What is Personnel Department/importance/activities/skills development

Did you know that Human Resources and Personnel Department are different sectors within a company and work on very different tasks? Many organizations still confuse the two areas and end up missing opportunities to leverage them.

In this guide, we will better explain what the Personnel Department is, what its main functions are, what skills the professional must have to exercise the position and how technology can be used to optimize the sector’s processes. Want to go deeper into the subject? So, read on.

What is Personnel Department?

The Personnel Department or DP is the area of ​​the company responsible for all the bureaucracy related to employees , from their hiring to their dismissal.

The professionals of this sector are responsible for managing payroll, benefits, vacation , certificates, licenses, control point and severance funds, ensuring that the company complies with the labor laws and collective agreements .

Thus, the department’s main competence is to mediate relations between employees and the organization, ensuring that both parties follow what was agreed in the employment contract .

How important is the Personnel Department?

Directly, we can say that the main objective of the sector is to ensure that the company is strictly following labor laws, avoiding possible lawsuits and the payment of fines.

Because of this, the area must work with great care, organization and detail, since it deals with a large volume of data and calculations .

But in addition to dealing with bureaucratic issues, the DP is also responsible for mediating the contact between the company and public agency, issuing guides and declarations to keep the organization in good standing.

In this sense, the Personnel Department is of great importance to an organization, both with regard to the control of labor legislation and the storage and organization of data about employees , which can be useful to justify promotions and dismissals.

However, it is important to emphasize that the greater the number of employees and the size of the company, the more complex the organization of the Personnel Department becomes . Because of this, it is essential that the sector has the help of technological tools to optimize bureaucratic processes and help in the control and organization of data.

Are Personnel and HR the same thing?

Many people confuse HR and DP , understanding that the two sectors are as one. That’s because they essentially work with people and share space in some companies.

However, it is important to understand that, despite the two areas being related to employees, there is a big difference between them . While the Personnel Department is responsible for more bureaucratic and procedural tasks, HR performs more strategic activities to manage employee behavior and enhance human capital .

Thus, in a recruitment and selection process, for example, HR will be responsible for finding the ideal candidates and selecting the best talent. The Personnel Department will be in charge of filling out the admission contract and collecting all the documents necessary for hiring.

Another good example is the assistance and support to employees. When a professional has problems with the organizational climate or wants to seek qualifications and training, he should look for the HR team. When questions arise about payments and benefits , the questions should be directed to the Personnel Department.

In this way, we can understand that the two sectors have different activities, but they complement each other in order to improve the corporate life of employees within the organization.

Therefore, it is most recommended that the departments have their own spaces within the company and that each team has different and specialized professionals to perform their functions in the best possible way.

What are the activities of the Personnel Department?

As we have seen, the DP is a very bureaucratic and procedural sector, which is why it has numerous responsibilities and specific activities in its routine. Below, we’ll further explain the main functions of the department.

Monitoring and compliance with legislation

The labor legislation has many details and rules that the company must comply with, from admission to dismissal of employees. Thus, one of the main responsibilities of the DP is to know these laws in depth to ensure that the organization meets the requirements.

In addition, the Personnel Department is responsible for issuing documents to tax agencies and staying on top of all changes and changes in labor laws, adjusting its policies so that the company adapts to the changes.

Control of working hours

Another important activity of the department is the control of the collaborators’ journey through the clock . Attendance is a way for the company to ensure that the professional’s working hours are in accordance with the contract, so it is up to the DP to closely monitor entry and exit times, as well as frequent absences and delays.

Through time control, the Personnel Department has important information and data for the payment of compensation and can better control absenteeism rates , certificates and leaves.

Payroll Calculation

The Personnel Department is also responsible for making the calculations and issuing payrolls at the end of each month based on time control and other information, such as overtime, DSR, discounts for absences and night hours.

But in addition to earnings and discounts, the sector also collects fees and contributions , schedules the payment of employees and distributes pay slips.

Thus, it is important that the DP has enough knowledge about each of the items pointed out in the statements. This is because it is common for employees to have questions about discounts and contributions. In these cases, it is up to the professionals to clarify all questions about the payroll .

Admission and dismissal of employees

Although the recruitment and selection processes are a function of HR, the Personnel Department is the department designated to carry out all the bureaucratic part of admission , such as employee registration, medical exams, signing a portfolio and collecting data for benefits.

In addition, processes related to dismissals, such as calculation of severance pay , prior notice, approval, FGTS guides and unemployment insurance are also part of the DP’s routine.

Vacation and Leave Management

Another function of the sector is organizing the vacation dates of employees and making their payments. It is important that the DP schedule each employee’s vacation in a way that does not impact team productivity and track vacation requests to ensure that no employee exceeds the legal time between breaks.

