People Operations vs HR are two terms that both refer to the division of business which is in charge of managing and employing specialists. Even though the difference between those two is quite fragile, it’s important to distinguish people operations vs HR.
Human Resources (HR) is primarily responsible for the following:
- Creating the overall process of recruiting
- Conducting interviews
- Assessing candidates
- Establishing the payments and bonuses system
- Managing the onboarding process
- Keeping track of candidate performance
What’s more, HR is concentrated on ensuring compliance with employment laws, evaluating risks and building solution strategies, while establishing the most efficient workflow.
The responsibilities of People Operations (PO) are more focused on establishing a pleasant working climate for specialists. PO specialists are primarily concentrated on aligning the specialists with common values, ensuring the psychological safety of the workplace, conducting team-building activities, and motivating employees.
To get the full picture of people operations vs HR questions, let’s take a look at how different their approaches to work are:
A good human resources manager is a very systematic specialist who knows how to work with multiple functional frameworks and metrics. At the same time, the people operations manager is more about creativity and non-standard approaches to tasks. This specialist settles on the next step upon their observation of employees’ cooperation and behavior. People with some background in psychology would be suitable for this position as it requires a basic understanding of employees’ needs.
When it comes to what’s more important regarding people operations vs HR there’s no one specific answer, as both areas are critical. The term HR is widespread and recognizable among society, so some may assume that it’s placed above PO. However, modern companies highly value the employee experience, especially tech companies, and thus the relatively young people operations department has acquired a strong position. As retention rates of the IT sector are among the lowest of all industries, the need for new ways to keep developers increases.
A people operation specialist ensures that software development teams are satisfied with their working environment and united by the same goals, demonstrate a higher level of dedication to the company, and have better performance. This is also the reason why many tech companies establish their own development office instead of outsourcing IT specialists. For instance Dotmatics, a US-based product company, had previously worked with IT outsourcing teams but found that their dedication was poor in spite of all efforts the company made. As a result, they decided to establish their own software team in Eastern Europe with the help of Alcor. During the hiring process, Alcor’s recruiters focused on finding candidates whose personalities aligned with Dotmatics’ core values of being science-driven, customer-centric, and united. This approach resulted in the successful hiring of 24 dedicated software developers who continue to work at Dotmatics until now.
While people operations vs HR have some overlap in their approaches to work, they carry out different functions in organizing human resources. HR ensures recruitment, managing risk, and maintaining productivity when People Operations takes a more holistic approach to engaging, motivating, and aligning specialists with corporate values. Both areas are crucial for establishing a successful organization, lowering employee retention rates, and increasing performance. Ultimately, by determining the significance of both HR and PO, companies can create a positive work environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and psychological safety in the workplace, leading to win-win results for specialists and the business.