I've been reading some HR salaries and I'm really confused. I'm seeing 60k-100k/year for HR? Is that really what HR people make?
If so, what exactly is their job function aside from replying okay to e-mails of applicants that go through an automatic screening process, or agreeing/disagreeing with a manager to fire someone, and having a computer keep track of payroll for them (which I thought most companies outsourced payroll?). When someone needs to get a hold of them for an actual problem that requires some sort of skill and time, they conveniently go on vacation or wait a month to get back to you. I'm absolutely baffled about human resources.
Well I work as a labour consultant in South Africa - our labour laws are very different to the US in that employees get quite a few chances before they may be dismissed - where in the US some states have the no-fault rule or the 2 strike rule.
In any case to answer your question - HR managers would draft various company policies (smoking/leave/use of company vehicle/internet ect) they would play a hand in perfomrance management/appraisal of employees and give input on what skills are needed and if you can source them internally through promotion or through recruitment - where they would be responsible for the job descriptions/appointments and contracts.
Basically HR does a lot of crappy admin that any manager could probably do but it would take too much time.
That's just the managers too, what do the standard hr generalists do? Because if it's just what you described, christ, do you typically need a college degree for hr? I keep seeing yes and no, and it's confusing. Maybe if HR is really like that and I can get a job there breezing along, I can finally start putting some damn money into a portfolio instead of living paycheck to paycheck.
I would say it depends on the size of the company - a smaller company may need one person to do all of it - a bigger company with 10 000 employees over different states may require a generalist in every state/big office and then maybe needs someone who just focusses on training and someone who just focusses on performance appraisals.
I basically focus on IR so it is disciplinary hearings and retrenchment but we do it for smaller employers like garages where you tend to have the owner and a manager and then the employees.
They will keep you sort of busy because at the bigger companies staff turnover would be a lot and some fields will need a lot for training - then you will probably have to get invovled with the union - not 100% what the unions do in the US what I gather from shows like the Wire and House of Cards they mainly do collective bargaining and peaceful strikes not like use here where some get killed
Google Marikana mine for an idea of what can happen here when a strike goes bad.