Health and Safety 

Health & Safety concerns itself with providing required essential measures, resources, and awareness regarding workers’ healthcare and Safety within the organization.

It is about protecting workers, providing them with a safe environment, and prepping them for any hazardous situation.  

☞ Personal Well-being 

personal well being

Personal Well-being in human resources or Employee well-being is about the overall physical, mental, social, emotional, and economic health of the employees within the organization.

It is about managers or administration in a company prioritizing their employee’s mental health and well-being.  

6. The Five Biggest HR Challenges for 2023

  • Getting the Staff On Board.
  • Luring talent to the company.
  • Taking Care of Relationships
  • Strategies for training and development.
  • Retention of talent.

7. HR Management Strategies

➛ Talent Acquisition and Retention: Find good people and keep them by having a good way of hiring. Write clear job descriptions, look for candidates in different places, and pay them well. This will help reduce the number of employees who leave.

➛ Employee Engagement: Make a happy workplace where workers feel motivated and engaged. Talk to them about company goals and achievements, reward good work, and give them chances to learn and grow.

➛ Performance Management: Make a good system to manage how well people work. Set clear goals, check how they do regularly, and give helpful feedback. This helps workers know their job, see where they need to get better, and helps them work towards company goals.

➛ Training and Development: Offer ongoing training and development programs to improve employees’ skills and knowledge. This enhances job satisfaction and keeps your workforce competitive and up-to-date with industry trends.

➛ Workplace Diversity and Inclusion: Prioritize diversity and inclusion efforts in your organization. Develop policies and practices that promote equal opportunities and ensure a supportive and inclusive work environment for all employees.

➛ Employee Wellness and Work-Life Balance: Implement wellness programs and support work-life balance to reduce stress, burnout, and absenteeism. Encourage regular breaks, flexible working hours, and telecommuting options when possible.

➛ Succession Planning: Identify key organizational positions and develop a plan to prepare high-potential employees for future leadership roles. This ensures a smooth transition and continuity of operations when key employees leave or retire.

➛ Effective Communication: Keep workers informed and ask for their ideas by having open communication. Tell them about company news, rules, and important things. Make a safe place for them to share their thoughts and concerns.

➛ Compliance and Legal Obligations: Ensure your organization complies with all relevant employment laws, regulations, and industry standards. Regularly review and update HR policies to stay in line with current legislation.

➛ HR Analytics: Utilize HR data to make informed decisions and improve HR strategies. Collect and analyze data on recruitment, employee engagement, turnover, and other key metrics to identify trends, gaps, and opportunities for improvement.

How HR Data Is Transforming The Modern Workplace

Talent Acquisition:

  • Average Time-to-Fill: 42 days
  • Quality of Hire: 60% improvement through data-driven recruitment

Employee Turnover:

  • Global Average Turnover Rate: 15%
  • Cost of Employee Turnover: 33% of an employee’s annual salary

Employee Engagement:

  • Engaged Employees: 36% globally
  • Increased Engagement: 21% higher profitability and 17% higher productivity

Performance Management:

  • Regular Feedback: 68% of employees want more performance feedback
  • Goal Achievement: 20% increase through data-driven goal setting

Workforce Planning:

  • Future Skill Needs: 54% of employees require significant reskilling/upskilling
  • Succession Planning: 86% of organizations lack a robust succession plan

Diversity & Inclusion:

  • Gender Pay Gap: 16% global average
  • Diverse Teams: 35% more likely to outperform their peers

8. Employee vs. Freelancers

LoyaltyHave a higher level of loyalty and engagement.May not be as committed to your company.
SkillsOften possess more skills than freelancers.Offer flexibility with their skill set.
HoursLimited in the number of hours they can work daily.Offer flexibility with their time.
PaymentGet paid by project or salary.Need to be paid hourly.
DecisionThe choice should depend on what you need for your business.The choice should depend on what you need for your business.

9. HR metrics  

[9.1] Absenteeism Rate 

Absenteeism Rate is an HR metric denoting the rate of unplanned absence of employees in an organization due to sickness or any other reasons.  

