News & Resources

So You’re New to Human Resources… Now What?

March 07, 2017

Jen Plummer, PHR, SHRM-CP


Congratulations!  You got your dream job. You got transferred to a new assignment in the HR department.  You are helping out your company fill a job gap.  You had a career change.  Whatever happened, you made it to the HR department and this is new for you.  Now what?

Your company never had HR before.  The prior HR left you no training instruction.  The person before you was struggling.  Your boss does not specialize in human resources.  Whatever the reason, you need a plan.

Where to Start?

When starting a new assignment in human resources a good place to start is to understand your role in the company.

  • Do you lead a team of people?
  • Are you an HR Department of One?
  • Are you one of the support specialists within your department?

Once you have identified your role in the organization and the expectations you may have in that role from your supervisor, you should identify which HR processes are you or your team’s responsibility.

HR Processes

A common saying in the HR realm is being able to manage from “Hire” to “Retire”.  Your organization’s HR Processes should fit within this saying.  The following are common areas that are typically within an HR’s reach:

  • Recruitment and Staffing
  • Onboarding New Hires
  • Benefits and Wellness
  • Safety and Workers Compensation
  • Employee Relations
  • Compliance and Record Retention
  • Payroll and Compensation
  • Exit Procedures

Once you have identified which areas you oversee, you should develop an understanding of what current HR processes have already been established and how those processes are executed.  If the processes don’t exist, it will be your responsibility to create.  If the processes exist, but are inefficient, you will need to update.  If the processes work well and are efficient, you will need to continue to manage effectively and update as federal, state and local legislation evolves.

Need Help

Don’t get overwhelmed if you aren’t sure where to go next.  There are plenty of resources available.  The Society of Human Resource Management, SHRM,, has many resources available with membership.  Also, there are many local chapters of HR organizations that can help build your HR network.  Working with a consultant might also be a great start.  At Loyalhanna Management Services, we will meet with you one-on-one, help you to identify a game plan and then help you proceed from there.

Contact Loyalhanna if you would like to learn more about HR consulting, HR training and HR department establishment, 724-672-4300