7 Reasons You Don’t Need An HR Department

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The human resources department has traditionally played an important role in companies and organisations. But with the advent of new software and tools, many of the functions of the department are not as important as they once were. In fact, your business might be able to do just fine without it. Here are seven reasons you don’t need an HR department.

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You need to stop thinking of staff as ‘resources’

Referring to staff as ‘resources’ might seem like a harmless synonym but it actually points to something fairly negative. When you start to consider people as resources – in the same way that you might consider stock or finance as resources – you’re sending a bad message to employees. It shows them that you don’t really care about their needs and requirements, you are only thinking about what they can do for the business.

People work best when they feel happy and respected, but having a ‘human resources’ department makes them feel like just another cog in the machine. This can lead to a loss of motivation and end up costing the business money.

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The inherent conflict of interest

The HR department – in theory – is there to provide support, information and advice to employees. But in practice, it is well known that the HR team are used by management to manage, monitor and even discipline staff. That creates a huge conflict of interest and can effectively undermine the whole concept of having a team in place to make things easier for employees. Ultimately this can stop employees trusting the HR department and make a huge part of the role impossible to fulfill.

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It doesn’t offer value for money

Think about the amount of money you could spend on an HR department in terms of monthly salaries and other expenditures, and ask yourself whether this is the smartest use for that money. More and more businesses are seeing that the money spent on HR can be much more wisely invested elsewhere. This is especially true when you consider the possibility of using tools and outsourcing to deal with a large proportion of the HR workload.

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You can utilise tools and outsourcing

There are now many time management and HR tools and software that can make it much easier to complete the role of an HR department. It’s also true that many of the functions of HR can be easily outsourced without losing any of the functionality of the role. The reason for this is that the HR department does not typically deliver any unique benefits that no-one else in the organisation can provide if given the correct tools. It’s easier than ever to implement HR software that that managers and other members of staff can use.

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Managers will understand more about their team

Without an HR department you are placing more of an onus on the managers of teams to take a more active role in understanding the goals, needs and skills of their staff members – this is no bad thing. When managers have a closer insight into what each member of staff is bringing as well as their state of mind, it can allow the whole team to run far more smoothly. Removing the HR department pushes managers and employees closer together which can really improve team cohesion and efficiency.

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The recruiting process has changed

Traditionally, the HR department was seen as playing a hugely important role in the recruitment of new staff. But things have changed in recent years and there is arguably very little need for HR staff to play a role in bringing new people to the company. Online recruitment tools as well as the availability of sites like LinkedIn have made it far easier to find prospective candidates for roles. As it has always been more valuable for specific managers to take the active role in recruitment, this switch means that many of the more technical aspects of hiring staff are automated by software. This means that your HR department does not really need to play a part in recruitment.

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There are better ways to handle training

Another area where the HR department is often asked to step in is employee training – but in reality this is very much a tertiary part of the HR role and cannot be considered a good reason to keep your HR department. It would be far more sensible to bring on board an experienced training professional rather than letting the HR department deal with it.


Lloyd B Wells, an experienced, independent writer for many online and print publications – focused in the business and technology sectors. Partnering with Planday – an innovative software for staff scheduling company – for part of the information in this post.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.