Who should HR Manager report to?

by Obibine Rosemary
27 January 2020

Human resources titles come in various forms, such as HR assistants, specialists or coordinators, managers or directors and vice presidents. As a unit, HR performs a comprehensive list of personnel duties at the core of any organization

Before we answer the question of who an HR is to report to, we should first ask ourselves what is HR, what are the specific function of HR in an organisation.

What is HR?

Human resources or HR is the company department charged with finding, screening, recruiting, and training job applicants, and administering employee-benefit programs. As companies reorganize to gain a competitive edge, HR plays a key role in helping companies deal with a fast-changing environment and the greater demand for quality employees.

Thus, Human Resource is the department you would speak with to get more information about employee benefits.

Human resources titles come in various forms, such as HR assistants, specialists or coordinators, managers or directors and vice presidents. As a unit, HR performs a comprehensive list of personnel duties at the core of any organization. These functions are linked to labour laws and employee relations:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Labour law compliance
  • Training and development
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Maintain a safe environment
  • Employer and employee relation

Recruitment and selection: The HR department find the right people for open position, it places employment advertisements, screen and interviews applicants runs background checks, and select or recommends workers for a position

Compensation and benefits: HR understands’ that satisfied employees lead to a positive work environment. The department implements strategies to keep employees motivated. It may organize and coordinate incentive programs, such as awards, prizes, gifts, bonuses, contests, promotions and staff parties to motivate employees. HR also assesses how company policies affect employee motivation

Training and Development: The human resources unit establishes on-the-job and off-the-job training programs so employees obtain the knowledge they need to properly execute their duties. HR provides resources such as workshops and seminars, and leadership training to improve manager and employee relations to foster employee development. HR serves as the connection between employees and managers. HR steps in when management cannot resolve disputes in the workplace. HR must handle employee grievances in a fair and legal manner.

Labour law compliance: HR ensures the employer satisfies employment laws to avoid audits and penalties by the agency that oversees those laws. Such regulations relate to immigration, new hire reporting, employee classification, record-keeping, health and safety, workers’ compensation, state disability insurance, wages and hours, employee benefits, pay check deductions, employee attendance and conduct, discrimination, and employment and union contracts. HR assists in developing and communicating the written and formal procedures that pertain to these issues

We now understand who an HR is, and the core functions of an HR, Who then can an HR report to?

I was having a conversation with a friend on who an HR should report to, As an HR in an organization who can I report to? She asked, and for a while I stared directly into her eyes not knowing exactly what to say to her, then she asked again and because as an HR in my company I report directly to the CEO so I replied her and said “I report to the CEO” she then said she reports to the CFO and that was the policy at her place of work, they most time clash, she said “the man is stressing my life out” at that moment something in me told me to do proper evaluation on who HR should report to.

However, in my research, I found out that having HR professionals report to the CFO may cause organizations to make short-term decisions that yield long-term negative consequences. A recent study indicates that friction between the CFO and Head of HR may exist because they often clash professionally, hindering each other in the course of their work. For example, a CFO may believe cutting bonuses is the best way to solve a budget shortfall, whereas an HR Head might contend that eliminating or decreasing bonuses would cause top talent to leave, leading to high replacement cost. With HR reporting to the president or CEO, the argument goes, HR can directly communicate long-term people strategies to someone who has a broader business perspective and is less strictly focused on the financial perspective. In this way, the top leader in the organization equally hears both the financial and the human resource points of view.

However, in a case where an organisation still feel HR should report to the CFO and CEO, I suggest that this evaluation… CEO 70%, CFO 30%

  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • https://blink.ucsd.edu/sponsor/hr/divisions-units/index.html
  • https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/humanresources.asp

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