Human resources (HR) officers develop, advise on and implement policies relating to the effective use of personnel within an organisation. Their aim is to ensure that the organisation employs the right balance of staff in terms of skills and experience, and that training and development opportunities are available to employees to enhance their performance and achieve the employer's business aims.
HR officers are involved in a range of activities required by organisations that employ people, whatever the size or type of business. These cover areas such as working practices, recruitment, pay, conditions of employment, negotiation with external work-related agencies, and equality and diversity.
An HR officer must have a clear understanding of their employer's business objectives and be able to devise and implement policies which select, develop and retain the right staff needed to meet these objectives.
The HR profession has undergone some changes in recent years. There has been some movement away from staff welfare and administration-centred activities towards strategy and planning. HR departments are now expected to add value to the organisation they support. The exact nature of the work varies according to the organisation.