Human resources (HR) departments can be very complex.
Depending on the organization, they will combine various fields related to distinct activities connected with the company’s employees. Because of its characteristics, HR can be divided into so-called hard and soft.
Working in this profession is undoubtedly challenging. It requires precision but also gives a lot of satisfaction. If you consider taking up this job, you can quickly gain new skills by completing an HR and payroll course.
After such training, you will know what HR does and easily cope with any occupational challenge, and you will also learn what the workday of an HR specialist looks like.
Hard HR is associated with all administrative, HR and payroll tasks. The main job of specialists in positions related to hard HR is signing contracts and verifying the compliance of the company’s activities with applicable law, calculating and paying wages, registering working time, holidays, etc.
Therefore, hard HR includes the administrative, the salaries and the benefits as well as the personnel department.
Soft HR is an area that focuses on employee matters related to the quality of their work. It is often based on direct contact with company staff members and developing soft psychosocial skills, such as communication, creativity, leadership, and flexibility.
Soft HR is about recruitment, development, training and employee evaluation. The job of specialists in soft HR is to ensure that people with competences are in the right positions. Conducting recruitment processes from the beginning to the end is the main aspect of this activity.
The soft HR specialists take care of the employees motivation, establish the work system, and verify the effectiveness of hires’ activities. They define training needs and ensuring the development of the company’s employees.
People specializing in soft HR sometimes act as an intermediary and mediator in various types of conflicts between employees, or between employees and the employer.
If you are wondering how to find work in HR see this article, to get the needed knowledge.
What exactly a person as an HR specialist does? What are the responsibilities of a human resources department broken down into soft and hard HR?
What does HR do?
1. Preparation and archiving of documents
The HR department draws up various contracts for employees, prepares time sheets and manages a payroll list.
Specialists working in this department must be familiar with the law and the rules for the processing of personal data. They handle the proper storage and gathering of employee documentation.
2. Keeping personal files
Personal files are a collection of employee documents that concern the establishment, process and termination of the relationship of employment. The employer keeps personal files for each employee.
But it is the HR specialists that bear the greatest responsibility related to the proper storage of personal data in the files and preventing unauthorized access to these.
Personal files consist of four parts containing various documents:
- connected with applying for a job,
- related to establishing an employment relationship, as well as the course of employment,
- resulting from termination of employment,
- regarding reprimands or liability for the employee.
3. Keeping records of working time
Staff members of the HR department are often responsible for recording employees’ working time.
Specialists in these departments are also responsible for keeping records of sick leave, holidays, extra time and delegations.
Controlling the employee’s working time enables them to determine an amount of remuneration, which is another responsibility of HR department.
Just like accountants have their accounting office business plan people working in HR need to have own employee supervision system.
Cooperation with the tax office, Social Insurance Institution, and others:
Employees of HR departments, which handle cooperation with state institutions, spend a lot of time on providing relevant information to the tax office, Social Insurance Institution, Central Statistical Office, State Fund for Rehabilitation of the Disabled and other institutions.
Therefore, the specialists of these departments must ensure that all necessary documents are sent to the appropriate institutions within the deadlines specified in the legal regulations.
4. Settlement of salaries
HR specialists handle all settlements connected with employees, along with calculation of remuneration for work (including sickness or vacation). It is this department’s responsibility to ensure that every employee is paid on time.
It’s important to don’t forget about your body while advancing your career. To relax and clean mids do sport for example functional training.
Tasks of departments dealing with soft HR
1. Conducting recruitment processes and developing a personnel policy
Besides hiring new employees, the soft HR fraction should also examine the demand for new talented people in individual departments.
Besides working on and completing the assigned tasks on a consistent basis, HR specialists should check the company’s staffing situation by analyzing data and forecasting its condition in the future.
If a company needs to hire a new employee, the HR specialist starts and carries out the recruitment process, which may consist of several stages:
- Publication of a job offer.
- Selection of submitted applications (CV, completed enrolment form, sometimes also a cover letter).
- Telephone contact with selected candidates.
- Recruitment interview (alone or together with the manager of a potential new employee).
- Conducting additional stages of recruitment (for example, knowledge tests, verification of foreign language skills, recruitment tasks).
- Preparation of a report and issuance of recommendations.
Choosing the right person in the recruitment process can have a tremendous impact on the team’s efficiency, and thus the company’s financial results.
2. Managing employee assessments
One of the crucial aspects of talent management is a periodic employee appraisal. The HR department must provide employees with clear conditions and rules of an evaluation.
HR specialists should also make sure that the appraisal process is not perceived negatively by employees. The reluctance of the assessed people can be eased by communicating the purpose of such research and explaining the consequences, both positive (rewards, further development) and negative (the need to improve the results).
After analyzing the effects of the assessment, HR representatives usually discuss the outcome with the management and use them to plan individual or team development paths.
3. Planning and conducting trainings and courses
Competent employees of HR departments are involved in a talent management and working on individual development paths, for example by defining the training calendar. The main aim of HR should be to select courses for employees in such a way that they provide real changes in teams.
Trainings include the so-called onboarding, for example introducing a new employee, familiarizing him with the specificity of work and a new position, and integrating with the team.
Sometimes the organization of training courses can replace the need to recruit someone new. Because of the development of the current employees’ skills, their competences develop, which allows them to deal with more complex tasks. Thanks to the training, they can also step in for another (for example absent) employee or help other departments in the company.
A properly selected course offer may positively affect the motivation of employees and their work satisfaction.
4. Management of the incentive systems
Employees’ motivation reflects their satisfaction and integration with the company, which significantly affects the efficiency of their work. The HR department examines employees’ motivation and offering appropriate solutions to improve their level of gratification.
Managers play the most important role in implementing incentive systems. To facilitate their task, HR specialists should equip the management with the appropriate knowledge, skills and tools.
Staff members of the HR department should also take care of a friendly atmosphere at the workplace. They are supposed to react in case of conflicts and resolve it as quickly as possible. They should integrate employees and be highly supportive.
5. Taking care of the corporate image
Image is a very important aspect of business management. Employer branding has an enormous impact on the company’s success in the market, but it is still not well developed among Polish entrepreneurs.
Thanks to employer branding strategy, the employer can create a workplace of the first choice, and among others, catch their attention and attract the best candidates.
Admittedly the HR, marketing or a specially qualified employer branding department handle PR activities. Nevertheless, all employees, including management staff, should take care of the company’s image.
Employees involved in an employer branding campaign cooperate with all departments in the company and ensuring the consistency of exchanged messages both inside and outside the company.
The HR department is one of the most important elements of the company’s organizational structure
Now you know what HR does. Unfortunately, especially in smaller companies, an HR department is often overlooked, and employee activities are outsourced to members of other teams. This is not a favorable solution. HR departments handle the most important aspect of the organization – employees.
Therefore, they require enormous commitment and a large amount of work time.
HR not only takes care of the proper storage of employee records, but it also coordinates the payment of remuneration in a timely fashion. In addition, HR departments care about employees’ morale, personnel policy and training. Thanks to the continuous strengthening of the competences and motivation of its staff undertaking by the HR department, the company constantly develops and progresses.
The work of an HR specialist is associated with a steady improvement of his or her own skills and following business news and passing them on to the management team.