[25+] Key HR Roles and Responsibilities: The Ultimate guide

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HR roles and responsiblities involve managing the entire employee lifecycle from hire to retire. Human resource is the management functioning department in the organization. It coordinates the activities of all the other departments like finance, purchasing and logistics. None of the business units can perform successfully without the human resource department. In this article, I’ve defined key HR roles and responsibilities that every HR should know of if you seek the role. I will take you through:

What is the Human Resources department?

The human resources department manages the operation of the business. The aim of the department is to finding, selecting, and hiring employees. After the hiring process, the department provides training about the company to the employees. Moreover, the human resource department takes care of the employees in terms of recognition, benefits, and many more. 
Wondering what are the roles and responsibilities of an HR? An HR is at the heart of the organization because people are the engine.
In the next few sections we have outlines 25+ key HR roles and responsibilities.

Suggested Read: Types of Employment Contracts 

How important are HR roles and responsibilities in enterprises?

Human resources play an important role in supporting, developing, and making a friendly culture in the workplace. They take care of recruiting and onboarding candidates, training and development, performance management, payroll, and much more. It brings all the essential values that create a friendly culture in a company. The only aim it carries is to make the organizational process easy and productive. 

Also read- Applicant Tracking System: The Ultimate Guide to Smart Hiring 

What is the Ulrich Model of HR Responsiblities?

The Ulrich model of HR duties was developed by Dave Ulrich in 1996. He published this theory in his book: Human Resource Champions. Under this theory there are 4 main HR duties:

Strategic Partner

HR works closely with CXOs to devise and align strategy. Thereafter, HR implements strategy with a focus on measurable business results. The modern HR Management (HRM) practices of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) fall under this bucket.

Change Agent

In the age of business transformation an HR is required to be the face of change in the organization. An HR should lead and coordinate any large change management initiative such as mergers and reorganizations.

Administrative Expert

The original role of HR in an orgainzation was that of the chief administrative officer. Thus an HR is supposed to manage the overall administration such as office expenses, etc. Read how to reduce costs for startups.

Employee Champion

Human resources’ primarly role is to champion the cause of the employees.

Also Read: What is Fractional HR? Know Why Your Business Needs This!

25 Key HR Roles and Responsibilities

Over time, the HR duties have evolved beyond what mentioned in the Ulrich Model.  I’ve researched a few companies where they have a really soft culture and that enhances the productivity of the business with higher profits. If you are applying for the post of HR, I’ll introduce you to the responsibilities that you need to cater to.

1. Recruitment of candidates

Hiring a candidate is the most basic and very first thing that is followed by HR. Recruitment of candidates is a complex and expensive process, but it brings joy to meet new talents and give a quality check on their skills. It is one of the key HR responsibilities to establish a recruitment procedure. The process comprises identifying the company’s needs and selecting needs based on the criteria. The right candidate can boost the morale of the entire company. If you are handling these responsibilities, you must have a thorough market analysis before you start the process of recruitment.

2. Hiring the right employees for the right jobs

I believe that the right employee can do wonders for the company. The job of the human resource department is to look after the recruitment process. It starts with posting advertisements for the job on the job-search platforms. So, when applications are submitted, the human resources department screens the application and selects suitable candidates. Also, improving employer reputation is key to attracting the best candidates.

3. Processing company payroll

An individual has to calculate the tax deducted, additions made to the gross salary, and many more. Also, the HR executive has to calculate the appraisals and bonuses added to the gross pay of an employee. The Human Resources team needs to look after the company’s payroll activities to keep the records transparent.

4. Conduct disciplinary actions

It is said that if you want to become successful, then you need to be disciplined in the routine. So does, if you want to run a good company with a smooth workflow, then discipline is the very first aspect that needs to be followed by everyone. The human resource manager has to maintain discipline in the company. Sometimes disciplinary actions are necessary on the premises or else the employee does not suit the work. The HR manager may dismiss the employee for the company’s good and welfare.

