Servicing Australia wide HR consulting for employers Australia wide.

HR, ER or IR? I have no idea what I need!

So you need some help to get the best from your people. Perhaps you need some advice on setting up or updating your employment structure or paperwork.

But who should you hire? A HR, ER or IR expert? And what does any of it mean anyway?

Let’s drill down into the terms to help you find the right person for your particular situation.

Human Resources (HR)

HR is simply a term for the people working within an organisation.

The “resources” part of the term relates to the fact that these people should be an asset to the business, in terms of their skills, attributes and ability to generate a profit.

As a rule, anything relating to your people’s employment falls under the banner of “HR”.

Typical big business HR structure

A large business will typically have a HR Department consisting of specialists in Recruitment, Employee Relations, Industrial Relations, Learning & Development, Operations, Compensation & Benefits and Health, Safety & Environment.

The overall management of a HR Department will fall to a HR Manager or, in very large organisations, a Director of HR.

Employee Relations (ER)

ER relates to the overall management of employees to ensure their productivity, engagement, professional development and well-being.

ER specialists are HR team members who put in place systems to prevent and resolve employee issues that arise out of work situations.

Industrial Relations (IR)

A field within HR dealing with the relationship between the employer and the employee and the organisations that provide support to both parties.

In Australia, IR specialists generally focus on the relationship between the employer and employees, unions, the Fair Work Commission and regulations relating to labour laws.

So which HR, ER or IR expert do you need?

Might help to think of it this way: for most businesses, “HR” is the umbrella term for the activities undertaken by a business to ensure the effective utilisation of employees.

HR generally involves all elements relating to attracting, recruiting, retention and termination of employees. ER and IR are specialised elements within a HR Department.

Unless you’re looking for someone to help negotiate an enterprise agreement, deal directly with a union issue or provide advice on a specific workplace policy, you may not need an IR or ER specialist.

An experienced HR Manager has generally overseen all elements of a HR department and knows how each specialist unit works: how to recruit effectively, employment obligations under state and federal industrial relations legislation, how to get the best out of employees, ensuring market rates are paid to the employee group as well as the correct steps when someone leaves the business.

A HR Consultant who has good generalist experience is a logical place to start…but make sure your chosen HR Consultant has held the role of HR Manager…that way you know you’re in the best hands possible.

Like to know more about how your business can benefit from genuine HR expertise?

Greg Bowmer is a HR Consultant servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Tweed Coast.

Greg specialises in making employment and people situations easy so you can focus on what’s really important to you.

Call Bare Bones Consulting for a complimentary chat on 0401 279 065 or send an online enquiry.

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

Contact Us

Give Bare Bones Consulting a call to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

Even if you elect to not proceed after our first complimentary consultation you’ll be in a better position to know what’s possible.

We believe our approach to HR is unique... but then again, so is your business.

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.