From Compliance to Talent Management: The 15 Essential HR Responsibilities

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From Compliance to Talent Management: The 15 Essential HR Responsibilities

Over the past century, the term “human resources” has grown and changed significantly. HR responsibilities have moved beyond just administration and legal affairs to encompass a more comprehensive and strategic role in businesses everywhere. This shift has been slow but steady, and has led to a dramatic increase in the value HR professionals provide to any organization.

Today, HR professionals play critical roles in policy development, onboarding, manager training, employee experience, digitalization, and much more. This article offers a deep dive into HR’s responsibilities. 

The roles and responsibilities of an HR professional 
1. Strategic role: Strategic planning and business alignment 
2. Meeting compliance requirements: Legal, compliance, and administrative responsibilities
3. Growing the business: Workforce planning, recruitment, and selection responsibilities
4. Employee development: Onboarding, training and development responsibilities
5. Talent management: Employee experience, engagement, and performance
6. Preparing for the future: DEIB, succession planning, HR digital and new work models 
Developing future-proof HR skills

The roles and responsibilities of an HR professional 

HR professionals are responsible for managing the most valuable asset of any organization – its employees. The functions and responsibilities of an HR professional can be varied, in this article, we will explore the 6 main categories of HR responsibilities: Strategic planning, compliance requirements, growing the business, employee development, talent management, and preparing for the future.

Each category has its own set of HR responsibilities, but they are all crucial to the success of an organization. HR professionals must have a comprehensive understanding of each category and how they contribute to the overall success of the organization. From developing and implementing strategic plans to ensuring legal compliance, HR professionals must be able to manage and execute a wide range of responsibilities. 

The following sections will unpack each category of HR responsibilities in more detail and explore the various roles and responsibilities of HR professionals in each area. 

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The Main Responsibilities of HR

Strategic role: Strategic planning and business alignment 

1. Strategic planning responsibilities 

The contribution of HR professionals to the success of a business cannot be overstated. To ensure that a company’s objectives are met, HR practices must be aligned with the overall strategic plan. This includes having the right people, with the necessary skills, in the correct roles. 

HR collaborates with key stakeholders to create a strategic plan in line with the company’s vision and mission. As mentioned, HR is responsible for identifying workforce requirements needed to achieve goals and analyzing trends to ensure the right talent is in the right positions to succeed.

2. Alignment to business goals

Effective HR professionals work closely with business leaders to understand their goals, identify required competencies, and develop HR strategies that support these goals. These strategies may include recruitment and selection processes, employee development and training initiatives, and compensation and benefits programs.

HR also designs performance management systems that support strategic goals. They establish metrics that align with the plan and provide regular feedback, facilitating employee improvement and contributing to achieving the company’s objectives.

Compliance requirements: Legal, compliance, and administrative responsibilities

3. Compliance responsibilities

HR plays a vital role in ensuring compliance with federal and state labor laws, anti-discrimination laws, health and safety regulations, and other relevant laws and regulations.

To achieve this, HR must keep up-to-date with any changes to these laws and regulations. HR must also develop and implement policies and practices that comply with legal and regulatory requirements. This may include policies on equal employment opportunity, anti-discrimination, harassment prevention, compensation, benefits, and working conditions.

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4. Administrative responsibilities

As part of HR’s administrative responsibilities, HR professionals maintain accurate and secure employee records, manage employee benefits, and oversee payroll processes. 

They ensure that employees receive the benefits they’re entitled to, including health insurance, retirement plans, and vacation time. Plus, HR makes sure that employees are paid accurately and on time, while checking compliance with tax laws and regulations. 

Growing the business: Workforce planning, recruitment, and selection responsibilities

As a crucial player in helping businesses grow and reach their objectives, HR fulfills many vital roles such as workforce planning, recruitment, and selection.

5. Workforce planning responsibilities

The process of workforce planning involves HR working hand-in-hand with business leaders to assess the current and future staffing needs of the organization and creating plans that ensure it has the right people in the right places to meet its goals. 

HR professionals must also be aware of factors such as employee turnover, staff about to retire, and external economic trends that could impact the organization’s workforce. By staying up to date on these trends and proactively planning for the future, you can help ensure that the organization has the right people in the right positions to achieve the business goals.

6. Recruitment and selection responsibilities

Recruitment and selection strategies are also key components that need to be developed by HR professionals in close collaboration with business leaders.

Effective recruitment practices are essential in attracting a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates that can contribute to the organization’s success. By creating job postings, outreach programs, and selection criteria, HR ensures that the best candidates are hired. This guarantees that the business has a skilled and diverse workforce that can support growth and innovation.

HR professionals must also develop selection criteria that accurately evaluate candidates’ skills, experience, and cultural fit. A fair, transparent, and legally compliant selection process ensures that the best candidates are chosen for the job. By selecting the most suitable candidates, HR ensures the organization has the necessary talent to drive growth and achieve its goals.

