What are the 7 Major HR Activities?

The Milestone Team October 26, 2021
7 major HR activities

HR teams are responsible for one of your main assets, if not the most important: your people. You rely on your HR team to recruit, onboard, train, and maintain employees, ensuring your business creates a welcoming, exciting culture and a promising future.

Because HR teams handle such diverse responsibilities, we don’t always see the work that’s done behind closed doors. Or we associate their work with the more public tasks we see from them: coordinating employee appreciation events or recruitment efforts. If we try to categorize all their responsibilities and involvements into a few main categories, the result is a list of seven core types of HR functions.

What are the 7 major HR activities?

People are at the center of your organization. HR functions and practices all relate to finding the right people, ensuring they fit within the organization, have growth opportunities, and are satisfied with their work. This starts with attracting, acquiring, and keeping talent.

1.) Recruitment & Onboarding

If your company has experienced any seasons of rapid growth, you know how important it is to develop a stream of incoming talent and employees. Otherwise, you quickly fall into a position where you can’t meet the wave of growth due to a lack of people. Or, worse, you burn out your current employees.

HR works to recruit both targeted talent and access public pools of potential employees by attending job fairs and the like. They are the face of our company to those who may work for you in the future.

Onboarding requires managing application flow and coordinating interviews, ensuring you put applicants in front of the right people. Recruitment and onboarding are two of the most important functions HR helps with.

2.) Compensation, Payroll

Not only does HR work to ensure everyone is paid in a timely manner, but they perform administrative duties like tracking vacation/sick time and FMLA, maternity leave, military leave, or any other relevant needs. HR will be involved with any changes in pay structure, too.

HR works to ensure that employees feel they are compensated correctly for their work—and that applies to both recruitment and retention.

What does human resources do?

3.) Performance Management

An HR functions list wouldn’t be complete without including their role in helping employees perform at their best. HR does this through performance review, the most common tool for ensuring employees perform at their best. Annual reviews with HR, management, and the employee provide relevant feedback and discussion to see how well the employee meets expectations.

Performance management is a shared responsibility between management and HR, and it’s a good example of how HR is directly involved in day-to-day business.

4.) Development & Learning

Your employees’ tenure at your business should be dynamic; development and learning equip current employees with additional tools and education to perform at a higher level. HR can assist with creating developmental programs within the organization—at multiple levels—to create a community of personal growth.

This can positively impact your business as your employees complete internal and external training and implement their learning in day-to-day situations.

5.) Employee Integration

Once you’ve onboarded, trained, and developed employees, HR’s involvement in their tenure at your business isn’t over. Instead, they play an active role in employees’ motivation, attitude, satisfaction, and, when required, discipline.

HR acts as a middle-man between employees and management, and they work one-on-one with employees to ensure they’re satisfied with their work environment. And when management believes an employee isn’t meeting expectations, HR is involved with any disciplinary action that may be required.

What are the main functions of human resources?

6.) Maintaining Culture & Safety

All your employees should feel welcome and safe at their place of work. HR maintains a culture and environment that provides the following fail-safes for your employees:

  • Risk management
  • Health and safety
  • Social security
  • Employee welfare

Your HR team ensures that company policy is widely known and that it adheres to federal and state legislation and relevant labor laws, including disability and social security programs.

7.) Administration

The final of the core HR functions is administrative: keeping track of key records, documentation, applications, annual reviews, contracts, and creating/updating employee handbooks, to name a few. They ensure your business remains transparent in employee processes and that you have an organized record of who has ever worked for you or has attempted to work for you. They also make sure you are in legal compliance with all labor laws.

This is important for your overall organization, but it can be especially important if anyone files a grievance about your hiring process, for example. You rely on HR to maintain a clear record of all employee documentation.

With Milestone, we know how important each of these seven HR activities are to your business. We also know not every business is covering these responsibilities as well as they would like.

That’s where we come in: get the right outsourced HR help when you need it, whether that’s helping an established team with HR responsibilities or providing guidance on where you can improve. Each business has different HR needs in these categories. We provide HR guidance to fit your business’s specific needs every step of the way.

Our team of certified professionals has experience improving businesses by offering HR support—whether with staffing or guidance—to meet your needs. Learn more about Milestone and the work we do today.

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