The role of an individual who works in the field of human resources (HR) may vary, but their main role is to interact with employees and try to fill the needs of whatever business in which they are involved. A successfully HR professional will be able to balance the needs of both the employees and the company.

Sometimes, HR professionals will not only be in charge of employees, but may also be the head of several different departments at one time. In larger companies, the HR generalist, HR manager, and HR director will have their own clearly defined roles, but in smaller organizations, responsibilities may overlap in order to ensure tasks are being fulfilled. Some areas for which HR professionals will be responsible are team building, leadership, communication, coaching, performance management, policy recommendation, recruiting, training, hiring, and salary and benefits.

HR managers are typically in charge of consulting between an organization’s management and its employees, and running the recruiting and hiring aspect of potential new staff. They will also decide where new employees will be stationed within the business and figuring out where their talents will be best used. The other side of this job involves handling the firing of employees, taking care of any disputes or issues, and carrying out disciplinary action.

Human resource specialists often work closely with HR managers in the areas of recruiting, interviewing, and hiring employees. A successful specialist understands all HR procedures, disciplines and policies. They may work with interviewing employees, in labor relations, recruitment, placement, or as an HR generalist. The roles of these individuals also often cross with those who work in payroll, as an HR specialist’s job is to ensure the company is in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

While these professionals began working solely with managing people, their role has expanded to include a variety of other tasks, depending on the title of their position. The best HR professionals will be able to support a company and create ways to make sure their organization is resilient, adaptable, and customer-oriented.

A developing trend in this field involves HR employees earning some kind of certification. While this is not mandatory, individuals who do have certification may add certain specialization to their resume. The certification most often earned is Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Both of these certifications are offered through the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).