Human resources for a business

Catherine BoxallCatherine Boxall
Last updated on:
April 7, 2022
Published on:
April 6, 2022

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Human resources are an important department of any business and crucial to business success. In this article we explain what human resources are and the work these teams undertake to ensure that your business, regardless of its size, operates efficiently, effectively and cooperatively.

What is human resources?

Human resources (commonly referred to as HR) is the department of a business or company that is responsible for the workers of that company. They assume responsibility for existing employees and future and new employees through recruitment, onboarding, training and development. A human resource department might contain a large team os staff serving different HR functions with a general HR Manager (HRM) overseeing processes. Alternatively, companies might decide that outsourcing their HR needs is more cost-effective.

What do HR departments do?

As mentioned above, everything employee-related forms a part of general HR responsibilities. A HR person within a company might be responsible for employee well-being to staffing to people management.

Recruitment and enrolment

One of the most common activities associated with HR professionals is recruiting staff for the company. This process involves forming job descriptions for positions (such as whether they are part time or full time) and advertising these roles. HR staff will be responsible for shifting through applications made for positions and selecting the most desirable candidates. As part of the selection process, the team will then arrange interviews with these selected candidates, making sure to liaise with the team in which the prospective employee with join and involving them in the decision-making process.

Once a candidate has been selected, the HR team are responsible for running any necessary background checks on the prospective employee, such as their right to work, and for providing the new hire with all relevant information (outlined in more detail in the administration section below).

When a new hire joins the team the HR staff are also responsible for arranging any training that might be required and to ensure their smooth integration into the business.

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HR Management

Alongside managing recruitment, HR staff are also responsible for managing the company’s employees. They will be responsible for absenteeism, employee engagement and employee performance management. HR departments will also deal with grievances and concerns from employees and provide an impartial third party listener to settle disputes that might disrupt employee relations.


Retention and well being

Alongside their management responsibilities, HR departments are also responsible for employee welfare. They will seek to launch initiatives to boost company culture and be responsible for employee benefits and benefits administration, such as compensation and benefits.


HR departments are also responsible for employee-related administration. Crucially, HR staff will need to ensure that their companies policies and contracts are up to date with employment law and that the company is respecting their staff’s entitlements.

The department will also source and provide contracts of employment and company policies to new employees and it is important they have a good toolkit to be able to offer legally-compliant documents. As all small business owners will know, legal costs can be significantly higher than their available expenditure so ensuring your company’s employment templates are up to date often seems like either an expensive of tedious task. Fortunately, entrepreneurs and business leaders use Legislate to take the cost and pain out of contracting.

Legislate is a contract creation and management platform that allows staff to create lawyer-reviewed contracts, such as employment contracts and consultancy agreements, in a controlled and safe way. To create a lawyer-approved contract for only £9.95, sign up to Legislate today!

The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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