Human resource managers for laboratories are responsible for all of the typical tasks associated with the profession such as staffing, payroll, and training as well as additional special tasks that are unique to the lab environment.
Ensuring safety and health
In labs, there are often hazardous materials, open flames, and other dangers that make safety more difficult than in a traditional office setting. Often, lab employees need special training in occupational safety to ensure that everyone is aware of what they should be doing to keep themselves healthy. The human resources administrator often conducts these trainings and is responsible for tracking and ensuring that all employees are up to date. Human resource managers are also often responsible for discipline or follow-up with employees who may not be following the correct safety protocols.
Across industries, human resource managers recruit and hire employees and this is no different in the lab. However, if you are a human resources employee in a lab, you will be hiring for lab positions meaning you will need to be familiar with the skills and experience that will be most useful in this type of role. You will be writing job descriptions, screening candidates, and making hiring decisions. Being familiar with the laboratory terminology and processes will be critical in doing this successfully.
Enforcing organizational policies
Laboratories can have a lot of regulations, which require the creation and enforcement of strict policies, which is often done by the human resources team. Employees must adhere to laboratory procedures, safety protocols, emergency management plans, and documentation requirements. Human resources managers are also responsible for advising managers and employees on these company policies as well as ensuring that managers and employees are adhering to them
Often, lab technicians need special licenses in order to be certified to do their job. This ties into the safety we mentioned earlier, and also into research ethics. Human resource managers are responsible for ensuring that all employee certifications are up to date. Additionally, since the science field is constantly evolving, you can also help employees identify opportunities for additional training and development.
We hope this gives you a better idea of what it is like to be a human resources manager in a lab and may even inspire you to seek out this type of role. Are you part of a lab’s HR department? We would love to feature you! Reach out to us on Twitter, @Conserisapp.
Conseris is a data collection application designed to help researchers collect data more efficiently both in the field and from the lab. Learn more.