?Formula:  Absenteeism Rate = (Number of absent days / Number of total available workdays in a given period) X 100 

[9.2] Overtime Expense 

Overtime Expenses refer to the total compensation paid to the employee when they do overtime for a specific period.  

[9.3] Used Vacation Days  

The Number of paid vacation days an employee uses is called Used Vacation days. Offering employees a significant number of paid vacation days prevents poor work-life balance, reducing absenteeism.  

?Formula:  Used Vacation Days (Percentage) : ( Number of vacation days used/Number of vacation days offered) x 100 

[9.4] Employee Satisfaction 

Employee Satisfaction is a key HR metric that plays a crucial role in employee motivation within the organization.

It is a broad term to describe how happy, fulfilling, and satisfied employees are at work.  

[9.5] Employee Turnover Rate 

The percentage of employees who leave the company in a given time period is called the Employee Turnover Rate. This includes employees with voluntary resignations, retirements, dismissals, and other factors as well.  

?Formula:  Employee Turnover Rate = (Number of employees leave the company during a specific time period / Average number of employees at that time) X 100  

[9.6] Employee Retention Rate 

Retention Rate is the percentage of employees who remained employed under a specific period.  

?Formula: Employee Retention Rate = ( Number of employees remained on the company staff for a certain period/ Number of employees at the beginning of this specific given period) X 100  

[9.7] Cost per Hire (CPH)  

Cost per Hire (CPH) is an HR metric that measures all the expenses used under the hiring process per employee.  

?Formula:  Cost per Hire = Total sum of all the hiring expenditures / Number of successful hires in a given period of time 

[9.8] Time to Hire  

Time to Hire is an HR metric that measures the duration (Number of days) between a potential candidate applying for a job and him/her getting hired.  

?Formula:  Time to Hire: The day when the candidate is approached or positioned opened – the day candidate accepts the job offer  

[9.9] Quality of Hire (QoH) 

Quality of Hire (QoH) is a hiring metric representing the value a new hire adds to the organization.

It specifically focuses on how much the new employee or potential candidate can contribute to the company’s long-term success.  

?Formula: Quality of Hire (QoH) = ( Performance score + engagement score + ramp-up time score + cultural fit score) / Number of indicators  

[9.10] Revenue per Employee 

The company’s total revenue divided by the existing Number of employees is calculated as Revenue per Employee.

It basically measures how much revenue each employee generates for the company.  

?Formula:  Revenue per Employee = Annual Revenue/an Existing number of employees 

[9.11] Performance & Potential 

Categorizing employees based on their performance and levels of potential using this nine-box grid as a matrix tool is another crucial HR metric.

This helps managers to identify the employees with maximum and minimum potential so they can strategize their approach accordingly.  

[9.12] Goal Tracking  

Goal tracking helps employees, and the administration keeps track of the employee’s contribution and progress towards the set objective and the overall value addition to the company.  

[9.13] Training Cost per Employee 

An HR metric that represents the value of the total cost of a company per employee used on training programs and courses, including all kinds of hidden and miscellaneous costs.  

?Formula: Training Cost per Employee = Total training expenses/ Number of Employees  

[9.14] Training Hours per Employee 

Training cost per employee is the average number of hours needed to train an individual employee.

Tracking and knowing this Number is essential to determine how much value every employee adds to the company.  

?Formula: Training Hours per Employee = Total training expenses/ Number of employees 

[9.15] Leave Time and Costs 

Leave Time is an HR metric that helps HR managers to identify employee absenteeism.

It represents the duration of employees on leave which various factors can further categorize.  

12. Conclusion

In the past decades, the world has significantly changed how businesses are run. The adoption of new technologies and innovative management strategies have led to the emergence of new human resource development advantages.

Thus, A well-run human resources department ensures that a firm has all the right individuals it needs at the right moment and at an acceptable price. It supports the ongoing professional development of those employees, giving the organization valuable human resources.

Similar Posts:

Was this article helpful?

Did you like this article? Why not share it: