Whether your business experiences a high staff turnover or has a core group of people who have been with you for years, there will be a large amount of work required by the human resources (HR) department. From the day an employee starts to the day that they leave and beyond, HR will need to be involved.
The varied role of an HR Assistant reaches all parts of a company and the size of the department can vary according to the size of the company. For example, you can imagine how large an HR department would need to be for a multinational company, and you can be assured that the multiple people that work there are always busy!
The law related to employment is strict and a human resource assistant must comply with this at all times; accordingly, their role is an important one. Recognizing the extent of the work that an HR assistant undertakes will enable you to understand the importance and relevance of what they do.
New Starter Documentation
It is necessary to have the correct paperwork to be able to identify every employee, which is required before they start working. Accordingly, even before a new employee starts their first day, the tasks required of an HR assistant will have begun. Name, address, telephone number, social security number, emergency contact
Not only will they need to gather a significant amount of information from the employee, but they will also have to provide a lot of information to the employee, such as a staff handbook containing all the rules of the company. An HR assistant will play a part in orienting a new employee to their new workplace.
Besides the initial gathering of information about every new employee, it will also be necessary to maintain these records, such as by updating employee’s details will also need to be undertaken. For example, if someone changes their name after marriage, or changes address.
One of the matters that an HR assistant will need to deal with is interviews, which will be undertaken for a wide range of purposes. This will extend beyond potential new employees as interviews will also take place for grievance and disciplinary procedures.
Even if not personally conducting an interview, an HR assistant may still need to be in attendance.
In order to make sure a company is fully staffed at all times it will be necessary create and maintain schedules to determine who will work when. This will not only mean considering the contractual obligations of each employee, such as whether they are part-time or full-time, but also liaising with managers and supervisors.
In the type of business that makes use of timecards, the resulting times may need to be collated by an HR assistant to determine hours worked. Similarly, the information that is stored on keycards will help determine who might be repeatedly arriving late or who is working a lot of overtime.
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There are many different elements involved in the recruitment process, much of which occurs before an interview even takes place. Drafting a job description and recruitment advertisement, for example, will be just part of the initial steps required.
An HR assistant will need to review applications, make a short list and arrange times and dates for interviews. This will involve making sure all relevant parties will be available.
Not only will an HR assistant be involved in the process of recruiting new permanent employees, they will also play a part if temporary workers and contractors are ever engaged. Read The Balance Careers for more details on hiring process of employees.
Keeping a company sufficiently staffed to keep it running effectively means avoiding a mass evacuation, which could be the case if multiple staff members take time off during the same period.
It’s not feasible to automatically approve the vacation requests of every employee whenever they want – imagine how many employees would take Christmas off if they could – so an HR assistant must maintain the vacation schedule.
While it would be lovely for every employee to attend work every day, on time, and full of sunshine and happiness, this is not realistic. An HR assistant has to be patient and recognize that they are dealing with human beings, who are not infallible.
When employees call in sick, they may contact their immediate manager who will then contact HR, or they may contact HR directly. This will also be the case for an employee who is taking a personal day or has to attend an appointment.
Some employees will be on long-term sick leave and will need to be contacted on a regular basis, so an HR assistant will need to be discreet and sensitive in these circumstances.
In addition to absences as a result of ill health, there are other reasons why an employee may be prevented from attending work. For example, if an employee is called to do jury service, they may not be able to attend work for several days or weeks, according to however long the case lasts.
As much as there is information needed when a new employee starts at a company, there is also a certain level of work necessary when it comes to employees leaving. All their access to company property and premises will need to be ended and an exit interview will often need to be completed.
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During the course of any business, there will be a number of meetings that need to take place. These can be for all sorts of reasons, many of which will require a witness or note-taker. An HR assistant will be considered a neutral party and may be called upon to take on this role. In this case, not only will the HR assistant need to attend the meeting, but they may also need to continue to work after its conclusion by providing the notes to the primary parties who conducted the meeting.
In some cases, if there is a requirement for the company to be represented in a court of law for any reason, an HR assistant may need to be involved.
Even when an employee no longer working for a company, this will not necessarily be the end of an HR assistant’s dealing with them. An HR assistant may be required to provide references if they are requested by new employers, so it will be necessary to refer to records to ensure they contain accurate information.
Similar to references, there may be official organizations that require information about employees of the company, which can include the IRS, law courts, or even the police, so it is important to keep good records
Understanding the extent of the work that needs to be undertaken by an HR assistant demonstrates the benefit that can be gained from using a quality document management system. Regardless of the type of duty undertaken by an HR assistant, there will be the need to keep records and documents, which needs to be done in an organized manner.
It is essential to maintain complete records when working in a human resource department, which is possible with a suitable document management system.