What is HR in simple words?

Human Resources (HR) is a key function within organizations responsible for managing and optimizing a company's most valuable asset - its employees.

Human Resources personnel strive to attract, retain and develop qualified employees and ensure fair and ethical treatment.

In addition to these key responsibilities, HR also plays a vital role in areas such as employee relations, performance management, and labor law compliance.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, HR professionals make up about 5% of the U.S. workforce, and with the growing importance of talent management and employee engagement, the demand for skilled HR professionals is expected to continue to grow.

To be precise, the job outlook for HR professionals is projected to grow by 8% by 2031.

Read on to learn more about HR and related FAQs like the following:

Human Resource Definition


HR professionals are responsible for attracting, retaining, and developing top talent and ensuring compliance with employment laws & regulations.

HR departments support a variety of other activities, including payroll, benefits administration, training and development, performance management, and succession planning.

In fact, an SHRM study found that the average HR department supports 246 employees on a $1.2 million budget.

And while some organizations may overlook the need to establish a separate HR department, investing in a strong HR team has many benefits.

For instance, companies with effective HR practices have 24% higher profit margins than those without one.

Given the importance of having good HR, some companies also hire HR business partners to help with their HR team.

Human Resource Business Partners (HRBPs) work closely with the leadership team to understand business goals and help develop an HR strategy that supports those goals.

It also serves as a resource for employees, offering advice and support on topics such as career development and performance management.

Also Read: How to make a stellar human resource resume in 2023?

What Does Human Resource Management Do?


Although the human resources job description may slightly vary based on the company, their primary duties essentially remain the same.

Given below are some of the HR duties:

  • Overseeing the recruitment process, policy development, and implementation
  • Handling recruitment and selection of new staff members
  • Onboarding recruits and conducting orientation
  • Supervising payroll and benefits management (including calculating payroll and deductions, processing leave requests, and processing insurance and pension benefits)
  • Provide employees with support and guidance on a variety of issues, including workplace policies, work-life balance, career development, etc.
  • Investigating and resolving employee complaints and issues
  • Providing employee training and development opportunities
  • Conducting performance evaluation and providing feedback
  • Ensuring compliance with labor laws & regulations, including those related to wages, working hours, and conditions
  • Helping organizations effectively manage their human capital while ensuring employee satisfaction, productivity, and engagement

Also Read: What is human resource management?

What is HR?

Types of HR


Human Resources play a key role in any organization to ensure that employee needs are met and the business runs smoothly. However, HR includes a wide range of responsibilities and duties, and there are different types of HR professionals working in different fields.

Here are some of the different types of HR you may encounter in the workplace.

General Human Resources Department


Generalist HR specialists are usually in charge of overseeing the entire HR department inside a firm.

They undertake a variety of jobs, such as hiring, training, maintaining good employee relations, and adhering to labor rules.

These professionals can either work in larger firms where they operate as a point of contact for HR-related issues or in smaller organizations where they are the only HR specialist.

Recruitment and Talent Acquisition


Recruitment and talent acquisition professionals are responsible for attracting and hiring top talent for their companies.

They work with hiring managers to determine the skills and qualifications required for open positions and assist in creating job descriptions for job postings, reviewing resumes, and conducting interviews.

Training and Development


Professionals in the training and development aspect of HR are in charge of determining the knowledge and skills that employees need to do their jobs successfully and creating tools & programs to assist them in acquiring the required knowledge and abilities.

From creating training materials, along with leading workshops and seminars, to developing online learning platforms, training and development HRs are tasked with related duties.

Employee Relations


Employee Relations Officers oversee day-to-day interactions between the employees and management.

They resolve any issues or conflicts that arise in the said area and are responsible for handling employee complaints and grievances while ensuring that the organization complies with labor laws and regulations.

Compensation and Benefits


Compensation and benefits professionals are responsible for developing and managing an organization's compensation & benefits programs.

This includes pay structures, bonus plans, insurance, and other employee benefits such as medical and retirement plans.

Hiration pro tip:
Depending on the company, they may also be responsible for conducting salary surveys and negotiating with labor unions.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


HR professionals who work in the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion are responsible for establishing and upholding a diverse, inclusive, and fair workplace culture.

They might be in charge of putting diversity and inclusion policies into practice, like employee resource groups and training programs, as well as promoting diversity in hiring and promotions.

Talent Management


The task of recognizing and developing the abilities and potential of employees within an organization falls on the talent management specialists.

They might be tasked with identifying and developing potential future leaders inside the company, as well as working with employees to construct career development plans.

Overall, the various HR specialists collaborate to make sure that the demands of the business and its staff are satisfied and that operations function efficiently.

Also Read: What are employee benefits and why is it important?

HR Salary Trends


The average human resources manager salary in the United States is $114,426 and studies show that the average salary of an HR professional is expected to grow by 3.7% in 2023.

One of the biggest factors contributing to the expected salary increase is the increasing demand for HR professionals.

As the economy recovers after the pandemic and businesses continue to grow, companies need talented HR professionals to help attract and retain top talent.

And this increased demand translates into higher salaries for HR professionals who can demonstrate value to the organization.

Furthermore, a 4.5% salary increase is expected for HR professionals with expertise in data analysis and analytics, while those with a proven track record of helping companies maintain employee engagement and retention rate is projected to increase by 4.2%.

Also Read: How much do HR professionals make?

Key Points from the Blog


  • Human Resources is a key function within organizations responsible for managing and optimizing a company's most valuable asset - its employees.
  • HR professionals are responsible for attracting, retaining, and developing top talent and ensuring compliance with employment laws & regulations.
  • HR Generalists work in larger firms where they operate as a point of contact for HR-related issues or in smaller organizations where they are the only HR specialist.
  • HR professionals who work in the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion are responsible for establishing and upholding a diverse, inclusive, and fair workplace culture.
  • The talent management aspect of HR identifies and develops potential future leaders inside the company and works with employees to construct career development plans.
  • The average human resources manager salary in the United States is $114,426 and studies show that the average salary of an HR professional is expected to grow by 3.7% in 2023.

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