The term "human resources" refers to the skilled individuals that make up the employment base of an agency or institution. A department of human resources leads the process of hiring, staffing, and providing career opportunities. It ensures proper compensation through payroll management and makes sure the workplace is comfortable, safe, and accessible for all qualified candidates. Good employee relations are crucial for success, and HR departments work to maintain them.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is the highest-level human resources agency for the federal government. In addition to the above duties, a good HR department manages job postings for employment positions. It conducts thorough background checks, protects workers' rights, administers employment benefits, and provides training and management tools to keep employees engaged and productive. Another responsibility of human resources departments is to build and manage interpersonal relationships. A good HR office anticipates personnel issues before they arise, and makes sure staff are treated with the respect they deserve.
If Human Resources handles payroll, does it also deal with other financial operations?
No. Governments have other departments devoted to financial management, such as the federal government's U.S. Department of Treasury and subsidiary financial offices that delegate funding. Human resource departments don't decide how much funding a given organization receives; they only decide how best to help the workforce benefit from that funding.
What kind of workers' rights does a Human Resources program protect?
Every employee has the right to freedom from discrimination and harassment. This right is critical in government positions. Hiring must be conducted without prejudice, based only on individual merit. Equal pay for men and women is also a concern for all HR professionals.
Is there a difference between federal and state Human Resources programs?
Yes, in some respects. The hiring process for federal agencies is more rigorous than it is for state agencies.