What does the HR department do?

Image credit: Anna-Marie Plechata

By Anna-Marie Plechata

As I created this blog for everybody who wants to learn more about HR let me make clear what are the roles and responsibilities of HR department in a company.


HR roles

Let’s view it from my perspective and talk about:

  • Recruitment
  • Safety
  • Money, money, money
  • Employee relations
  • Training and development
  • Compliance

If you already know the HR roles do not leave this blog yet!

First of all, you can read about it again, because „Repetition is the mother of wisdom”. Secondly, at the very end of this article, there is a little GIFT for you.


As I worked at recruitment approximately a year ago, I had the best chance to experience this role myself. Recruitment can be hard. Stressful. There is a pressure from the management of the company because the company needs great people, great candidates. But to find these candidates is not easy at all. You, as a recruiter, need to be very proactive, actively search and approach to candidates even when they do not really look for a job.

Social media is a key player nowadays so please do not tell me you do not have a LinkedIn profile yet. Everybody is there. EVERYBODY.


We all have been there, right? Those incredibly long and boring training about Health & Safety. Guess what? This is usually the responsibility of HR department. It is their job to ensure that the office is a safe environment. No sharp edges, no banana peels on the floor (because yes – slide on a banana peel can happen to everybody not only to Tom&Jerry) and if you cut your finger with the paper you should run for help to HR department straightaway. Alright, let me try to be serious now because it is not funny. Except it is, did you image that? Because I did.

Adobe Spark (1)

It is important to know where to go, what to do, how to help when the crisis hits. This training provided by HR are always considered as the necessary evil, but if there is even the smallest possibility that it could save somebody’s life one day…then I say “Let’s practice this mouth-to-mouth respiration”.

Money, money, money

That is why we love HR, right? Because it provides the setting of compensation structure. Some companies have payroll specialists who are taking care of our salary. I have never worked as payroll specialist and I believe it requires a great chunk of accountability and math skills, but do these people really know, how much is EVERYBODY in the organization earning? (Now I really wish I was better at mathematics in school.)

Adobe Spark (3)

Employee relations

Remember when you were little, fighting with your siblings and then mummy stepped in and made it stop? HR is now your mummy at the workplace.

Adobe Spark (1)

Training and development

HR, in cooperation with you managers, needs to help you settle down at the company and give this powerful tool to your hands so you can perform your new job and succeed. There is no shame in not knowing. The boss of your boss of your boss was once a new and unskilled employee too, right?


Magical word but what does it mean? In the world of rules and restrictions which companies are liable to, someone needs to take care of compliance with state employment laws. It is one of the crucial functions of HR department so we do not need to worry about our contract and taxes and others super trooper complicated stuff. Isn’t it great? Thank you, HR.

– – –

As I promised you at the beginning, here is the gift. If you were expecting something really big or material, now you will probably hate me.

My gift for you is a book recommendation. This book is great for both, those who are interested in HR or those who just want to learn more from the business world around us.

„Work Rules” is a book written by Google HR manager Laszlo Bock. Google is different, one of the Top Employers, this book will show you why it is so. I love this book.



We could speak about HR roles for hours but I wanted to provide you with a simple summary and my point of view.

If you go through expert literature you would find much more about it but I wanted to give you just the picture, to see the frames of it, to understand, what HR department is doing for the company and how hard they work.

What do you think about the roles and responsibilities of HR? What experience do you have with HR?

Image credit: Anna-Marie Plechata

Please comment or tweet me at @AnnaPlechata with the hashtag #HRtist.