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To wonder what 'HR' actually do??

(82 Posts)
Glennin911 Sat 27-Feb-16 11:09:55

Just that really. Always get the impression it's a made up department full of busybodies. What can they possibly be doing once payroll has been done and everyone has a contract?

Glennin911 Sat 27-Feb-16 11:13:16

Not being facetious, I'm genuinely interested.

Oysterbabe Sat 27-Feb-16 11:14:20

Maternity leave
Disciplinary procedures
Absence management

revising policies and keeping them up to date, advising managers, managing difficult staffing issues.

Glennin911 Sat 27-Feb-16 11:16:21

Exactly. I've discovered that our HR manager (large tech company) is on £80k!!! How?!!!!! How can it be so well paid??? Surely it's just high end admin?

SealSong Sat 27-Feb-16 11:19:06

Well my daughter is an HR assistant and is on 16K, so hardly a fortune.
She's mainly involved in stuff to do with contracts, payroll and other systems stuff. There is a lot more to it than you'd imagine.

Glennin911 Sat 27-Feb-16 11:24:54

But unless you're employing hundreds of people a week, how often do people receive new contracts?

wannabetennisplayer Sat 27-Feb-16 11:25:14

It depends on the organisation but can include writing policies, providing guidance/support to managers, particularly around absence/disciplinary/capability/grievances/tribunals, re-structures, negotiating with trade unions, job grading. recruitment, redeployment, ensuring checks e.g. DBS are completed and up to date, producing data on issues that affect the organisation's performance (e.g. absence, staff turnover, performance, equalities issues) and working with senior managers on strategies to improve it.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head but I think it will depend on the particular organisation - e.g. the size of HR, what the organisation's priorities are - plus the function (as a whole) has massively changed over time so I guess some organisations will have a more 'traditional' HR service than others

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 27-Feb-16 11:26:21

They make sure that employment law is complied with and hopefully prevent the employers being taken to a tribunal smile

lorelei9 Sat 27-Feb-16 11:31:35

Glen
The 80k salary is because they're there to
A) defend and Support senior management who clearly want one of their own in that role
B) they need knowledge of relevant laws to help protect company against law suits
C) they help get every squeak of labour per penny paid

Then there's all the stuff mentioned by others. So not glorified admin.

I don't like HR btw. Just explaining the functions.

wannabetennisplayer Sat 27-Feb-16 11:41:26

I think you're just thinking about the transactional work of getting staff paid etc (which in some organisations is actually a separate function/team).

Organisations need to think about:
a) risks around employment e.g. costs associated with tribunals etc if they don't act lawfully
b) the benefits - staff are an organisation's greatest asset and it is not just a case of having x number of people in x number of jobs - having the right people, with the right training/development, effective line management, motivation, reduced sickness levels/turnover of staff,, improving performance etc - can make a massive difference to an organisation's overall performance

What function HR performs will vary greatly between organisations e.g. some will just have a few people who do the payroll but there is potential for HR to have a larger impact and the HR Director will be a full board member in some organisations.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Sat 27-Feb-16 11:48:07

When I worked for HR we were always run off our feet, because employees like to moan about everything grin

We dealt with attendance, sickness, grievances, disciplinaries, recruitment, interviewing, reference checks, pay reviews, appraisals, headcount, employee records, termination of employment and so on. There is a lot of paperwork, filing - but a top HR person has to be up to date on employment law, and deal with some pretty sticky situations. We had about 300 staff, payroll, me and my boss. Kept us busy. We used to have factory managers just firing people without using the proper procedures and all sorts.

We used to get the most amazing letters from employees - moaning about their staff/boss. Long diatribes ending with "... but it was the way she said it" and "he phoned in sick, but then I saw him clubbing in town" etc. grin

I had to deal with a poor alcoholic woman once, who had been drinking bottles of vodka at work. She fell down the stairs - it was awful. She rang me, clearly drunk and very tearful. We had to terminate her employment of course (gross misconduct), and I felt so awful about it. I often wonder about her, hope she's ok. This was about 15yrs ago.

