In many smaller to mid-size corporations, the administrative and clerical tasks are seen as the most important value-add of the HR department. Tasks such as creating employee files, enrolling employees in various benefit programs, and ensuring compliance with state and federal governmental regulations are what a CEO expects of her HR Manager.
The HR department at this stage of the company’s lifecycle is viewed more as a sunk cost of doing business rather than a value-add. It exists to comply with the regulatory bureaucracy and to create a mini-bureaucracy within the company in order to help the company discharge its basic duties towards employees. Oftentimes at this stage, the HR Manager or Director reports into either the Controller, CFO, or even the General Counsel.