People Ops vs Human Resources: What’s the big difference?

People high-fivingI’m sure many of you reading this blog are aware of ‘People Ops’ and have been seeing it everywhere. Heck, it may even be in your professional title right now. Far from its humble beginnings as a much-derided buzzword for HR, People Operations is now a serious force to be reckoned with. These days, most companies that take their employees seriously have hired dedicated people ops professionals. In fact, it can now be said that HR is evolving into People Ops: quite a stunning turnaround for a profession that was once seen to HR as growth hacking is to marketing.

The good news, is that HR, People Ops, or whatever you call yourself must be more agile, inclusive and genuinely concerned with employee well-being than ever before. So what exactly is the difference between these two functions? We break it down for you.

People Ops:

    • Empower managers and their teams
    • Implement and facilitate management training and development programs
    • Develop unique perks and benefits plans
    • Revise and improve incentive structures and salary transparency
    • Track, access, and monitor team and individual development
    • Focus strongly on employee retention
    • Deliver data-driven people analytics reports
    • Discover and champion new software to improve inter-team work processes


    • Ensure standard benefits (i.e. healthcare) are well in hand
    • Maintain the structural unity of the company
    • Formalize and institute new rules, regulations, and processes
    • Ensure payroll and other administrative duties handled
    • Handle on-boarding and exit interviews
    • Recruit new employees
    • Make sure all rules are enforced effectively
    • Mandate compliance and proper protocol when dealing with interpersonal conflicts

At PERKS, we’re firmly in the camp that we can all support each other to help us all work better. The more of a strategic seat at the table we can allow for HR and People-Ops professionals away from bureaucracy and toward company growth is the next wave of company success, and employee wellness. Onwards!


FYI: Our PERKS NYC convention kicks off soon on April 18th with PERKS Boston on May 2nd. We hope to see you there. And sign up for the PERKS newsletter to get future blog updates sent directly to your inbox.