What are the duties of a personnel officer?

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What are the duties of a personnel officer?
What duties does a personnel officer undertake? (working hands image by Jon Le-Bon from Fotolia.com)

A personnel officer is responsible for dealing with employee relations and taking care of staffing issues. He can work independently, as part of a contracted team hired by a company or be employed in-house as an employee. Personnel officers are employed in the public and private sector.

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Main duties

The primary role of a personnel officer typically is to advise on and initiate strategies to effectively utilise staff. A personnel officer must consider issues such as working practices, recruitment strategies and salary levels. He will need to make sure a company is employing a good balance of staff in terms of ability and experience and provide training to any employees in need so the company can achieve business objectives. A personnel officer should have a clear idea of given business aims and be skilled in initiating strategies to attain them.

Advisory role

A personnel officer is also a key advisory source on issues such as pay, bonus schemes and other working benefits, such as pension schemes. A personnel officer works closely with other departments as a consultant, helping line managers to put business policy and procedures into practice. He is also expected to promote equality and diversity within a company by liaising with a variety of organisations involved in racial equality, disability issues, age and religion. He should be aware of any legal requirements on such issues and ensure the company is working within such parameters. A personnel officer also needs to provide regular reports to management on staffing issues and offer advice on how best to meet any skills or staffing-level shortfalls.

Staff support duties

Recruiting and retaining existing staff is a key goal of a personnel officer. He will plan training materials for the arrival of new staff and sometimes participate in their inductions personally. He will also carry out research into other departments to make sure managers are delivering all necessary training resources.

A personnel officer plays a crucial role in the recruitment and hiring of staff. He will often write job descriptions and place the advertisements either in-house or externally. He will then prepare a short list of the best applicants, interview them personally and select the best applicants for the job. A personnel officer must maintain accurate staff records and ensure they are kept confidential. A personnel officer also tends to payroll anomalies and maintains records relating to staff salaries. He often hears grievances and puts in place disciplinary procedures to repair any conflicts between staff members.

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