A career path
developed for people
who like people. As one moves further along said path, this initial inspiration
for choosing the field
is gradually snuffed out altogether.
Though Human Resources departments (known until the 1980's as "Personnel" departments, whereupon the corporate world adopted the newer moniker) continually speak of their role as strategic business partners with their clients, they inevitably are seen by said corporate leadership as a transactional, service-oriented necessary evil.
Known as "HR" to people in the biz.
Known, alternately, as "the Gestapo," "Payroll," or simply "Them" by employees.
Generalist knowledge of the field consists of the following components: Strategic Management, Workforce Planning and Employment (to consist of the Recruiting or Staffing function of the organization), Training and Development, Compensation and Benefits (to consist of the Payroll function of the organization), Employee Relations and Labor Relations, and Occupational Health, Safety and Security.
Human Resources departments in smaller organizations may consist of only one employee, generally a Human Resources Manager. Organizations may generally grow to about 50 employees prior to requiring a dedicated Human Resources Manager whose primary functions will likely be recruiting, new hire orientations, payroll and benefits. Industry standard would add an additional member to the department when the employee population reaches the benchmarks of 100, 150, 200, and additional members for each 100 employees, thereafter.
Larger, more mature organizations will generally have staff dedicated to specific human resources functions, including (but not necessarily limited to) Recruiting, Compensation, Payroll and Benefits, Employee Relations and Training.
Skilled Human Resources professionals will generally have an esoteric comprehension of any applicable federal and/or state employment laws. In the United States, these laws include the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.