Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is the management of an organization’s workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will also serve as the company’s primary liaison with the employees’ representatives (usually a labor union).
HR is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work such aspayroll and benefits administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advancement, and further research, HR now focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labor relations, and diversity and inclusion.
In startup companies, HR’s duties may be performed by trained professionals. In larger companies, an entire functional group is typically dedicated to the discipline, with staff specializing in various HR tasks and functional leadership engaging in strategic decision making across the business. To train practitioners for the profession, institutions of higher education, professional associations, and companies themselves have created programs of study dedicated explicitly to the duties of the function.
Academic and practitioner organizations likewise seek to engage and further the field of HR, as evidenced by several field-specific publications. Human resource management is the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization’s most valued assets – the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business. The terms “human resource management” and “human resources” (HR) have largely replaced the term “personnel management” as a description of the processes involved in managing people in organizations.
Human Resource management is evolving rapidly. Human resource management is both an academic theory and a business practice that addresses the theoretical and practical techniques of managing a workforce. Human resource management has it roots in the late and early 1900’s. When workers jobs became less labor intense and more working with machinary. The scientific management movement began. This movement was started by Frederick Taylor when he wrote about it a book titled The Principles of Scientific Management.
The book stated, “The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee. ” Taylor believed that management should use the techniques used by scientist to research and test work skills to improve the efficiency of the workforce. Also around the same time came the industrial welfare movement. This was usually a voluntary effort by employers to improve the conditions in their factories. The effort also extended into the employees life outside of the work place.
The employer would try to provide assistance to employees to purchase a home, medical care, or assistance for education. History Antecedent theoretical developments HR spawned from the human relations movement, which began in the early 20th century due to work by Frederick Taylor in lean manufacturing. Taylor explored what he termed “scientific management” (later referred to by others as “Taylorism”), striving to improve economic efficiency in manufacturing jobs.
He eventually keyed in on one of the principal inputs into the manufacturing process—labor—sparking inquiry into workforce productivity. Birth and evolution of the discipline By the time enough theoretical evidence existed to make a business case for strategic workforce management, changes in the business landscape (a la Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller) and in public policy (a la Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal) had transformed the employer-employee relationship, and the discipline was formalized as “industrial andlabor relations”.
In 1913, one of the oldest known professional HR associations—the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development—was founded in England as the Welfare Workers’ Association, then changed its name a decade later to the Institute of Industrial Welfare Workers, and again the next decade to Institute of Labour Management before settling upon its current name. Likewise in the United States, the world’s first institution of higher education dedicated to workplace studies—the School of Industrial and Labor Relations—was formed at Cornell University in 1945.
During the latter half of the 20th century, union membership declined significantly, while workforce management continued to expand its influence within organizations. “Industrial and labor relations” began being used to refer specifically to issues concerning collective representation, and many companies began referring to the profession as “personnel administration”. In 1948, what would later become the largest professional HR association—the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)—was founded as the American Society for Personnel Administration (ASPA).
Nearing the 21st century, advances in transportation and communications greatly facilitated workforce mobility and collaboration. Corporations began viewing employees as assets rather than as cogs in a machine. “Human resources management”, consequently, became the dominant term for the function—the ASPA even changing its name to SHRM in 1998. “Human capital management” is sometimes used synonymously with HR, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view of human resources; i. e. , the knowledge the individuals embody and can contribute to an organization.
Likewise, other terms sometimes used to describe the field include “organizational management”, “manpower management”, “talent management”, “personnel management”, and simply “people management”. Business function Dave Ulrich lists the functions of HR as: aligning HR and business strategy, re-engineering organization processes, listening and responding to employees, and managing transformation and change. In practice, HR is responsible for employee experience during the entire employment lifecycle.
It is first charged with attracting the right employees through employer branding. It then must select the right employees through the recruitment process. HR then onboards new hires and oversees their training and development during their tenure with the organization. HR assesses talent through use ofperformance appraisals and then rewards them accordingly. In fulfillment of the latter, HR may sometimes administer payroll andemployee benefits, although such activities are more and more being outsourced, with HR playing a more strategic role.
Finally, HR is involved in employee terminations – including resignations, performance-related dismissals, and redundancies. At the macro-level, HR is in charge of overseeing organizational leadership and culture. HR also ensures compliance with employment and labor laws, which differ by geography, and often oversees health, safety, and security. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will typically also serve as the company’s primary liaison with the employee’s representatives (usually a labor union).
Consequently, HR, usually through industry representatives, engages in lobbying efforts with governmental agencies (e. g. , in the United States, the United States Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board) to further its priorities. The discipline may also engage in mobility management, especially pertaining to expatriates; and it is frequently involved in the merger and acquisition process. HR is generally viewed as a support function to the business, helping to minimize costs and reduce risk.
Careers. There are almost half a million HR practitioners in the United States and thousands more worldwide. The Chief HR Officer is the highest ranking HR executive in most companies and typically reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and works with the Board of Directors on CEO succession. Within companies, HR positions generally fall into one of two categories: generalist and specialist. Generalists support employees directly with their questions, grievances, and projects. They “may handle all aspects of human resources work, and thus require an extensive range of knowledge.
The responsibilities of human resources generalists can vary widely, depending on their employer’s needs. “ Specialists, conversely, work in a specific HR function. Some practitioners will spend an entire career as either a generalist or a specialist while others will obtain experiences from each and choose a path later. Being an HR manager consistently ranks as one of the best jobs, with a #4 ranking by CNN Money in 2006 and a #20 ranking by the same organization in 2009, due to its pay, personal satisfaction, job security, future growth, and benefit to society.
Human resource consulting is a related career path where individuals may work as advisers to companies and complete tasks outsourced from companies. In 2007, there were 950 HR consultancies globally, constituting a USD $18. 4 billion market. The top five revenue generating firms were Mercer, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Watson Wyatt (now part of Towers Watson), Aon (now merged withHewitt), and PwC consulting. For 2010, HR consulting was ranked the #43 best job in America by CNN Money.