Human Resource Management: Functions & Importance

Everything you need to know about human resource management: its functions and processes, additional tools you can use to perform HR job responsibilities efficiently as well as common challenges in human resource management and how to solve them

reunión de gestión de recursos humanos

What is Human Resource Management?

Human resource management is the process of acquiring, introducing, and keeping employees. The overall goal of HR is to ensure that the company has the best talent available. HR job responsibilities include finding highly qualified candidates, convincing them to work for the company, and helping them adjust once they’re hired.

What are the Functions of Human Resource Management?

There are five main areas or functions of human resource management besides recruitment and other external activities : Employee onboarding and offboarding, compensation and benefits, performance appraisal, employee evaluation, and training and development.

Employee Onboarding and Offboarding

Employee onboarding is the process of preparing recent hires for their new roles working in the company. The goal of employee onboarding is to provide them with everything they need to get started with the job. The materials could include login details to the online tools and platforms that the company uses and documents outlining company, department, or in-team best practices for a particular work task or assignment. HR managers can use employee onboarding checklists to verify the collection of pre-employment documents and to confirm the administration of onboarding.

Employee offboarding on the other hand, is the process of helping employees transition out of working for the company. Whether the reason for their departure is resignation, termination, or retirement, a seamless separation is beneficial to both the former employee and the company. Most HR professionals conduct an exit interview to gather feedback from former employees on their motivations for leaving and how the organization can improve in improving employee retention. Using an employee offboarding checklist minimizes administrative errors and compliance violations, mitigates legal risks associated with employee termination, manages potential information leaks, facilitates the transfer of knowledge and responsibilities, and builds up the company’s reputation.

Compensation and Benefits

When it comes to compensation and benefits, there needs to be a clear difference between the monetary amount stated in the employment contract, additional incentives, and components required by law. The monetary amount is the employee’s salary while examples of additional incentives are holiday pay and food allowances. The components required by law, on the other hand, are healthcare, maternity leave, and sick leave.

Performance Appraisal

A performance appraisal is a monthly, quarterly, or annual review of an employee’s performance and accomplishments. It is usually divided into what the employee succeeded in doing and what the employee failed to do. Regular performance appraisals help identify the skills and training gaps affecting employees’ work as well as what the company can do to close those gaps.

HR managers may use performance appraisal forms to measure and benchmark employee achievement and initiative. These forms help evaluate the employee’s contribution to the business as well as identify career development opportunities and areas for improvement.

Employee Evaluation

Unlike a performance appraisal, which is a holistic overview of an employee’s actions, an employee evaluation is the formal assessment of an employee’s work against company standards. Additionally, it can serve as the basis for employee termination or advancement.

HR managers, team leaders, and employees themselves can use employee evaluation forms to measure, monitor, and record their progress towards individual, team, or company objectives. Team leaders may also use these forms to realign expectations between employees, other team members, and their employers.

Training and Development

Training and development varies for each company, job type, and job level. However, common aspects of this function are job skills training, which is sometimes included in the onboarding of new employees, and team-building activities conducted throughout the year.

Other Core Human Resource Management Functions

Human resource management has more fundamental functions that serve as a vital role for the organization :


Recruitment is a key aspect of Human Resource Management that involves the process of attracting, selecting, and appointing suitable candidates to fill job vacancies. HR personnel must identify the responsibilities, duties, and qualifications needed for a role and then source candidates through job boards, social media, recruitment agencies, and career fairs. They are also responsible for screening and selecting candidates and conducting background checks and interviews.


HR professionals have to keep up to date with the latest government regulations on labor, corporate finance, and business management. They also have to know how to navigate the different government agencies and processes. These tasks are especially difficult due to the changing nature of government administration and lawmaking.

Create an HR compliance checklist or reference document containing all the important government regulations. You can also create templates for standard processes such as onboarding and evaluations.

Workplace Safety

While the workplace policies for companies operating in high-risk environments may be a part of their overall workplace safety programs, the key difference between the two is that workplace safety focuses on worker protection rather than worker regulation. Additionally, while workplace policies are set by the company, workplace safety is a legal requirement in most countries with a specific set of regulations to follow for each industry and region.

HR Records

Human resource records are documents containing a list of employee activities and corresponding evidence. HR records help the company support regulatory requirements, create emergency plans, file insurance claims, and justify employee advancement.

Workplace Policies

Workplace policies are company standards on employee behavior, the use of company property, and vacation periods. HR managers establish and enforce such rules in order to maintain a professional and respectful atmosphere within the company.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Keeping track of Human Resource Management (HRM) functions can be tedious as they involve a wide variety of processes. It’s important to keep a unified communication channel where it’s easy to collaborate with everyone in the organization. Additionally, HR professionals can utilize digital tools to effectively keep track of all their functions such as : 

Communication remains to be a tricky and common issue, not only for HR professionals, but for non-HR workers as well. However, aside from one-on-one, team, and intrateam communication, HR professionals also have the responsibility of being in charge of company-wide (or regional) internal communication.

To ensure a fair and unbiased recruitment process, HR should define clear and objective criteria for the job, use structured and standardized interviews, incorporate diverse perspectives and feedback. This approach helps minimize the impact of individual biases and ensures the best candidate is selected for the job, regardless of their background or characteristics.

SafetyCulture Content Team
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SafetyCulture Content Team

SafetyCulture Content Team
The SafetyCulture content team is dedicated to providing high-quality, easy-to-understand information to help readers understand complex topics and improve workplace safety and quality. Our team of writers have extensive experience at producing articles for different fields such as safety, quality, health, and compliance.