Balletgirlmum Sat 27-Feb-16 11:52:59

Another part of the job is feeling with government agencies like CSA or whatever they call themselves nowadays.

They usually want reams of data, copies of random payslips ftom the past year, time sheets, precise breakdowns of expenses, overtime etc & they want it yesterdsy.

DoreenLethal Sat 27-Feb-16 11:55:22

The job of HR is to keep the company out of court.

End of.

caroldecker Sat 27-Feb-16 12:00:58

Doreen Decent HR will set up a strategy to motivate the workforce/get the best people for the lowest cost. EG things like flexible working hours/WFH can be much more valuable than money to many employees, so ensuring the right IT is available and managers support these policies can be very valuable to a company.

dontcallmecis Sat 27-Feb-16 12:01:27

recruitment and selection
remuneration (annual review, market surveys, data crunching etc)
training and development
manpower strategy
performance management
career/talent management
expatriation
employee relations (employee surveys, dealing with unions etc)
change management and comms
HRIS update and maintenance
reigning in people when they want to do stupid things.
damage control

Just to name a few. I know people always whine about companies never getting back to them and the ridiculous amount of time it takes to get an employment contract, but ime, the line manager always dithers over finalisation of the job title or the final salary, or simply making a decision between candidate A, and B. Trust me, HR want the fecking decision so they can get the contract out and move on to the next thing.

caroldecker Sat 27-Feb-16 12:01:32

Doreen Decent HR will set up a strategy to motivate the workforce/get the best people for the lowest cost. EG things like flexible working hours/WFH can be much more valuable than money to many employees, so ensuring the right IT is available and managers support these policies can be very valuable to a company.

wannabetennisplayer Sat 27-Feb-16 12:04:57

I always see people questioning the value to the business of HR (which is the main female dominated business profession) far more than male-dominated business areas.

You could equally say why does the Finance Director get paid so much? He's just processing money in and out of the business and keep tabs on how much they've got. Surely it's just glorified counting? ;-)

wannabetennisplayer Sat 27-Feb-16 12:05:02

I always see people questioning the value to the business of HR (which is the main female dominated business profession) far more than male-dominated business areas.

You could equally say why does the Finance Director get paid so much? He's just processing money in and out of the business and keep tabs on how much they've got. Surely it's just glorified counting? ;-)

wannabetennisplayer Sat 27-Feb-16 12:05:35

I always see people questioning the value to the business of HR (which is the main female dominated business profession) far more than male-dominated business areas.

You could equally say why does the Finance Director get paid so much? He's just processing money in and out of the business and keep tabs on how much they've got. Surely it's just glorified counting? ;-)

ravenAK Sat 27-Feb-16 12:07:23

IME they are there to enable the bosses to exploit/bully/sack the workers whilst staying out of court.

If you are a worker, HR are Not Your Friend.

I'm a teacher. When we acquired an HR bod, shortly after academisation, no good came of it that any of the teaching staff could see.

Her biggest achievement was introducing a policy on acceptable patterns for tights - she tried valiantly to ban my fishnets! grin

Am quite prepared to accept that in other places they are deeply necessary, useful & appreciated colleagues - but not in my personal experience.

AbiBranning Sat 27-Feb-16 12:10:15

TBH, the stuff we deal with would make you LOL, would love to write a book, but no one would believe it. In an ideal world I don't think half the team would be needed, however we work with humans at all levels who all can all make mistakes. We also have to deal with every new rule that comes in to force from governments etc.

kellybee90 Sat 27-Feb-16 12:10:44

The HR team in my organises too are wonderful. They work under my Director so I've had to work closely with them at times and they are all such hardworking people with lots to do.

They helped me find me secure a secondment, and when I applied for it permanently after a year and a half and didn't get it, the HR Director called me up the following day (on a weekend!) to make sure I was ok and reassure me they would find something else - which they did!

Maybe my organisation is just one of the lucky ones?

ilovesooty Sat 27-Feb-16 12:11:35

I'm rather surprised by the naivety of the OP.
HR in my company do a complex variety of roles efficiently and are pretty valuable.

kellybee90 Sat 27-Feb-16 12:12:41

Organises too? I meant organisation!grin

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