Understanding the role of your human resources department

According to Indeed, a popular job search platform, HR departments help maintain a happy, legal and effective workplace.

The role of human resources (HR) is constantly evolving, and it is vital that college and university graduates fully comprehend how important and useful it is to cultivate a healthy working relationship with their HR representatives.

According to a recent survey in the article, “Helping Young Adults Adapt to the Workforce” written by Kyra Sutton PhD, 60 per cent of young adults surveyed stated that they felt what they needed most from their managers to succeed was ongoing feedback and clear expectations in their role. As graduates coming out of a very structured and well-defined environment, this seems logical. The question is: are graduates getting what they need from their superiors and what should they do if they aren’t? Enter the role of the HR department.

By definition, HR manages five main duties: talent management, compensation and employee benefits, training and development, compliance, and workplace safety.

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In 2023, we are still just coming out of pandemic pandemonium and the face of the workplace is still under construction. Let’s look at the top HR trends as stated in Forbes Magazine that you can put into your 2023 playbook to help you adapt and pivot in this constantly changing environment:

Top HR Trends in 2023

  • Employee wellbeing is at the top of this list: more and more employees are looking for support with workplace stress which is on the rise
  • Skill-based hiring: Companies hiring for potential rather than degrees
  • Flexibility for all employees: Flexibility for all levels of workers creates better productivity and employee retention
  • Human skills are the new hard skills: One billion jobs will be transformed by technology by 2030
According to Indeed, a popular job search platform, HR departments help maintain a happy, legal and effective workplace. HR is important for you as an employee to ensure you have full access to all their benefits. Creating a good relationship with this department will help new professionals feel comfortable approaching their HR department to ensure they know exactly what those benefits are. The word ‘benefits’ may be associated with things like health insurance, retirement funds, sick pay, and more.

In an article for LinkedIn, author Scott Kramer stated that there are some key characteristics that make up a healthy working relationship with your HR department: trust, mutual respect, and mindfulness. He also highlights the importance of diversity and open communication.

“Human resources is tasked with ensuring that employees have what is needed in order to help the organization meet their long-term goals,” Kramer said. “This includes having the skills and knowledge needed and feeling “cared for” by the organization.”

The most important first step is to know who your HR manager is and introduce yourself to them. If you don’t know what they do, be bold and set up an introductory meet and greet and ask them what kinds of things they may be able to help you with. It goes without saying that you will run into situations at a new workplace where you need help, so it is wise and a good self-care practice to know where to get that help.