Functions of Human Resources Departments

functions of human resources

Functions of Human Resources Departments

Human Resources play an integral role in a business. Managing the most important aspect of any business, the people.

The people working for you can make or break your business. If you don’t have the right people in your organisation with the right skills who work well within the team, it can bring the whole organisation down. Company culture and workplace satisfaction also plays a role in the productivity of the workers. Research from Oxford University found that happy employees are 13% more productive.

The Human Resources department completes many tasks in their role. Their responsibilities range from hiring and training, to liaising between employer and employee. They are also responsible for maintaining healthy, safe environment and monitoring compliance. Let’s take a more detailed look at the functions of the human resources department below.

There are six main functions of a human resources department.

  • Recruitment
  • Company Culture
  • Employer / Employee Relations
  • Compliance
  • Training / Professional Development
  • Financial


The Human Resources department are responsible for finding and keeping the best talent for the company. The HR manager will create strategies to recruit the right person for the role. To do this they often consult with department heads to understand the tasks and responsibilities for the role and the kind of personality traits that will help them excel in the position.

HR managers do everything to do with recruiting for a position from writing job descriptions in tandem with other department heads, to advertising, reviewing and shortlisting candidates and the interview and screening process. This detailed approach ensures the right candidate is selected for the role. A candidate who will be an asset to the company.

Company Culture 

The Human Resources department has an important role to play in setting the tone for the company culture.  The hiring process, training and onboarding process, mental wellbeing and atmosphere of the workplace are all elements of the company culture.

In recent years company culture has come to take a much higher priority as younger generations enter the workforce. Millennials currently make up 35% of the Australian workforce and in 8 years by 2030 they will make up 70% along with Gen Z.  These young people are the future of every workplace in the country and they’re changing the way company culture is handled. Placing a higher importance on wellbeing at work, mental health and ethical leadership in the workplace including diversity, sustainable practices and flexibility.

Employer / Employee relations

It is the job of the human resources department to liaise between the employer and employees to ensure a positive dynamic in the workplace with mutual respect and understanding. This is done through creating company policies that foster a fair and equitable environment and assisting with negotiations.

If an issue arises between an employee and another employee, or a manager it’s up to the HR department to guide the two parties in mediation and find a fair and reasonable solution. By fostering positive workplace relationships, the human resources department ensures a happier and more productive workplace.


The HR department are responsible for certain compliance measures. Payroll, risk and safety, benefits, hiring, employee relations and termination processes must all meet compliance, and they fall within the responsibilities of the HR department.

The Human Resources department is responsible for ensuring the workplace meets safety requirements as defined by Occupational Work Health and Safety with the WHS officer. They are also in charge of making sure all employment contracts comply with the relevant awards and all company policies ensure an equitable workplace.

Training / Professional Development

Training and professional development make up a large part of the role the human resources department plays in an organisation. The HR manager is responsible for onboarding new employees and maintaining continued training and professional development plans in discussion with department heads and employees.

It’s their job to support the ongoing development of employees, helping them to grow in their role in a way that benefits both the company and the employee.


In larger organisations there may be a separate payroll department to the Human Resources department but in smaller organisations sometimes the two are merged. Whether separated or absorbed into the one, HR has a lot to do with the payroll in the company.

They keep track of the holidays owing, sick pay and employment contracts. It’s up to the HR manager to track and maintain fair work contracts, ensuring compensation and benefits align with the employee’s role and responsibilities.

Final thoughts

The Human Resources department plays a crucial role in an organisation. Maintaining a healthy workplace culture, ensuring the company policies cultivate a fair, productive and diverse environment that ultimately benefits both the company and the employees. If you’re looking to move into the HR field, we offer several courses that can help you get into this industry. You can check out our courses here, or get in touch with our course advisors here.

Skip to content