Do companies need an HR department?

Do companies need an HR department?

Do companies need an HR department?

The Human resources department is crucial for large conglomerates and small businesses alike. They aid in enhancing personnel function and are helpful in many roles other than handling the open enrolment season and processing the payroll for the companies employs. They play an important role in handling the employee-cantered activities in the company and takes the greatest role in developing a company’s strategy. This article will therefore seek to explain the importance of having a HR department in any company.

However, there are those of the opinion that organizations no longer need the Human Resource Department. Sims, (2002), says that there is absolutely no need to have department that calls people ‘resources’ instead of employees. They are people and deserve their dignity since they play a major role in the organization’s welfare. He says that it is a high time the department called it a day. This is because portray themselves as a valued business partner for the staff and the management. He says that the department seems to forget that the employees are the ones who matter most in a company. They are nothing without the right employees. To put the blame on the human resources department, he says that he has never had an employee stand with the opinion that they should be called ‘human resources’ not a single one. He claims that it is wrong from the word go since it signals that the department manages ‘human resources’ in a top-down fashion (Sims, 2012). Meaning that they tend to manage employees in a similar manner as they do to other resources ranging from property, finance or machines.

What Sims (2012) fails to acknowledge is that an organization cannot succeed without the services of the HR department. It is the department that deals with the Human Capital Value and budget control. It is always important to have an in-house human resources function. This is meant to increase the understanding on how crucial human capital is to an organization. It is important for a company’s the case of a small business, human capital is very critical since many employees in these businesses are expected to perform cross-functional duties. Therefore, if a single person would leave, with such a small workforce, the business would be left with quite a huge gap to fill. This would potentially cause a huge threat to the company’s production and income alike. The department is also required to control and manage the company’s budget.  They are responsible for curbing excessive spending. They do this through developing methods that aim at reducing the workforce management costs (Condrey, 2010). They negotiate for better rates in benefits like the health care coverage and others. additionally, the HR makes sure that there is competitive and realistic wage-setting that is based on salary analysis based on job functions, the labour market as well as the employment trends (Deb, 2009). Since majority of the small business have budget constraints, the HR department is highly required and the business cannot successfully go without one.


Others like Chandramohan (2011) say that there is no need for a HR department since they tend to serve two masters at a time. He says that they one hand try to provide support for the employees while on the other, they serve the senior management’s role of monitoring, managing, disciplining and appraising their employees. This bring a conflict of interest that, most of the time, causes friction between the employees and the company. They always seem to be biased towards the organization’s side, rather than supporting the employees. In my own opinion, judging the HR department for playing the role of the senior management and the company is quite wrong. They serve as leaders in the companies and therefore have to be keen on what the interest of the company is. They in turn help in solving workplace conflict that is, most of the time, inevitable. This happens since companies employ diverse personalities whose backgrounds, work styles and levels of experience vary from one employee to the other. The HR has a good training in handling employee’s cases with the management in a reasonable way. This helps in maintaining and restoring a positive working relationship in the organization.

They as well ensure that the needs of the organization are met through having adequate workforce and skills. In case of a deficit, they ensure the gap is sealed through hiring additional employees. The department might as well decide to train some of the employees depending on the cost of hiring compared to the cost of training the existing employees. This is necessary in improving the productivity of the company and thus having higher profits. Small and big businesses at the growth phase tend to reap more from identifying training needs for existing employees (Connolly, 2010). It’s much less costly that hiring additional employees since it will always be expensive to hire a qualified candidate in any given area of production. additionally, this is a strategy that reduces the employee turnover and in turn improves employee retention (Connolly, 2010).

Another reasons that makes people and companies want to scrub the role of the HR in the business is the need for flat management structures and the urge to get more accountability for employees. There are those who say that the HR department claims dominion over everything in the business. This includes hiring and firing employees as well as maintaining the workplace diversity. All this, according to them, stifles innovation and tends to bog down organizations with processes and policies that are not efficient. At the same time, they recommend the use of computers and information technology to efficiently perform the role of the HR. this includes preparing payrolls and performing administrative duties (Connolly, 2010).  According to Niehaus & Price, (2008) there is a feeling of absence in the in-house HR staff acutely. This is felt when the HR responsibilities are simplified too bread-and-butter but again not done accordingly. Such responsibilities include resolving pay problems and mediating employee disputes. Some companies have even started working out the glitches as they proceed.

But this is does not guarantee employee or customer satisfaction. It is arguably a bad idea to not have a HR department in a company and have the roles done by other employees. This is because Human resources specialists are usually trained to evaluate and determine the level of employee satisfaction. An ambiguous measurement is always at best (Connolly, 2010). The HR determines what underlies customer or employee dissatisfaction using different methods that include conducting employee surveys, initiating focus groups and conducting exit interview strategies. This enables them to, effectively, address the underlying issues in the aim of motivating the employees.

Having a HR is also one of the most cost saving strategy that a company can boast about. Reason being that the cost of hiring new workers can be somehow exorbitant for the employers. This mostly affects small businesses. But with the help of a HR, the recruitment and selection process becomes easier and efficient since a human resource manager have been trained to conduct well-constructed hiring processes. The HR function can therefore effectively minimize the advertising expenses for a job vacancy and in training new employees as well.


Although some authors such as Deb (2009) might have some facts that might seemingly seem to be true, he is somehow wrong according to me.  His claim that he has had a difficult time understanding how a person by the name of a Human resource manager who is probably a state or two states away can solve an employee’s problem. He claims that these persons tend to be paid for doing absolutely nothing more than siting in their offices. He quotes the Employees Journal that states that many of them earn a median annualized wage of more than $51,000 (Connolly, 2010)

But his claims seem to be biased, since not all human resource managers fail in their duties, many of them are effective in ensuring conflict management through other means like sending representatives, they also ensure Performance Improvement in their companies. They Without the, employees could end up in roles that do not suit their skills and expertise. Additionally, they help eliminate the possibility of ghost workers and those whose performance tend to fall below the employer’s expectations. The HR as well plays the role of carrying the Corporate Image. As much as a business might want to be considered as the “employer of choice,” the HR is the most recognizable figure in the company. They are the one who make the company have a reputation through treating their employees well. they balance the employees through recruitment of the most qualified applicants, and retaining the most talented employees (Connolly, 2010).

I would therefore recommend that each company maintain a popover attitude towards the HR department since they need qualified personnel to ensure the business finds, recruits, retains and develops its employees.  If need be I would therefore recommend that we do not call them HR but rather a people support team or a people analytics’ team. This would serve to eliminate the negative attitude some people have towards the HR.

Reference list

SIMS, R. R. (2002). Organizational success through effective human resources management. Westport, Ct, Quorum Books.

CONDREY, S. E. (2010). Handbook of Human Resource Management in Government. New York, NY, John Wiley & Sons.

DEB, T. (2009). Managing human resources & industrial relations. New Delhi, Excel Books.

CHANDRAMOHAN, A. (2011) Human resource management., Aph Publishing Corporatio.

CONNOLLY, H. (2010). Renewal in the French trade union movement: a grassroots perspective. Oxford, Peter Lang

NIEHAUS, R. J., & PRICE, K. F. (2008). Creating the Competitive Edge through Human Resource Applications. Boston, MA, Springer US.