What Is Human Resources?

When people search human resources on the internet, the most popular search seems to be the question “what is human resources?” So, what is human resources anyway? Well, human resources started off as a small position that oversaw basic employee management, such as hiring and termination practices. This career began to expand onto the job scene in the 1960’s, when job growth expanded to the point that entire departments were created within companies and organizations to oversee employees.

What Is Human Resources?

Today, human resources are no longer the positions or departments solely dedicated to hiring new employees and handling termination procedures. Human resources has expanded to cover a wide range of responsibilities and job expectations. In fact, even the process of hiring and terminating employees has grown into its own position. The reason for this is that with the expansion of the human resources career into the 1980s, corporations began to realize the value of something called “personal capital.” The idea behind personal capital is that each person had potential that could, if effectively managed, be tapped into and used to increase work productivity. This increase in productivity would in turn increase profits and overall effectiveness at the company.

The best way to manage this personal capital came from the human resources departments, and it began with understanding the process of hiring. No longer were people just getting hired for good interviews or resumes. A skilled human resources employee was being trained to identity people that could provide the most personal capital to the company. At the opposite end, human resources would identify those who were no longer reaching their potential and would become candidates for termination.

What Is Human Resources in Terms of Career Expectations?

As the field of human resources has grown and expanded to accommodate each generations new work force and the requirements necessary to keep a company or organization running efficiently, the career expectations associated with the job has also expanded. To get an idea of the type of responsibilities associated with this career, here is a brief list of what some in this career have to do each day:

  • Monitor Disputes Between Employees and the Company
  • Integrate New Technology
  • Provide Incentives and Programs to Increase Productivity
  • Create Programs and Strategy to Monitor Employee Productivity
  • Implement and Track Training Programs
  • Ensure Adherence to all Employment Related law
  • Propose New Hiring or Termination Strategies
  • Purchase and Provide Health Care and Other Coverage Options

So, what is human resources? It’s a lot of things. It’s the big things like deciding if a company should hire more employees to increase productivity and its little things like conducting annual reviews of employee history.

Where are Human Resources Jobs?

One of the great aspects about human resources has to do with the wide spread spectrum of possible jobs that are available among a variety of forums. Essentially, in any place where you have more than 20 employees you will see a need for a human resources type position. The main purpose behind human resources is to help regulate the employee force. Very rarely do those working within human resources have anything to do with individual tasks. Here are some examples of where you would find these jobs:

  • Colleges or Universities
  • Corporations
  • Large Retail Chains
  • 20+ Employee Companies
  • Airports
  • Government Agencies
  • Law Firms

There’s a good chance that the place you work has some time of human resources position, or maybe even a department.

To work in human resources you will often have to start at a very basic entry level position or try to be hired right out of college if you have graduated with a degree in human resources. Certification, available after2 years’ work experience, can help with career expansion.