5. Designing and updating existing company policies

The concept of rules and regulation has to be carried out if you need productive results in the company. If you are applying for the role of HR, you need to keep updating the existing policies of the company as the primary responsibility of HR. Sometimes the policies don’t work out because of the improper behaviour of the employees. If a particular policy is not followed or it is complex, then the HR personnel need to update the policies and rules to make them suitable for company operations. HR needs to have a consistent check and analyze which plans are working and how many people are following the norms.

6. Maintaining employee records

As there are many people working in the company, the HR team needs to keep a record of every employee. The role of HR involves mainataining a Human Resource Information System (HRIS). Employee records are the only source of information to get the history of the employee. It helps in knowing the potential skill gaps of the employees. The record has the personal details of the employees, including their family contact numbers. Even if the employee has left the company, a wise organization always has the records maintained in the drive. 

7. Conduct Analysis of Employee Benefits

As every employee wants benefits, a wise company must plan for good benefits for employees. It builds the trust of the employee towards the company. In most cases, companies offer small pay but high benefits. A skilled employee may decide to join a company although the pay is low. This is because he is more attracted by the benefits provided. The benefits could be in various forms, like medical insurance, home loan facilities, and many more.

8. Arranging training and development of new employees

In the starting days of employees, HR needs to provide training and development programs for employees to understand the flow of the organization. It is important to make them aware of the environment, management, and operational process. This helps employees to get an overview of the organization, meet colleagues and understand their importance in the organization.

9. Conducting Job Analysis and Designing

The HR manager needs to provide a title to the employees according to the departmental requirements. It is the duty of HR to design jobs that refer to the points which are mentioned in the job description. The HR manager needs to design the job according to the skills and potential of the employee. The job analysis process involves concepts like job description, employee roles, and many more. 

10. Monitoring employee performance

Analyzing employee performance is very important to check the progress of the employees, starting from joining. The progress is analyzed on the previous work by the employees. If there are any gaps in the work process and the actual work done, the deviation can be reduced. This also helps employees to grow in the company and get a promotion or appraisal.

Goals, OKRs, Performance Management - How to Use

11. Maintaining work culture

One of the major roles and responsibilities of HR is to maintain a good work culture. A company’s culture is important for employee growth as it levels the involvement and dedication of the employee’s workplace. The company should follow a mission and work according to the objectives stated in the mission statement. A company must have a playful culture that helps employees to learn, work and have fun all at the same place.

12. Resolving internal conflicts among employees

I believe that the manager is the peacemaker. They need to hear the objections of both parties and go to the root of the matter. An individual needs to understand the situation and come up with a fruitful solution that brings a helping environment to work. The Manager needs to question the employees. 

13. Keeping good health and safety of employees

I believe that employees are an asset to the company. Looking after their health, safety and welfare is important. The employees need the firm support and friendship of the human resource. An HR must enquire about the health and well-being of the employees. There are various reasons that HR needs to take care of. Arranging for transportation facilities for the female employees is necessary. Additionally, it is important that the female employees reach home safely during the night shifts. Also, HR needs to make sure that there are no such weird activities happening on the premises that cause harm to the company.

14. Disbursing rewards and incentives

Employees contribute their work dedicatedly towards the company to get good recognition. The employees need to be on top of every activity they perform to get benefits from the company. The manager must recognize their efforts and appreciate them in every course of action they perform, which makes the company strong. They are responsible for appreciating annual awards. These special incentives can be monetary and non-monetary. The rewards where money is involved reflect in raises in salary and bonuses. The rewards where growth is involved reflect as a promotion.

15. Setting rules for employee promotion

For employee promotion, HR needs to plan a target for the employees. The HR manager has to organize all paperwork that is necessary for employee promotion. In fact, the HR needs to have a dedicated plan where the employees will be instructed about the targets to get rewards or promotions in the respective departments. For example, if an employee has performed excellently in his work and is giving a good profit to the company, then the employee must be surprised with the promotion. Further, the higher-level employees decide to promote the employee to a higher level, involving more responsibility and perks after analyzing the performance graph of the employee.

