Understand What Your Company’s HR Department Will And Won’t Do For You

Understand What Your Company’s HR Department Will And Won’t Do For You

When problems arise between people in a company, the human resources department works to solve them. As a result, many employees believe HR exists for their benefit, but that’s not always true. Before you approach HR about a problem, you ought to know their purpose and where their loyalties lie.

Picture: Brian A. Jackson (Shutterstock)

Alison Green, writing for US News, explains that human resources works in the best interest of the company, and that doesn’t always coincide with what’s best for you:

The human resources department’s function is to serve the needs of the business; its loyalty and responsibilities are to the company. Now, in some cases, that means advocate for employees against bad managers, because it’s in the best interests of employers to retain great employees, identify and address bad management and stop legal problems before they explode. But plenty of other times, what’s best for the employer will not be what’s best for the employee, and the best interests of the employer will always win out. That’s not cynicism; that’s simply what HR’s mission is.

On top of that, you shouldn’t expect HR to keep anything confidential, even if you ask. They can and will keep secrets or share information as they see fit. All of these things can work to your benefit or against it depending on your needs, the needs of the company and the quality of your human resources department. Before you jump into a new job, you should make an effort to understand how the department operates. You don’t want to make a request and find out it hurts your position at the company.

5 Secrets You Should Know About HR [US News]


  • The name says it all.
    We individual employees are only another resource which require to be managed in the best interest of the shareholders toward their requirement of increased value.
    I work in the mineral resource industry and am sure that the needs of the mineral resource comes way before those of the human resources, especially in giant organisations.

  • The best and most successful company I ever worked for (500 employees) had one person who did hiring and firing, and two who did payroll. HR was not necessary.

    Too many HR managers are about empire building, bringing in hypercomplex performance appraisal mechanisms and other procedures and then expanding the HR department to administer them.

    The HR department, as others have said, is an instrument of the company and their purpose is to implement corporate directives. Their purpose is not to further the employee’s cause.

Log in to comment on this story!