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Employee development: Onboarding, training and development responsibilities

As an HR professional, it’s crucial to nurture employees through onboarding, training, and development programs. 

7. Onboarding responsibilities

Onboarding is a strategic process that fosters an inclusive culture by bringing new employees onboard efficiently, helping them feel welcome, and enabling them to become invested team players. Crafting effective onboarding programs falls under HR’s responsibilities, with the goal of introducing newcomers to the company’s values, culture, and expectations – which improves retention rates and increases job satisfaction.

8. Training and development responsibilities

Additionally, HR is responsible for identifying skill gaps within the workforce and developing a training plan that addresses those needs. This includes job-specific training programs to bolster technical skills but involves professional development courses, too. 

These courses may cover soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership, among others, to provide growth and development opportunities to employees and enhance employee satisfaction and engagement.

Talent management: Employee experience, engagement, and performance

HR professionals are responsible for talent management; ensuring the organization develops and retains talented individuals. 

9. Employee experience responsibilities

A major part of talent management involves creating a positive employee experience, which HR achieves through developing policies that foster a balance between work and life and offering professional growth opportunities.

10. Employee engagement responsibilities

HR professionals are also responsible for increasing employee engagement by fostering an environment of regular feedback, recognition, and development. This leads to improved motivation, performance, and ultimately, overall productivity.

11. Performance management

Another important aspect of HR’s role in talent management is performance management. HR works to develop effective processes for evaluating employee performance regularly, providing support for the individual and the team’s development. This process also helps in identifying high-performing employees and fostering their growth and development within the organization, supporting the company’s growth and innovation while increasing employee retention. 

Preparing for the future: DEIB, succession planning, HR digital and new work models 

As businesses prepare for the future, HR professionals play a pivotal role in driving change by spearheading initiatives that enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), digitalization of HR, and the adoption of new work models. 

12. DEIB responsibilities 

With regards to DEIB, the focus is on creating a more inclusive work culture that empowers employees from different backgrounds and experiences. HR professionals craft strategies such as training programs and policies to ensure a diverse workforce thrives within the organizational values.

13. Digital HR responsibilities

Digitalization of HR is also an essential area to steer your organization for the future. Employers rely heavily on technology today and HR professionals must identify digital solutions and improve their digital HR skills to enhance HR processes and support employee engagement and productivity.

For example, for efficient HR processes like recruitment and performance management, HR professionals have embraced HR information systems (HRIS) to improve employee data management and overall organizational efficiency.

14. New work models implementation

Lastly, HR professionals are responsible for adopting new work models that help the organization to succeed over time. This includes implementing flexible work arrangements such as remote work and flexible schedules. 

HR professionals can enhance these policies by providing remote access to proper training and tools, developing performance management systems that support remote work, and ensuring the team understands the new work models to maximize the benefits. Adopting these new work models can help organizations increase agility, resilience, and innovation.

15. Succession planning

Succession planning helps organizations prepare for the future by identifying and developing a pipeline of capable leaders. As a key contributor to succession planning, HR plays a significant role in identifying high-potential employees and creating development plans that prepare them for leadership positions.

To accomplish this, HR evaluates employee skills, competencies, and potential to determine their readiness for leadership roles. They use various tools and methods to identify high-potential employees, such as performance evaluations, competency assessments, and leadership development programs.

HR also designs development plans tailored to the individual needs and aspirations of employees to align with the strategic goals of the organization. This involves providing training and development opportunities that enhance their skills and competencies and gives them exposure to different business areas.

Developing future-proof HR skills

In the ever-evolving business environment, HR professionals must stay up-to-date and develop skills that can adapt to emerging trends and technologies. It’s no longer just about recruitment and rewards, HR needs to understand analytics, data, and new technologies to help drive business success. By developing future-proof HR skills, professionals will be better equipped to tackle the challenges of the future and help their organizations stay ahead.

These future-proof HR skills include digital literacy, people analytics, strategic thinking, and change management. Understanding these skills will allow HR professionals to leverage technology to automate processes, identify trends and opportunities through data analysis, and align HR practices with overall business strategy. 

Developing future-proof HR skills won’t just benefit the organization, but also you, the HR professional. By becoming more valuable through acquiring these skills, you will have more opportunities for career advancement and growth and become increasingly valuable to the business. 

Key takeaways

  • Strategic role: HR plays a crucial role in strategic planning and business alignment
  • Compliance: HR ensures compliance with laws, regulations, and administrative responsibilities
  • Growing the business: HR fulfills workforce planning, recruitment, and selection responsibilities
  • Employee development: HR nurtures employees through onboarding, training, and development programs
  • Talent management: HR ensures talent management through employee experience, engagement, and performance
  • Preparing for the future: HR spearheads initiatives for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, digitalization, and new work models
  • Developing future skills: HR professionals must develop future-proof skills, including digital literacy, people analytics, strategic thinking, and change management.
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