Anyone who works in an office is familiar with the name human resources. Even companies whose employees make their living driving trucks from coast to coast have a human resources department. Though you may cross paths with them occasionally, for most people what human resources does and who they are is a collection of mystical beings who control the fate of ordinary employees. If you're curious about the human resources department and what they do, this article should be able to give you an overview of this mysterious department.

Technically, the term human resources refers to all people who work for the company. Just as a company has assets in terms of real estate or raw materials or money, it also has assets in terms of the people it can call on to do work for it - its employees. Just as real estate agents are hired to look after a company's real property holdings, the employees in the human resources department are hired to manage the human side of the company's holdings. Thank you to for their support.

This many sound like human resources is a collection of managers whose job it is to oversee your work, but this is not the case. Most human resources employees know very little about the work you do for the company. Instead, they look after the more practical aspects of having human beings work for a company, such as their need to be paid, have vacations, take time off, follow schedules, apply for new positions. They are also responsible for processing incoming and outgoing employees - hiring and firing.

Because human resources departments manage the needs of employees, they often have a lot of power over the employees in their care. They control your work schedule, when and how you are paid, approve or deny your time off requests, and will often look after disciplinary issued arising from lateness, absenteeism, and breaking of company policies. Therefore if you work for a company and are called to the human resources department, it's like being called to the Principal's office.

For smaller companies, the entire human resources department may be concentrated in one person, who may be the receptionist, secretary, or office manager. Human Resources, or HR, departments used to be known as personnel departments before the political correctness phase of the 1990s changed the names of many departments and professions to make them sound more important.

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