Still, leaves and leaves, both for medical reasons and for maternity leave, are also part of the sector’s purview and it is important that it monitors whether employees are being paid by the INSS , even on leave.

Documentation and Archiving of Documents

The Personnel Department is also responsible for all the preparation of employment contracts for a fixed or indefinite period, in addition to internship and service provision contracts.

But in addition to preparing the terms of the contract, the department also collects and archives all documents from employees , such as medical certificates and tax documents, always keeping the file updated.

benefits management

Another function of the sector is benefits management. To this end, the DP must collect all the documents necessary to include new employees in benefit programs, in addition to carrying out the correct management so that everyone can use them without problems.

Thus, the department is responsible for contracting and administering corporate benefits , such as:

  • transportation vouchers;
  • meal and food vouchers;
  • medical and dental insurance;
  • life insurance;
  • childcare assistance;
  • scholarship.

Control of taxes, fees and contributions

Finally, another function of the DP concerns the payment of taxes, fees and contributions so that the company remains within the labor rules.

In this context, it is important for the sector to know the main rates, especially those deducted from the employees’ payroll, and organize the company so that payments are made without delays and fines. Among the main taxes that are the responsibility of the DP are INSS, FGTS, CAGED, RAIS and DIRF.

What skills does the DP professional need to develop?

Many companies still do not have a specific sector of the Personnel Department, so they choose to delegate the activities of the area to general practitioners , such as employees in the financial and administrative sector or even one of the partners.

However, this is a mistake. Since it is essential to have qualified professionals for the sector, who have specialization in the area , in addition to some specific skills and competences, such as:

  • organization;
  • preventive view of problems;
  • training and constant updates;
  • good communication;
  • ethic;
  • negotiation skill;
  • empathy;
  • data analysis capability;
  • close relationship with accounting.

What are the positions and functions of the Personnel Department?

Like other areas, the Personnel Department also has a hierarchical division of positions and functions. Thus, the training of the professional will depend on the level of responsibility and need for knowledge in each position.

Some routine steps can be performed by any professional on the team, while others should be directed to professionals with greater training and qualifications . Next, we’ll explain the DP positions further.

DP manager, manager or coordinator

He is the professional with the highest level of hierarchy in the sector, therefore, he must be able to manage the team and propose solutions . Usually, the manager has a degree in administration and a long trajectory in the PD field.

DP analyst

The analyst is second in the hierarchy and must also have very in-depth knowledge. Generally, this professional performs more complex tasks and is responsible for ensuring that payroll and terminations go through without errors or undue discounts.


The assistant is responsible for assisting and supporting the manager and analyst in more complex activities . In addition, he has autonomy to perform minor tasks, as long as he is guided by the particularities of the legislation.


The assistant is a support professional in all areas and works mainly on simpler tasks in the DP routine. Thus, he is responsible for organizing and filing documents, filling in data in spreadsheets, among other tasks. But he must be monitored continuously, especially when he is starting the job.

What are the Personnel Department’s metrics and indicators?

As we have seen, the Personnel Department works with data, which is why the sector has access to several important information to monitor teams and improve people management.

Thus, it is essential that the team knows what to do with this data and is able to use it to generate reports and metrics that help identify points of improvement for the business.

Now, look at some of the key indicators that can be identified by the department.


Based on the number of terminations carried out within a period, the personnel department is able to calculate the personnel turnover rate . This is to understand if HR is acting correctly in talent retention and if the salaries and benefits offered by the company are really attractive.

But it is also important to consider whether the dismissals were made at the employee’s own will or by the employer’s decision, and how long the person stayed at the company before being dismissed. With this type of information, it is possible to understand if there are errors in the recruitment and selection process and help HR to look for ways to ensure more assertiveness in hiring.


Excessive absences and tardiness can be a sign of demotivation or even leadership and organizational climate issues . In this way, the Personnel Department can use the data it has to help HR identify areas for improvement.

For that, it must measure the number of absences, justified or not, that occurred within a certain period. In addition, it is possible to measure the number of medical certificates and delays, identifying possible improvements in benefits, such as transportation vouchers and health insurance.

work accidents

Through the Accident Communication (CAT), the Personnel Department is able to measure the occurrences and help the company in an action focused on prevention.

This type of indicator is important to detect failures and negligence throughout the company , ensure adequate training for workers and prevent future occurrences that could lead to labor lawsuits.

overtime x hours worked

Another indicator widely used by the DP is the relationship between hours worked and overtime. With this type of metric, it is possible to closely monitor the productivity of teams, understand if employees are overloaded in their roles, if the company’s operational capacity is within limits and if it is necessary to reallocate or hire more human capital.

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