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Seven Essential HR Functions

Almost all of us agree on the definition of the Human Resources area. Still, it is not always given concerning HR functions and the importance these entail for any company. If you’ve ever been a member of this department, you surely know what we’re talking about.

The lack of consensus regarding HR functions is because the Human Resources department is not the same in all companies, since there are always singularities, characteristics, conjunctions, management models, and even forms of leadership that condition the work of this area.

Are these differences insurmountable? Is it impossible to speak of some essential functions of the Human Resources department, regardless of the companies’ sector? We are sure that it is not like that, and we will show it to you in the next post. Do you dare to follow us?

How have HR roles changed?

Before that, however, we will talk about another factor that notably affects the fact that in many cases, Human Resources are assumed individually: the transformation that the area has undergone with the change in the productive-labour model.

This department was associated with traditional HR functions such as hiring, recruiting, and performance appraisal until recently. That’s how it was for decades, and perhaps that is why the relationship was so close.

But, with the arrival of new technologies and the change in business management models, Human Resources had to turn their role 180 degrees and adapt to the unique requirements of the modern context.

In other words, it ceased to be an area dedicated exclusively to hiring and selecting personnel. It gradually began to make decisions regarding the well-being of workers, the work environment, education and training, internal promotion processes, remuneration, among others.

This change was so significant that even today, we find companies that have not been able to undertake it or are in the middle of the process. It is worth saying that it is not a simple matter, nor can it be carried out from one day to the next.

On the contrary, Human Resources specialists speak of a transition process that can last several years, especially in companies that come from traditional management methods or whose incredibly rigid structures.

Said transformation implies the department’s adaptation as such (personnel, training, role within the companies, etc.) and requires the adoption of a series of competencies of which we had not heard from before or which, in other cases, had been assumed by other areas.

Human Resources: basic and transversal functions

But let’s go to what has motivated the post you are reading right now: the description of a series of essential functions of any Human Resources department, beyond factors such as the nature of the companies, the field in which they operate, the type of commercial activity carried out, corporate values, among others:


It is the most popular function, which does not mean we should leave it off the list. In addition to the selection of personnel, we refer to others such as recruitment, talent attraction, incorporation and adaptation, and, of course, each profile’s correct designation and location. Building and maintaining a healthy work environment helps retain talent and attract qualified candidate profiles aligned with the business culture. Find out more about this topic in an article that may interest you if you want to know how to measure the work environment in your company.

Personnel administration

This is another of the flagship functions of this department: payroll management, social security, contracts, leave and vacation management, absenteeism control, go for any reason, among others.

Social services

The Human Resources department is above all a social area. It improves the work and human environment and facilitates the conditions for all workers to perform at their best. This is translated into decisions on work-life balance, childcare for workers’ children, scholarships for study and vocational training, company medical services, life insurance, etc. Responsibility or trust are two of a company’s values that should not be lacking in any. Its importance is even more significant in conditions of flexibility and teleworking. But there are many more. If you want to know which ones we recommend and which ones Standford proposes, you can readis be fasting.

Performance evaluation

It is not only about measuring the capabilities of workers in quantitative values. The idea is, on the contrary, to carry out a global evaluation in which factors such as the study of their potential, career plans, analysis of the work environment and the reinforcement of motivation intervene.

Remuneration and reward systems

If applicable, the Human Resources area is also responsible for designing compensation systems that reward workers’ efforts with higher performance or better results. This is accomplished within an incentive policy framework. It is currently one of the performance engines in many companies, not necessarily focused on direct sales. It is already projected as one of the future trends in human talent management and business management in general.

Labour Relations

Another primary function is that which refers to issues of salary policy, for example, labour disputes (in this article, you will learn four effective techniques for handling this type of situation in the company), collective bargaining, health systems of all workers, risk prevention plans and even the hygiene and safety conditions in which workers carry out their activities. This is usually done through negotiations with the leaders or representatives of worker groups.

Sanctions, reprimands and dismissals

Finally, there is no shortage of matters relating to the disciplinary factor within the scope of companies, precisely what has to do with sanctions, calls for attention, reprimands, absences or dismissals. The latter, in particular, should be the last option among many, since the companies of the 21st century know that doing without any worker is a human and labour loss of immense value; Before getting there, all the options that precede it must be exhausted.

Internal communication: one of the HR functions that gain importance

Every organization relies on good communication to grow and achieve strategic objectives, and that is where one of the most important HR functions for corporate culture comes into play. Communication expresses the company’s values ​​and priorities, as it connects both with external groups (including customers) and with internal stakeholders (mainly composed of employees). This article will help you understand the importance of internal communication in a company.

Often, HR professionals communicate critical messages on topics such as incorporation, the general descriptions of the company, profits, wages or company policies, among others.

There is no doubt that HR communications are essential to an organization. The reasons that confirm it are:

The recipients of your messages are the stakeholders. HR communication can be widely used to communicate messages to internal stakeholders about the organization’s status (such as updates for investors or training and development policies). This helps management and employees make better, informed decisions about growing the organization. It also helps ensure that everyone is aligned with the company’s goals.

Your communications help the company achieve its goals. Human Resources communications make the organization better organized and propel it to achieve its objectives. Without alignment, business initiatives can fail.

Their messages are essential in the strategic plan of an organization. Suppose an organization has a strategic communications plan to help it make great strides toward growth. In that case, effective HR communications must be involved in the preparation, implementation, and execution of that strategy. HR communications also provide communication support to develop and implement a company’s systems that directly affect employees.

One of the unwritten HR functions is building trust. And this is also achieved through communication.

For an organization to function well and efficiently, communications must be organized, orderly, and truthful. This order can best be achieved through HR communications. Today, truth and trust in internal communications are critical to helping employees eliminate clutter and feel secure in their effort each day at work.

The HR communications team must provide employees with first-hand, accurate, and reliable information on wages and benefits, organizational policies and rules, company news, and other essential topics. Without this trust, workers could get incorrect information from outside the company or believe rumours.

HR communication is also vital to engaging employees, maintaining good company culture, and empowering each person and the organization.

Additionally, it is proven to increase workforce creativity and motivation, which can help increase production levels.

Now that you’ve gotten up to speed on the essential functions of the Human Resources department, what are you waiting for to apply them?

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