16. Sharing information with employees

One of the HR duties is to share company information with employees. The employees must know about the changes in company policy, key company news, etc in order to perform well. This makes the employees happy and increases dedication to give the best work. They will think that the management recognizes their importance, their opinion, and their worth in the organization.

17. Conducting survey management

Surveys give out vital information. At times, employees may be shy. They may be afraid to share their opinion in public forms. It also helps in maintaining the feedback mechanism of the organization. An important HR work is to conduct survey management where they ask employees to fill out circulars and forms. 

18. Managing business partnerships

The Manager is the face of the company. The HR Department handles all strategic partnerships. HR Manager represents the company in the public forum. When meetings and conferences are held regarding business mergers and acquisitions, the HR department represents the company.  

19. Human resource technology management

HR technology is a scientific term that makes human resources function automatic. This is a particular software that manages all human resource functions, including employee payroll, employee benefits and rewards, and administration functions. There are many organizations that are operating most of the human resource work through different HRM software. This helps them make the workflow smooth and automated. You can also get all the records handy through the software.

20. Investigating internal complaints

As there are several people working in the organization, there have to be some conflicts between the employees. I’ve also seen a lot of internal politics and domestic crimes happening in the organization. In case of any issue between the employees or employees and management, the Human Resources team is the one who is responsible for taking the responsibility and resolve it. However, it is important to keep the employees friendly at the workplace.

21. External employee problem solving

Nowadays, as organizations are used to working from home culture, there are several problems or challenges that come across for the employees. As it is HR’s responsibility to resolve the issues and make the process smoother. 

22.Employee Engagement

This plays an important role in arranging a minor event in the workplace. HR has to be creative in thinking about innovative activities to refresh the mind of employees working and enhance their productivity at work. 

23. Employment relations

It is important to get to know people who are working with you. I believe in communication that brings out innovative ideas and good plans to accomplish targets. It is HR’s responsibility to conduct some activities that bring a good interaction between employees with different departments. 

If you want to pursue HR at a higher level, it is necessary to know employment laws as other divisions HR takes part in daily. If you are writing contracts or implementing new policies, it is HR’s job to ensure the organization is following the norms and processes. Further, in case anyone stands against the policies, you should have wonderful knowledge to let a person educate with the right knowledge.

25. Future HR roles and responsiblities

Check out this blog on new HR responsibilities that might be needed in the future. An HR leader needs to define policies, such as

Finally, this means knowing about HR and Payroll compliances such as Professional Tax, Labour Welfare Fund, TDS, Employee State Insurance, etc.


Job Descriptions for HR roles and responsibilities



The Human Resource Management (HRM) department in any country is composed of HRP (Human Resource Personnel). An individual needs to perform several HR roles and responsibilities. Here I’ve summarised some best job descriptions and different roles in HR that bring a detailed understanding of their respective job titles.

1. CHRO responsiblities

High-Level Overview

CHRO is the HR Leader of an organization. He/She performs all the coordinating and decision-making functions of the HR Department.

Sample Job Description

  • Design a core HR System.

  • Looking after the Employee support mechanism

  • Leading the HR team through the communication of orders and decisions

Key responsibilities 

  • Providing employee support for career growth

  • Ensuring training and compliance mechanisms

  • Looking after the recruitment and onboarding of employees

Key background and experience

CHRO should have a strong Human Resources Background. It would help if he has prior experience in managing Human Resource teams. CHRO’s currently use Chatbot Communications for clarity.

2. HR Director

High-Level Overview

The candidate looks after the day-to-day running of the HR department. He/She implements the strategies announced by the CHRO. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Works in coordination with CHRO.

  • Implements the strategies adopted and vision of the company

  • Manage the requirements of the HR Department

Key responsibilities 

  • Overseeing HR Operations

  • Presiding over employee recruitment and compensation

  • Executes strategies on behalf of CHRO

Key background and experience

The HR Director should have a strong background in HRM. He/She should have prior experience working at the administrative level.


3. HR Manager duties

High-Level Overview

A responsible person forms his HR Team. He/She works in compliance with the decisions of the HR director. He/She looks after the day-to-day functions of Human Resource Management. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Creating a team of HR Professionals.

