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Dutchess_III's avatar

What is the MAIN purpose of an HR department?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42454points) January 14th, 2015

Is it to protect employees, or to keep the company from being legally liable? Which of these two is the MAIN purpose of HR?

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20 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Neither is the main purpose. The main purpose is administrative. But setting policies and procedures to reduce the chances of legal liability is an important function.

Whenever we get a “training session” on sexual harassment or other discrimination, they seem to be worded as “don’t do this because we can get sued and expose the company to a lawsuit; oh, and it’s wrong, too.”

LuckyGuy's avatar

I thought it was to supply the organization with talented employees while keeping expenses to budget so the company can profit and grow. .

Strauss's avatar

They used to call it the “personnel” department. In recent decades most organizations have moved to call it what it is: the management of ”resources” that happen to be ”human”.

ibstubro's avatar

The HR department serves as the clearing house for company gossip.
They admonish the employees to mind their own business while quietly disseminating even the most ridiculous, unbelievable rumors.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ibstubro You got that right. I used to work for a large company. A looong time ago… well beyond the statute of limitations and before AIDS was invented… one of the women who worked in the personnel department was responsible for medical reimbursements. She privately kept a list of all the guys that had vasectomies. She distributed the list to the other single ladies.
I found out about it because one of the ladies approached me.
Can you imagine that today?!?!? Prison!

Lightlyseared's avatar

The main purpose is to make sure the company has the people it needs to operate. No workers means no work gets done.

chinchin31's avatar

To know everyone’s business and also when you make a complaint about senior management to try to turn it around as much as possible and say it was your fault they were rude to you.

Speaking from experience.

The best HR members are those that are skilled at making up all kinds of rules about having a respectful workplace but never actually putting them into practice.

HR = how the company covers it’s ass from lawsuits :) hahah

Lightlyseared's avatar

@LuckyGuy I’m curious. We’re the single ladies after men who’d had vasectomies or men that hadn’t?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Lightlyseared Guys who had vasectomies were preferred. They knew we were safe and cared about women’s reproductive rights. There was no need for the woman to take the pill or use protection.
Like I said, this was before AIDS and scary stuff.

I felt so… so… hmmm..what’s the word I’m looking for…? “violated” Yeah that’s it. ;-) .

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Dutchess_III But I got over it very quickly. Very quickly!

Now I belong to the no prostate club. No mess!
(And no refractory period!)

dappled_leaves's avatar

@LuckyGuy “Guys who had vasectomies were preferred. They knew we were safe and cared about women’s reproductive rights. ”

Fuck yeah. Nothing sexier than a man with a vasectomy.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

OMG! @LuckyGuy, yes indeed, imagine if someone did that now. Wow. Good for your sex life I hope but wow :D Doing her bit for women’s health, one pregnancy free bonk at a time.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, HR is the moat around upper management. You need to take all your grudges, concerns, suggestions and health problems to them.

That way, should it get to the point that upper management, becomes involved – by the time they “hear you out” – the foregone conclusion has been made and they’re just letting you tell your side to make you feel like everything has been done openly and transparently.

I was fired by the new little HR boy after 20 years manual labor. 3 months short of retirement. Guess what? Corporate changed my status to “lack of work” for 3 months, gave me hull retirement benefits and declined to contest 1½ years of unemployment benefits.

Lackeys to upper management is the MAIN function of HR.

wsxwh111's avatar

I’m still in school, but personally speaking I think the purpose of HR and all the other jobs mainly focusing on management is to help people become more positive/passionate/motivated about what they work for.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Actually, HR is there to protect the business backside legally. Helping the employees is a distant second.

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