Human Resource Records

  • Post last modified:12 May 2023
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  • Reading time:17 mins read
  • Post category:Human Resource

What is Human Resource Records?

Human resource records are a collection of documents and information that organizations maintain to manage their employees effectively. These records help to track employee performance, manage benefits, and comply with legal and regulatory requirements.

Uses of HR Records

The various uses to which HR records may be put are as follows:

  • . Taking decisions about recruitment, selection, placement, transfers and promotions.

  • Formulating career paths of individual employees.

  • Reviewing the organization‘s HR policies.

  • Determining training needs.

  • Preparing pay rolls.

  • Doing manpower audit.

  • Supplying information to the government.

Objectives of HR Records

HR records are maintained to serve the following purposes

  • To provide evidence of what has taken place in the organization.

  • To supply information required for taking personnel decisions.

  • To provide a basis for the formulation, evaluation and modification of HR policies and programmes.

  • To meet statutory obligations under various labour laws.

Significance of HR Records

A record is a piece of writing or a chart, which provides ready information, and which preserves evidence for future reference or use.

In the absence of reliable records and reports, the management would not be able to function; in fact, it would be paralysed, for it would not know where the organization‘s weakness lies and what precautions to take to set matters right.

HR records play a significant role in performing various personnel functions including audit and research. They are specially needed to-

  • Supply the information required by the management and trade unions to review the effectiveness of personnel policies and practices and develop them.

  • Up-to-date records help the management in taking right decisions on recruitment, selection, placement, transfers and promotions.

  • Provide the information about manpower inventory for manpower planning and succession planning.
    Records of manpower skills are useful in designing career paths for individual employees.

  • HR records are required to identify training needs and to design training programmes.

  • HR records are helpful in personnel research and personnel audit.

  • HR records are also helpful in settlement of industrial disputes.

  • HR records help in revising pay scales and benefits from time to time.

  • Supply the information required by various agencies on accidents, employment position, strikes, absenteeism, turnover, etc.

  • With the help of HR records the validity of employment tests and interviews can be judged.

Purpose of HR Records

Records management is the planned control of records. More essentially, records management concerns itself with the creation, distribution, maintenance, retention, preservation, retrieval and disposal of records. The purpose of HR records is outlined hereunder-

  • The purpose of writing down and preserving them or and statements is to facilitate the company to assess its progress.

  • Information presented in the form of records enables the top management to prepare the statement of the true position of the organization.

  • Records may be used to facilitate comparison of operations and events between one period and another period of time, between different product lines and different functions.

  • Proper records maintenance will go a long way in detecting mistakes, frauds and errors. Records also act as control devices (tools) in the hands of top management.

  • Some records are to be maintained to satisfy legal requirements and various statutes. In India, some statutes impose restrictions on organizations to maintain some records.

  • Records serve as a memory of business and can be referred to in order to make certain policy decisions.

Essentials of a Good HR Record

HR records can be made reliable and effective, if the following guidelines are observed.

  • The objective for which records are maintained must be justifiable and clear. If the records are maintained, without any justifiable purpose, it will mean waste of time and money. All HR records must be consistent with the purpose, which should be stated clearly.

  • A responsible official should be entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining records.

  • A procedural manual should be maintained, detailing the procedure to be followed for maintaining and dealing with records.

  • Records should be maintained in such a manner that the information should be available easily and quickly. Records are of no use if the required information is not available with speed and accuracy

  • The expenses involved in producing and maintaining records should be justified by their usefulness. Its upkeep and maintenance should not be costly. Record keeping should be economical.

  • HR records should be maintained in a concise form so that valuable space is not wasted. Out-dated information is of no use and can be misleading therefore unwanted records may be destroyed.

  • Duplication of entries in different records should be avoided.

  • The time period for which particular information would be preserved should be decided in advance. Records should be kept under lock and key so that these are not pilfered or tampered with.

