How does HR fit within your business?

There’s sometimes confusion about HR and its role in the business. I’ve heard it framed as an executive function, an administrative department, a necessary evil, and the event planning team. None of these are very flattering or really depict the role of HR as a strategic part of the business. HR should be seen as THE foundation of a business AND cross-functional department that is responsible for ensuring smooth operations of the business.

So how do we do this?


It starts with people. It’s the teams you have and the teams you hire. When I start working with a new client or start a new job as a talent leader, these are some of the first questions I’m looking to answer.

  • What are your hiring practices?
  • How do you onboard new hires?
  • Are you setting your employees up for success with metrics and attainable goals?
  • Do you have accountability measures in place to manage developmental issues?
  • How are you developing your teams?
  • What is the promotion process?
  • Are you developing your leaders?
  • Are your wages keeping up with the market?
  • Do your benefits stack up against your competition?

There are plenty of other questions to ask yourself, but these are important for you to be able to answer with confidence and pride.


Process is one of the most important roles of an HR function. This does not mean process just for process’s sake. We’re talking about processes that ensure a business can hire, scale, and support itself and its people successfully. Examples of important processes below:

  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding (both company & role-based)
  • Feedback/Evaluation
  • Success metrics by role
  • Payroll/Location setups (shared with finance)
  • Training & Development

If you can create processes around these 6 items, you will have the makings of a great HR function. More importantly, for every process you create you will speed up your administrative tasks which allows you to focus on the overarching talent strategy!


Policy is what keeps the business and the team members protected. It helps us stay in good standing with laws in our jurisdiction and can be one of the most difficult parts of HR to understand.

  • Is your non-compete/confidentiality policy compliant based on state and local laws?
  • Do you understand the impact of termination?
  • Are your time off policies compliant with the places you are hiring teams?
  • Are your pay and timekeeping policies properly set up?
  • Do you have policies around discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment?

These are just parts of a larger policy conversation. If you aren’t sure if these exist at your organization, you should probably spend some time reviewing. These are just the basics that every business, regardless of size, should be reviewing. Policies have become even more challenging over the last few years as remote work has become prevalent. HR leaders have to be aware of the nuances that exist when you expand your hiring from Indiana to California. Those nuances only grow further when you expand from the US to Turkey! It’s important for HR leaders to also have access to HR attorneys when necessary to ensure compliance.

We’ll dive deeper into the three P’s of talent strategy in future blogs, but for now I hope this short post shows you that HR is and should be at the core of how a business operates. While not an exhaustive list of the HR function and its responsibilities, these show the expansiveness and cross-functionality of HR. Every department is intimately tied to HR through hiring, feedback, training, onboarding, and so much more.

What did I miss? Shoot me a message on LinkedIn, or an email at with your thoughts.

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