The human resources department manages a broad range of company essentials such as recruitment, training, incentive schemes, workplace safety, staff motivation, performance audits, dispute resolution, communication and more.
With so many important tasks to perform, you need individuals on that team who don’t just turn up to work each day, but complete each aspect of the job to the highest standard.
In a 2014 HR jobs pulse survey report from the Society for Human Resource Management, 70 per cent of companies who were currently hiring were looking to fill an HR generalist role. The survey also found that out of current HR professionals, 79 per cent of them had some level of confidence that they could find a new job if they needed to, with 16 per cent of these saying they were ‘very confident’.
How HR can help a company
One of the main functions of human resources management (HRM) is to recruit, train, and keep quality staff members. The far-reaching benefits of a high-performing worker are hard to quantify, but include everything from meeting their own targets, to coming up with new ideas, helping new and less able employees, ensuring clients remain happy, and adding to a positive work atmosphere. On the other hand, a poor hiring decision can cost a company thousands.
The costs of losing a staff member – that perhaps could have been retained with the right HR help – are only slightly easier to calculate. The cost of turnover for even the lowest-paying jobs is estimated to be around 16 per cent of their wage, while the cost of the majority of mid-level jobs can be as much as 20 per cent of the wage, according to a study from the Center for American Progress. From there, replacement costs only increase. Not only that, but there are countless unquantifiable costs to consider, such as lost productivity, lost knowledge and experience, and overworked remaining staff during the time it takes to bring in a replacement.
A good human resources manager is trained in workplace health and safety (WHS) protocols. In Australia, the laws vary by state and territory, with some following different OHS legislation. Without an HR person in place, keeping up with these laws and practices can be difficult, and the results of poor WHS systems can be costly in more ways than one. At minimum, substandard OHS strategies can cause lost productivity and low morale, and beyond that, the organisation could face strict penalties, or even be responsible for injuries sustained by an employee.
The good news for businesses
The good news is that the role of human resource managers is a highly desirable one. It’s generally well-paid and offers a challenging, rewarding and varied career path. According to PayScale, the average Australian HRM makes $83,344 per year. The role of human resource manager recently made the top 20 in a Canadian Business annual ranking, and it regularly makes top 10 lists from companies such as Career Cast.
As such a desirable career option, there should be plenty of talent available for businesses to find a great HR employee.