What is a Human Resource Officer?

People majoring in human resources may wonder what a career as a human resource officer involves. A human resources officer is typically employed at a large corporation, government agency or similar medium to large-size business. Understanding what a human resource officer is and what their responsibilities make it easier for a student to choose their major and create a career plan.

Consultant for Managers

A human resources officer acts as a consultant for hiring managers within an organization. They identify the agency’s employment needs, work with the manager to create a job description and set up a process so that people can apply for the job. The human resources officer also identifies employment gaps within an organization. For example, the individual might identify a business needs its own SEO expert on the IT staff to keep web pages up to date so that they rank well when consumers conduct organic internet searches.

Reviewer and Interviewer

When a person applies for a job, the application typically gets screened by a human resources officer before it is passed along to a hiring manager. The human resources officer verifies transcripts, checks references and requests background checks. They may also contact the applicants and arrange an initial interview. When interviewing an applicant, the human resource officer provides information about the workplace and the specific position to which the applicant applied. For example, the human resources officer may explain the job’s duties, requirements for travel and work hours. The applicant would receive information about the agency’s pay, insurance and vacation, personal or sick leave benefits.

Conduct Training and Orientation

When a new employee joins an organization, the human resources officer provides an orientation. The orientation may include a tour of the facility, delivery of the employee handbook, setup of the employee identification badge and showing the employee where their workstation, desk or office is located. Human resources officers also conduct employee training. They may train one employee at a time or create a group of multiple new hires. The training might include company policies on topics such as sexual harassment or ethics in the workplace. Training could also include information technology policies and procedures.

Records Keeper

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a human resource officer is also responsible for maintaining employment records. If a person leaves their job there, their next employer may call the human resources officer to verify the employment details. The human resources officer also maintains the history of employee performance reviews, disciplinary actions and awards. Bonuses, raises, and other information may also be tracked. If the employee participates in training or education, that information is maintained by the human resources officer.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Deals on Online MBA and Online Master’s in Human Resources Management Degrees

Human resource officers ensure that the staff of an agency is optimized to do the work, has the right training and qualifications and meets the organization’s employment requirements. These individuals are responsible for ensuring the employees are happy in their work, have access to the resources that they need to do their jobs and receive the proper support and benefits for productivity in the workplace. Knowing what a human resource officer entails facilitates the selection of a college major and a short-term or long-term career plan.