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Human Resources (or HR), is the department behind your paychecks, employee hiring, employee training and development, and keeping employees. HR is the backbone of a company, and that is a fact that most executives and employees do not realize. Human Resources is the management and sustainability of employees – a company’s greatest asset. So what is the point of HR?

In 2019, a payroll organization, Paychex, conducted a survey of over 1000 employees by asking these employees what they think HR does and how they feel about HR. They also asked 100 HR employees the same questions. They asked:

What do HR departments do?

Do they do it well?

What are your biggest complaints about the HR department?

What areas do you think can be improved?

The breakdown of what employees expect HR to do versus the tasks HR pros actually say they do:

  • 79% of employees expect HR to handle employee disputes (70% of HR pros said they handle this)
  • 76% of employees expect HR to deal with racism, sexism and workplace safety issues (cited by 72% of HR pros)
  • 68% of employees think HR manages employee benefits (vs. 61% of HR pros)
  • 55% think HR processes payroll (56% of HR does this)
  • 54% of workers expect HR to recruit new employees (67% of HR pros do this)
  • 46% of employees think HR interviews talent (67% of HR pros)
  • 45% of workers expect HR to track sick and personal days (58% actually do this)
  • 33% of employees think HR approves vacation time (44% do this), and
  • Just 29% of employees think HR trains employees (61% of HR pros actually handle this task).

Where improvement is needed:

The study also highlighted employees’ top complaints about their HR departments’ performance. Employees take issue with how HR:

  • Handles employee disputes (cited by 24% of employees)
  • Deals with racism, sexism and workplace safety issues (16%)
  • Recruits new employees (15%)
  • Trains employees (14%)
  • Interviews talent (12%)
  • Manages employee benefits (10%)
  • Approves vacation (8%)
  • Tracks sick and personal days (7%), and
  • Processes payroll (7%).

In conclusion, HR handles over 20 different categories of tasks! That is a lot of tasks to leave to management with little-to-no HR background and who may not have the adequate time. Hiring an HR consultant and/or outsourcing your HR allows your employees and management team to thrive in their responsibilities, as well as supports the most important asset you have – your employees. Your company may not be able to afford a full time HR employee or may not even need a full time HR personnel, but that does not mean your company does not have HR needs.


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