Is it the responsibility of the human resources department to train the firm's new employees?

The human resources department should represent the first real interaction that new employees have at an organization.

The human resources department should represent the first real interaction that new employees have at an organization. HR should focus on transitioning new employees into the company through orientations on office culture and general company procedures.

HR is also responsible for making new employees aware of both any paperwork they need to fill out and of the individuals to whom they report. While this process may seem like it begins and ends on the first day, it's ongoing.

HR should also be sensitive to the fact that there will likely be information overload, so it has the responsibility to follow up and make sure there is a person or place new staffers can go to when needing to access the information again.

Once HR has conducted the first leg of training, it can pass orientation duties over to the new employee's supervisor. It is important that the manager understands his or her role in the training process and is on-board to set professional expectations and familiarize the new staffer with coworkers and clients.

Kelley Leach is SVP and HR director at Ketchum, Washington, DC.

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