HR support should always take a bespoke, multi-layered approach if it's to be at all effective in UK businesses. Hiring the right HR team for your business from day one is crucial. Ideally, your HR department is working in the best interests of your business while safeguarding employees' rights. It could be argued that all employers need an HR department to protect them against lawsuits.
What does a human resources department do?
HR varies from one company to the next. Some common responsibilities for an HR department include recruitment, on-boarding, induction training, performance management, career development, ongoing training, employee motivation, management of employee incentive schemes, communications and compensation negotiations. In some companies, the HR department also oversees payroll and pension schemes. The importance of an HR team often depends on the size, culture, uniqueness, budget and location of a business.
Is it a catch-all term?
A human resources team is of course responsible for gestating a marinade of skills from employees and mitigating communication breakdowns between all the people that make up a company. "HR" has certainly acquired a bad name in recent years and undergone tremendous evolutions. An HR professional traditionally held a degree or a certified qualification from a Chartered Institution. Such professionals are supposed to have an extensive understanding of business management, employee-employer dynamics and employment laws. They know how to advise seniority figures in companies on strategy and planning policies.
Does HR have a core function?
If the duties of an HR team were to be summarised, the summary could include:
• Ensuring the right people are in the right place at the right time.
• Optimizing staff retention using a range of motivators, including career progression programs and employee incentive schemes.
• Increasing productivity among employees by ensuring they have the resources needed to contribute their talents to a company.
The three bullet point above are far from exhaustive and of course, different HR professionals perform a host of specialist roles. You'll find generalists that have a broad understanding of everything to do with HR as well as professionals that specialize in recruitment, retainment, pensions, talent management, company progression, brand data analysis, etc.
What value does HR provide to a business?
Eventually, every growing business finds itself struggling to deal with issues that arise between employees when taking a leadership role. Humans are complex creatures and can be both assets and liabilities to a business. An HR department is there to facility productive human interactions and minimize conflicts and misunderstandings that would otherwise lead to expensive legal actions.
As an employer, support from HR can make your life a lot less stressful and can often add immense value to your firm. HR professionals can help all types of businesses from startups to expanding multi-national corporations.
The UK's Employment Laws
Following Brexit, many employment laws and legislation remain unclear, but it's likely any legal changes won't deviate much from established EU legislation. For many UK businesses, employing new people has become a minefield, but most EU legislation originated from UK laws. Any future changes to employment law in the UK are likely to benefit employers rather than employees. So, British business can look forward to a profitable future as long as they hire the right HR team according to many economic pundits.