  • Looking after the day-to-day functions of management

  • Coordinating with the decisions of the HR Director

Key responsibilities 

  • Guiding the HR Team

  • Enabling the Execution of HR Strategies

  • Looking after the welfare of the employees working in the organization

Key background and experience

The responsible person must have educational experience and prior background in HRM. It helps if a manager has a good amount of experience. At times, they are groomed internally to fill the position. 


4. HR Coordinators work

High-Level Overview

Human Resources coordinators are the representatives that coordinate with the HR department and facilitate all HR functions. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Answering employee requests and questions.

  • Coordinate and delegate the task to the person of the team

  • Update and keep employee records in check

  • Assisting in the recruitment and interview processes

  • Help supervisors in assessing employee engagement and evaluation

Key responsibilities 

  • Responsible for analyzing training needs, developing training curriculum, and delivering training courses

  • Administering various employee benefits programs, such as group insurance, long-term disability, pensions, and profit-sharing

  • Maintain the HR team’s calendar (schedule meetings, interviews, HR events, etc.)

  • Create and submit reports to senior management

Key background and experience

  • MA in Business Administration or similar relevant field

  • Any additional training and certification in Human Resource Management will be considered an advantage


5. Business Partner HR duties

High-Level Overview

A candidate needs to act as a link between the business managers and the HR Management.  

Sample Job Description 

  • Acts as a business link.

  • Serves as a representative of the Business Organization

  • Builds up the reputation of the business

Key responsibilities 

  • Growing the business locally

  • Managing HR Business Operations

  • Assist the local authority working in the market

Key background and experience

A candidate should have adequate knowledge of management principles. They should have prior experience of working in the same capacity as large business organizations. 


6. People Data Analyst/Scientist

High-Level Overview

The People Data Analyst/Scientist manages Human Resource Analytics

Sample Job Description 

  • Building Records of the Employee.

  • Tracking Employee Performance

  • Analyzing the Data got from Employee work performance

  • Helps define the future of HR

Key responsibilities 

  • Helps define analytics strategy

  • Interpreting the data sets

  • Provide inputs to senior HR Leadership

Key background and experience

The person working as a People Data Analyst/Scientist should have a strong statistical background. He/She should have prior experience in maintaining large-scale employee records. 


7. HRIS Director

High-Level Overview

The HRIS Director manages HR information system for the HR Department. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Works in coordination with the HR Director and CHRO

  • Optimize the features of the HR Support System

  • Looks after the functions of the HR Department

Key responsibilities 

  • Runs the HRIS Team

  • Working in coordination with HR Director and CHRO

  • Putting the system software to the best use

Key background and experience

A candidate must know about the functioning of HR Support Systems. He/She should be good with data handling as well. 


8. HRIS Administrators

High-Level Overview

The HRIS Administrators manage the day-to-day functioning of the HRIS system. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Operating HRIS System.

  • Implementing the orders of HRIS Director

  • Working on the company database

Key responsibilities 

  • Tracking workflow for the organization

  • Maintaining data programming

  • Updating data analysis systems

Key background and experience

The HRIS Administrator should have worked in the data collaboration department. 


9. Recruiting Coordinator

High-Level Overview

Professionals should have a good understanding of full-cycle recruiting

 Sample Job Description 

  • Designing and implementing an overall recruiting strategy

  • Consulting with managers to discover specific job objectives

Key responsibilities 

  • Contact new employees and prepare onboarding sessions

  • Maintain a complete record of interviews and new hires

  • Stay up-to-date with current recruiting methods

  • Attend job fairs and career events

Key background and experience

BSc degree in Human Resources Management, Organizational Psychology or relevant field

11. Head Compensation and Benefits

High-Level Overview

A candidate who can be a leader, strategic thinker, effective people manager and problem-solver. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Collaborate with the management team to craft the company’s vision and mission.

  • Develop strategic HR plans and policies 

  • Hire, guide and evaluate the work of HR executives

  • Act on initiatives for equal opportunity, diversity, etc.

