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The Practical Application of Human Resources Expertise

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: September 28, 2021

Why would someone take a human resources diploma program? To land a great job or move up in the company they work for, of course! While these are definitely common (and valid) reasons, there’s so much more to taking HR courses online than just checking a box on a job application.  

There are some elements from your education that will make you far-and-away better in the HR field than individuals who are at the same level, but lack the training. And, if you run into people who don’t understand (or appreciate) how the expertise you’ve gained from working in HR helps organizations on a real level? It’s time for you to fire back with some benefits they can appreciate. That’s what this blog post is about! 

Couple education with on-job experience and you have a powerhouse of expertise for your employer or potential employer. Let’s move beyond the job search or next promotion and look at the real-world application of your HR expertise. Not everyone seems to understand the practical value of HR, but these points make it crystal clear that this field has a big impact on organizations. 

Making Connections 

Perhaps the most commonly understood and valued aspect of HR is the ability to create linkage between individuals and groups or other individuals. The HR role takes the shape of mediator, translator, navigator and facilitator, to name just a few of the hats required. Being a liaison between an employee and their boss can mend a damaged working relationship and create a positive outcome. It can also help individuals identify when it might be time to move on and seek out other opportunities. Training and experience gives HR professionals the ability to communicate effectively in these bridging scenarios. It also allows them to navigate various personality types to determine the approaches that will gain the answers needed to get to the best possible solution for everyone involved. 

Being a Good Listener 

Every single organization is filled with people. Individuals are unique and a key role of the people-facing experts in HR is to be available to listen. Often what may seem like a massive problem to an employee can be lessened by simply talking it out. While those in HR aren’t expected to be therapists or councillors, they do provide the “ear” required to hear what employees are dealing with and help them determine a beneficial course of action.  

Accessing Resources 

Again, when we are talking about individuals, we are looking at unique situations due to personalities and the environment. Someone who has taken HR training has a solid understanding of the various resources to support employees available through the organization. This may include things like training programs, family counselling services through a benefits program or access to WorkSafe BC training programs after an injury.  On the flip side, the organization relies on HR to keep them aware of the resources needed to better manage, retain and motivate employees while keeping the business running smoothly.  

Talent Acquisition and Retention 

Certainly, everyone knows that HR is involved in the process of hiring employees, but do they understand the skills that are required to manage the process from job search identification to hiring and beyond? Individuals who have HR training know that hiring takes on a vast number of skills from reviewing the job description and making modifications with the hiring manager to writing the job post and helping with candidate interviews and presenting offers.  

Let’s not forget the need to assist in the on-boarding process. There are always a range of forms to be completed and information to be processed so that a new employee’s information is properly captured within organizational databases.  

Once that hiring aspect is complete, retention comes into play. HR is generally brought in when there are issues, but training and experience also gives HR insight into making improvements before problems ever arise. Can HR identify ways to improve culture overall? Is there a need to call marketing in to assist with an employee handbook? Are organization-wide events needed? Or perhaps just a few departments are in need of special activities to enhance teamwork?  

These are the proactive roles HR professionals take on in order to improve the overall organizational success. Not only is this a practical application of HR training and experience, it’s just good business sense.  

Staying on the Right Side of Employment Laws 

There are so many aspects of employment law in each province and country, only those, like HR professionals who are trained in this area, can keep a company on the right side of the law. While some organizations turn to consultants, others ensure the expertise needed is within the organization. One method isn’t necessarily better than the other. It simply comes down to needs, company size and approach. The right answer however, is to make sure the organization is supported with legal information through an HR role.  

Corporate Performance and Planning 

One of the most practical aspects of HR that people unfamiliar with the field overlook is the ability to bring added-value to an organization’s performance and strategy. High-level management teams bring HR directors onto the team in order to ensure the people-aspect of the company is constantly represented in strategic planning.  

Remember that point above about listening and every company being filled with individuals? So often, in their strategic efforts to move the organization ahead, management teams overlook the actual individuals in their midst that make things happen. The human element needs to be considered constantly. Even if it’s looking at creating more automation within the company, HR will bring the human element to play in terms of: who will monitor the new systems? What can be done with employees in obsolete roles? What are the legal parameters around employee jobs that are eliminated? How can job satisfaction be increased in modified roles? 

HR also assists in improving corporate performance by identifying gaps and opportunities within the talent pool that improve efficiency and effectiveness. While every manager should know that people solve problems and their ideas matter, not every manager applies this approach. HR works with managers to help tease out these beneficial solutions to ensure the company gains the positives that only valued employees can deliver.  

Conclusion 

It's time to look at HR through a different lens. There is a great amount of practical value that is often overlooked. Both HR courses and experience lead these professionals to take an organization further because of their strengths.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog

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