The 3 Major Roles in Human Resources (2023)

The 3 Major Roles in Human Resources (1)

HR Technology Talent Management

3 minutes Read | Published December 3, 2020 | Regina Ongkiko

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The three major roles in human resources are; administrative, change management, and people management. Administrative tasks include hiring and monitoring of employees, managing payroll and benefits, and development of policies and guidelines.

Meanwhile, change management tasks pertain to the HR professional’s role in maintaining organizational culture, execution of any major changes as companies move forward, and assisting employees to adapt to the new environment.

People management, on the other hand, refers to how HR personnel can contribute to employee development, conflict resolution, and even employee motivation and engagement.

So what exactly is the definition of Human Resources?

Coined in the 1960s,the term “human resources” was first used when the importance of labor relations came to light. The term was then used to refer to the management of employees in a company.

It can pertain to the employees themselves as literally the human resources of a company. However, the term ‘Human Resources’ or HR is most often used to pertain to a critical department in any business.

The HR department’s tasks usually include the creation and implementation of programs that allow employees to be more effective members in an organization. Human Resources also involves addressing concerns of employees with regards to payroll, benefits, and policies. Aside from being in charge of recruitment of talent, the Human Resources managers are also the lead when it comes to employees’ career growth in an organization.

How has Human Resources evolved through time?

Traditionally, HR personnel were focused on administrative tasks such as hiring, payroll, policy formulations, and other necessary paperwork. However, today’s business landscape has a much greater need for HR professionals who also contribute to strategic management and organizational development.

The HR team has evolved to be responsible for the bigger picture. They ensure that the employees fit perfectly into the mission and vision of the company. Though the administrative tasks are still highly relevant, the HR management team is also in charge of making sure that employees stay engaged, motivated, and content so that they are able to be more productive, thus contributing more to the organization.

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Here’s a quick rundown of the expected tasks and output of HR managers according to their three major roles. The roles progress from relating to employees at the individual level up to managing the employees at the company level.


  • Recruitment, hiring, and on-boarding
  • Payroll and compensation
  • Organizational structure maintenance and monitoring
  • Formulation of policies and job descriptions
  • Performance appraisal

Change management

  • Ensuring that each employee understands the mission, vision, objectives and visualizes their role in the reorganized company
  • Looking out proactively for areas, processes, and systems that need change
  • Guides employees whenever there are new policies or systems and ensures that all transitions or movements are smooth

People management

  • Gathering and analyzing constant feedback from employees
  • Conflict management and resolution
  • Matches organizational development opportunities to employees
  • Ensures that employees are not stagnant and that they have learning opportunities
  • Formulates additional skills training for employees

Why do Human Resources departments need to exercise those three major roles today?

The past years have produced some important research on the importance and relationship of employee engagement to the productivity of a business as well as its bottom line.

It has come to the attention of top industry players that the role of a Human Resources manager should no longer be confined to recruiting adept employees and managing their payroll among other administrative tasks.

Thus, there is a movement for the Human Resources managers to focus on the “human” aspect. Employees are the most valuable resource of any business after all. And the role of HR manager should fully embrace how the labor force can effectively bring the organization to greater heights.

As a result, HR departments need to adapt and be flexible as more and more global businesses are starting to zero in on how they can effectively maximize the potential of their human resources.

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