Key responsibilities 

  • Assume responsibility for labor and employee relations

  • Re-engineer processes to ensure maximum efficiency

  • Ensure all procedures comply with legal regulations and best practices

  • Analyze the effectiveness of HR operations and policies

  • Prepare reports for the CEO using business metrics and KPI

Key background and experience

BSc/BA in business, HR, social sciences or related field; MSc/MA/MBA is preferable

12. Chief Diversity Officer

High-Level Overview

Understanding external trends and improving your brand and workforce. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Research on diversity issues and create programs, training and values.

  • Supporting and guiding the recruitment team to help create a brand that appeals to diverse applicants and removes bias

Key responsibilities: 

  • Creating and running training sessions

  • Having an awareness of people’s difficulties and helping them overcome

  • Being a strong communicator and leader and having interpersonal skills 

  • Having an awareness of cultural issues

Key background and experience

BSc/BA in business, HR, social sciences or related field; MSc/MA/MBA is preferable

13. Vice President HR

High-Level Overview

A candidate should understand external trends and can transfer these to your company to improve your brand and diversity. The workforce is key. 

Sample Job Description 

  • Defend the organization from inquiries by Unions and Lawyers.

  • Effectively structure benefits programs to attract and keep top talent

  • Work with technical teams to design, integrate and implement human resources software systems for better efficiency

Key responsibilities 

  • Create and deliver briefings to executives

  • Oversee an organization’s recruitment, interview, selection, and hiring processes

  • Plan employee benefits, payroll, health and safety programs

  • Monitor the implementation of human resource processes

  • Adhere to all internal policies and legal standards.

Key background and experience

Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification (SPHR) will be an advantage

What are the HR roles and responsibilities in startups?

A startup HR person is typically a one man (or woman) army. They need to handle administration, recruitment, policy making and so on. Read how and when to hire your first HR and how to prepare for your startup HR Head job interview. I’ve outlined below the key HR duties for a startup:

Recruitment and talent acquisition

The major role of a startup HR person is typically recruitment. A startup needs to grow fast or it will die. Thus first HR hire in a startup has a critical responsiblity to attract the best candidates.

Ensure a smooth administration

As a single person HR department in a startup, an HR person is responsible for overall company administration. Typical duties include office expense management, some part of finance reconciliations, etc.

Create and maintain HR Policies

The first HR person has to create company policies such as attendance policy, leave policy, etc. She has to think in a structured way on how the work week will be structured, how many different types of leaves are and ensure employee adoption.

Implement a highly rated HR Tech software

The startup HR needs to be the agent of change and license a good Cloud HR Software for their startup. Ideally the HR software needs to fit the requirements of the startup. For example, if it’s a tech startup in which the tech employees use tools such as slack – the HR software needs to integrate readily with them. Additionally she needs to select an easy to use tool that can automate the HR processes and lead to reduction in employee turnover. The HR software should also help the startup HR derive key insights on her startup employees for their management. Since there are no backups in the startup HR department, it’s important to choose a highly rated software. Examples of highly rated software include Asanify was which was recently rated by Gartner (Capterra) as the highest rated Payroll software in India.

What are the HR roles and responsibilities in manufacturing industry?

The manufacturing industry is characterised by employees who may not be very tech savvy. Additionally, most manufacturing industries may have strict health and safety regulations. Thus a manufacturing company HR Department needs to ensure that organization’s policies are adhered to properly because of risk of severe fines for non-compliance. The typical responsiblities of HRD in manufacturing include the following:

Recruitment of both skilled and unskilled labour

A manufacturing setup needs to hire some office administrative staff but most of the hires are factory workers. A factory worker may be unskilled in many cases so the entire taent acquisition process needs to be catered towards efficient channels. Whatsapp based recruitment options are known to work well for these cases.

Onboarding new joinees

Given the diversity of employee skills, the manufacturing industry HR role involves onboarding new joinees in different ways. 

Develop training and learning plans

One of the key manufacturing HR roles and responsiblities involves training the unskilled labour. It is a critical requirement as ability to operate machinery and follow protocol effectively has a direct bearing on company profitability.

