Human Resources Records: Uses, Objectives, Importance, Purpose, Key Principles

Human Resources Records
Human Resources Records

What are the Human Resources Records?

Human Resources records are the documents and files related to the human resources of the organisation. They contain the information related to manpower plans, recruitment, selection, training, compensation, appraisal, job changes etc.

The job application, test scores, results of medical examination, job descriptions, job specification, labour turnover and absenteeism data, morale survey, wage and salary data and the examples of the records which are maintained for the human resources of the organisation. Such records are maintained in form of cards, papers, files, audio files, video films etc. These records are a part of the memory of the organisation.

The management needs a variety of information for various activities such as performance appraisal, fixing salary, providing benefits, promotions, transfers and many such activities. For this, the personnel records should be properly planned. Planned records also help the organisation to find out the right person for the right job without much problem.

A human resource record is a stock of factual information on the human resource in an organization compiled and stored in a manner, which would enable precise decision-making on specific matters related to Human resources. The Human resource records and reports also help the management to record information and provide it to the management as and when required.


Uses of Human Resources Records

Following are the uses of human resources records explained below:

  1. The Human resource records are used in making decisions about recruitment, selection, placement, transfers and promotions.
  2. The records also aid in formulating the career paths of individual employees.
  3. In order to review the human resource policy of the organisation, the Human Resource records prove to be useful.
  4. The Human Resources records also help in determining the training needs of the employees.
  5. The information which the Human Resources records provide also helps in fixing the right pay for the employees.
  6. The records also help in conducting manpower audits.
  7. Whenever required, the Human Resources records also supply the required information to various government agencies.

Objectives of Human Resources Records

These are the objectives of human resources records explained below:

  1. They provide evidence of what has taken place in the organisation.
  2. They also supply information required for making personnel decisions.
  3. They also provide a basis for evaluation and modification of the Human Resources policies and programs of the organisation.
  4. The Human Resources records also help the organisation to meet statutory obligations under various labour laws.

Types of Records

They are basically of two types:

  1. Conventional Types of records: It includes papers, charts, cards, files, blueprints etc.
  2. Modern Types of Records: Audio cassettes, video films, magnetic cards, computer floppy, disputes, pen drive, external drive, cloud computing etc.

Importance of Human Resource Records

Records are information which is in form of writing or a chart which provides the necessary information ready and can be preserved as evidence for future reference or use. When such reliable records are not present, the functioning of the management would be hindered as the management would not be able to determine where the weaknesses of the organisation lie and take necessary precautionary measures to reduce the impact of these weaknesses.

In such situations, Human Resources records play a significant role in performing various personnel functions including audits and research. The following are the importance of human resource records:

  1. Supply the information required by the management and trade unions to review the effectiveness of personnel policies and practices and alter them if required.

  2. Up-to-date records help the management in taking the right decisions on recruitment, selection, placement, transfers and promotions.

  3. They provide information about manpower inventory for manpower planning and succession planning. Records of manpower skills are useful in designing career paths for individual employees.

  4. Human Resources records are required to identify training needs and to design training programs.

  5. Human Resources records are helpful in personnel research and personnel audit.

  6. Human Resources records are also helpful in the settlement of industrial disputes.

  7. Human Resources records help in revising pay scales and benefits from time to time.

  8. Supply the information required by various agencies on accidents, employment positions, strikes, absenteeism, turnover etc. is made available with the help of Human Resources records.

  9. With the help of Human Resources records the validity of employment tests and interviews can be judged.

Purpose of Human Resources Records

The activity wherein the records are planned and controlled is known as records management. More essentially, records management concerns itself with the creation, distribution, maintenance, retention, preservation, retrieval and disposal of records. The purpose of Human Resources records is outlined hereunder:

  1. The purpose of writing down and preserving them or statements is to facilitate the company to assess its progress.

  2. Information presented in the form of records enables the top management to prepare a statement of the true position of the organization.

  3. Records may be used to facilitate the comparison of operations and events between one period and another period of time, between different product lines and different functions.

  4. Proper records maintenance will go a long way in detecting mistakes, frauds and errors. Records also act as control devices (tools) in the hands of top management.

  5. Some records are to be maintained to satisfy legal requirements and various statutes. In India, some statutes impose restrictions on organizations to maintain some records.

  6. Records serve as a memory of business and can be referred to in order to make certain policy decisions.

Essentials of a Good Human Resources Record

In order to make Human Resources records effective and reliable, the following guidelines should be observed by the organisation:

  1. The objective for which records are maintained must be justifiable and clear. If the records are maintained, without any justifiable purpose, it will mean a waste of time and money. All Human Resources records must be consistent with the purpose, which should be stated clearly.

  2. A responsible official should be entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining records.

  3. A procedural manual should be maintained, detailing the procedure to be followed for maintaining and dealing with records.

  4. Records should be maintained in such a manner that the information should be available easily and quickly. Records are of no use if the required information is not available with speed and accuracy.

  5. The expenses involved in producing and maintaining records should be justified by their usefulness. Its upkeep and maintenance should not be costly. Record keeping should be economical.

  6. Human Resources records should be maintained in a concise form so that valuable space is not wasted. Outdated information is of no use and can be misleading therefore unwanted records may be destroyed.

  7. Duplication of entries in different records should be avoided.

  8. The time period for which particular information would be preserved should be decided in advance. Records should be kept under lock and key so that these are not pilfered or tampered with.

  9. Human Resources records must be classified based on time, subject or chronological order. Classification is necessary to identify a record and to differentiate it from other records. Different types of records should be maintained in separate files/ lockers for ready reference. They should be easily identified and differentiated from one another.

  10. The record-keeping system must be flexible so that it may be expanded or reduced as necessary.

  11. Records must be verifiable. A record, which is not capable of verification, is of no use.

Key Principles of Record Keeping

For effective records management, first of all, record keeping must be proper and accurate. The following key principles of record-keeping:

  1. Justification
  2. Verification
  3. Classification
  4. Availability of Required Information
  5. Reasonable Cost
Key Principles of Record Keeping
Key Principles of Record Keeping

Justification

The purpose of keeping and maintaining records has to be justified. The records are examined thoroughly in the light of the principles of purpose and all the records which are no longer useful should not be preserved as the cost of storing such records would be high.

Verification

The records that are maintained should be verified. Records, papers, files and documents which could not be verified, would not be useful as evidence and therefore should not be stored.

Classification

Whatever records that are maintained should be properly classified so that they are useful to the management. The records should be properly segmented so that they serve their effective purpose. When all the information needed is in one place, the search for the required information would be easier and it would also save time.

Availability of Required Information

The very purpose of maintaining records will be defeated if the desired information is not easily available. Records must be kept in such a form, type and shape so that they can be furnished within the shortest possible time.

Reasonable Cost

Records must be produced and maintained at a reasonable cost. Managers should realise that, though all the facts and figures are needed to run a business, some are definitely more important than others. Organizations should maintain the more valuable records and attempt to control costs involving the less valuable ones. Every personnel manager should be cost-conscious while managing records.


FAQ Related to Human Resources Records

What are the records maintained in HR department?

Human Resources records are the documents and files related to the human resources of the organisation. They contain the information related to manpower plans, recruitment, selection, training, compensation, appraisal, job changes etc.

What are the key features of a good record-keeping system?

The following key principles of record-keeping:
1. Justification
2. Verification
3. Classification
4. Availability of Required Information
5. Reasonable Cost etc.

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