If anyone outside HR - as we are supposed to call the personnel department these days - wondered what HR folk spend their time doing, a recent press release from software developer HumanConcepts might offer a few clues.
The press release was to announce the version 7 of a piece of software called OrgPlus. Apparently, the latest version of this wonderful tool "focuses on what matters most to HR professionals - making org chart creation easier than ever, while adding deeper functionality for analysing, planning and communicating organisational structures."
It continues: "OrgPlus 7 includes powerful new features that enable HR professionals to better understand and communicate company structure, and give managers and executives the tools and information they need to plan and action workforce change. OrgPlus 7 is the most intuitive and easiest to use version of OrgPlus to date. The combined ease of use and new planning and communication tools in OrgPlus 7 will help current and new OrgPlus customers to be more effective at understanding and planning their human resources."
So there you have it. The most important activities in HR are creating organisational charts, and showing management that you understand the company structure - presumably so you can suggest areas where cost savings (or staff cuts, as they're known to the people affected) can be made.
It's tempting to think that easier to use and more intuitive software might even allow companies to downsize their HR departments, but somehow I have my doubts. Have any readers ever known that kind of thing to happen?