HR is an important function within a business regardless of size, industry, or location.

Having someone fully focused on one of your biggest assets (your staff) is invaluable! So, what are the major HR functions and responsibilities?

Major HR Functions

While the activities of your HR staff are wide-reaching, they are all focused on your employees. Your HR ensures that your employees are treated properly, and the employment is mutually beneficial for employee and employer. The five core functions are:

  • Staffing
  • Development
  • Compensation
  • Safety & Health
  • Labor Relations

HR Responsibilities

Within those five core functions are many different responsibilities. Here are a few of the major ones for your human resources team.

Candidate Recruitment

HR needs to understand your organization’s needs and make sure they are being met. While this sounds easy enough, it’s a little harder than just posting an ad for a position. When candidates start to come in, HR needs to sort through those resumes and find people that will be the right fit for your organization. If applicants don’t come in easily, HR needs to work every channel possible to gain candidates for your company.

Hiring the Right Fit

The hiring process doesn’t end at sorting through potential employees. Interviews need to be scheduled, offers need to be made, and onboarding needs to begin. New-hire paperwork is required to be completed promptly and correctly.

Disciplinary Action

This is obviously not a fun part of the job, but it is necessary. Recording disciplinary actions is crucial. Conversations and responses need to be enacted quickly and appropriately. This ensures your team stays happy and that there are clear expectations of roles. An employee’s success relies on constructive feedback. If someone isn’t performing to expectations, bring it up appropriately.

Create and Update Policies

Review company policies frequently or update them as needed. At least once a year, they should be reviewed. One of HR’s function is to suggest changes to policies, update them, and communicate those changes to all of your staff members. If a problem or confusion keeps coming up within your organization, it might be time to enact a policy to clarify the situation.

Employee Records

Employee records are mandated by law, and important. Your HR will be able to dedicate the time to keep employee records accurate.


Keeping your company competitive requires offering some benefits for employees. Your HR team will be able to analyze benefits within the industry to ensure that you’re offering enough to get the best talent available.

Employee Support

Having a non-partisan individual available to hear employee suggestions and complaints is crucial. HR can also provide information on career growth, training opportunities, connection with mentors, and supporting their overall health and wellness. Sometimes employees just need someone to talk to.

A Human Resource professional has a lot on their plate, but are invaluable to the growth of your organization and helping maintain staff. If you’re not at the point of hiring a full-time HR individual, consider outsourcing this function. Organizations like Humnly specializes in providing HR functions for entrepreneurs and small businesses.