  • HR records must be classified based on time, subject or chronological order. Classification is necessary to identify a record and to differentiate it from other records. Different types of records should be maintained in separate files/ lockers for ready reference. They should be easily identified and differentiated from one another.

  • The record keeping system must be flexible so that it may be expanded or reduced as necessary.

  • Records must be verifiable. A record, which is not capable of verification, is of no use.

Features of good Records

  • Simple – Record keeping must be simple. It should, at the same time, meet the requirements of the organization.

  • Accurate – Records should be error-free. They must be built around facts as far as possible.

  • Economical – The cost of maintaining records must not be high.

  • Useful – Records must provide information, which could be put to use. They must facilitate managerial decision-making.

Fundamental Principles of Record Keeping

For effective records management, first of all, record keeping must be proper and accurate. The following points must be kept in mind about record keeping:

  1. Justification
  2. Verification
  3. Classification
  4. Availability of Required Information
  5. Reasonable Cost


The purpose of keeping and maintaining records must be justified. The records must, therefore, be examined thoroughly in the light of the principle of purpose‘ and all useless records must not be preserved at all, as they increase the storing cost alarmingly.


Records must be subject to verification. Non-verifiable records, papers, files and documents will not be useful and they provide no evidence in the court of law.


Records must be properly classified so that they are useful to the management. Without proper segmentation, records cannot serve any effective purpose. Bringing together in one place all the information available on any particular question, avoids a waste of time in an extended search for facts and data.

Availability of Required Information

The very purpose of maintaining records will be defeated if the desired information is not easily available. Records must be kept in such a form, type and shape so that they can be furnished within the shortest possible time.

Reasonable Cost

Records must be produced and maintained at a reasonable cost. Managers should realise that, though, all the facts and figures are needed to run a business, some are definitely more important than others. Organizations should maintain the more valuable records and attempt to control costs involving the less valuable ones. Every personnel manager should be cost-conscious while managing records.


A report is an account or statement describing in detail an event, a happening and a situation or evaluating an enterprise or a product that is proposed to be manufactured. It outlines and describes what has happened both in qualitative and quantitative terms.

It also contains the observations and comments of the person who is called upon to make a report on items of special significance-

Personnel or HR Reports

The main purpose of maintaining personnel records is to help the management perform the control function effectively. Control requires feedback in the form of reports. Moreover, HR department is a staff function and it is expected to provide the necessary advice and information to different departments on personnel matters.

An adequate system of reporting is required for this purpose. Employees are also interested in reports on their own performance. An organization may be required by law to submit personnel reports to government.

Essentials of a Good Report

The submission of a report on a particular issue is the responsibility of the person appointed for the purpose, who puts it up to one of the top executives. A report is a written account of some event or situation. It outlines and describes what has happened.

It also contains the comments and suggestions of the report maker. To be useful, a personnel report must satisfy the following conditions. This are-

  • It should deal with a specific objective.

  • It should dwell on the issues referred to the person making it.

  • The person who makes the report should collect the data and interpret it honestly.

  • A report should contain data on all the aspects of personnel management.

  • It should make specific recommendations.

  • It should be timely, so that proper action may be taken on it.

  • It should be clearly worded and easily comprehensible.

  • It may include illustrative points to strengthen the observations made in it.
  • It should be reader-oriented.

  • It should not only present the data but also interpret it.

  • It should draw attention to key issues.

Features of a good Report

  • Conformity – Reports must conform to organizational objectives.

  • Unbiased – Reports must be objective and prepared without prejudice or bias.

  • Data based – Reports must be based on facts.

  • Clarity and Simplicity – The report must be clearly worded so that people can use it easily.

  • Timely – The very purpose of preparing a report gets defeated once it exceeds the time limit.


What is human resource records?

Human resource records are a collection of documents and information that organizations maintain to manage their employees effectively. These records help to track employee performance, manage benefits, and comply with legal and regulatory requirements.

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