Organization structuring to ensure maximum productivity

Speaking of productivity – the HR Department needs to create the right organization structure to ensure a transparent flow of information across departments.

Manage Business Transformation and change management initiatives

In a fast changing world, new technologies and global competiton make any existing structure redundant very soon. Thus a key HR duty is to lead any business transformation exercise to ensure the manufacturing company gears up to face the latest industry trends.

Maintain peaceful industrial and labour relations

Many manufacturing industries are unionized across the world. Thus maintaining peaceful labour relations is critical to ensure harmony and ongoing company operations.

Benchmark Compensation and Benefits to ensure fairness

A key HR role is to benchmark role specific compensation and benefits since there are frequently labour shortages for specialized skillsets.

Run payroll to ensure statutory compliances

The manufacturing industry HR department needs to ensure all payroll statutory compliances are adhered to. Typical compliances include PF, ESI, PT, Labour Welfare Fund and Income Tax. A good payroll software can help automate the entire payroll process. Start free trial now.

Attendance Tracking and LOP in Payroll - Brief Introduction

Ensure employee adoption of HR-Tech

The HR department in any manufacturing sector needs access to data in order to comply with various reporting requirements. Typical data includes not only employee core information such as date of joining, date of birth, etc. but also attendance and leave information. This data will only be available at scale by adopting a modern HR Tech software integrated with biometric machines. In a global first innovation, Asanify has actually made the attendance and leave process even simpler by directly integrating with Whatsapp.

Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

In a global environment, HR needs to ensure that industry standards of diversity equity and inclusion are met.

How do the HR roles and responsibilities help support employees?

I believe the human resource department is the only one that can support employees and design a well-structured pattern to manage the internal operations. As discussed so far in the article, being an HR is not an easy job. A lot of entrepreneur fails because of bad moves over management. If you are an organizer then you should have 100% clarity about how you are going to manage the work. In fact, managing people is a job you’ve to be smart in it. Here’s a helpful guide on how to spend the first 90 days for a new HR leader If you are looking to hire a new HR leader, you might want to check out this guide: How and when to hire your first HR. Here are some ways in which HR is responsible for supporting employees:
  • Providing Career Growth

The primary job of HR is to support the career growth of the employees. It should help the employee learn new skills. The HR department must nurture the talents and potential of the employee. It must make the employee self-confident. Learning new skills will make the employee look forward to better career prospects. 
  • Offering Continuing Education Opportunities

The HR department must allow the employees to grow. The department can offer the employees to learn. Conducting on-the-job training can help employees learn new skills. The HR Department must hold seminars. The eminent speakers speak in seminars the employees gain knowledge. 
  • Training and Supporting Managers

It is the responsibility of the HR Department to groom the employees for better productivity. In the future, the executives can become managers and handle their own HR Teams. The experience says that the continuous training and development programs help the HR department grow. 
  • Supporting Health and Wellness

It is the responsibility of the HR department to take care of the health and well-being of the employees. The manager must enquire about the employees’ health. They must introduce measures like health insurance and medical benefits to look after the needs of the employee. 

Summary of HR Roles and Responsibilities

Human resources help to organize and streamline the working process. It is responsible for coordinating all business functions. All the other departments will become lifeless without the application of human labour. I hope you must have gained a lot of helpful information on the HR responsibilities and roles. If you have any concerns on the related topic, I would request you to drop a question in the comment section. 


What are the key functions of HR?

HR functions include Recruitment, Compensation and Benefits, Business Partner, Learning and Development, Labour Relations and many more. Each of these functions have a separate set of HR roles and responsibilities. 
What are three major challenges faced by HR Departments?

Embracing Change – Managing a Diverse Workforce – Encouraging a culture of Growth

Which two people were crucial behind the discovery of the term ‘Human Resource Management?

Robert Owen (1771-1858) and Charles Babbage (1791-1871).

Not to be considered as tax, legal, financial or HR advice. Regulations change over time so please consult a lawyer, accountant  or Labour Law  expert for specific guidance.