What is Human Resource Management?
Human Resource Management can best be described as the area of an organization that is responsible for recruiting, training, motivating, and retaining employees. Although these are the main functions of Human Resources, other functions fall under the umbrella of Human Resource. Over the years Human Resources has evolved and includes many more functions such as compensation, benefits, performance management, and evaluation. No longer are Human Resources just for hiring, training, promotion, or terminating. There are several new privacy laws such as HIPPA, which Human Resources Managers must ensure the company is in compliance with. Another common misconception of HRM is the function is there for hiring, issuing out punishment for violations of company policy, and terminating employment. While these functions are part of the responsibilities of Human Resources, there is a broader scope within an organization.
Primary Function of Human Resource Management
Simply stated the primary function of HRM is to manage the organization’s employees. Employees are the most valuable asset in an organization. Machines, technology, and the best products and services would not exist without the human assets. “People—not buildings, equipment, or brand names—make a company” (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007. p. 32). Expanding on the primary function of HRM involves four separate but equally important functions; staffing, training and development, motivation, and maintenance.
The staffing function is more involved than just recruiting. Human resources must first engage in planning and analysis of the position and the skills, knowledge and abilities required for the position. HR cannot successfully recruit qualified applicants “without knowledge of the critical skills required, nor can one appropriately set performance standards and pay rates or invoke disciplinary procedures fairly without this understanding” (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007. p. 38). The two goals of HRM in recruiting are to provide accurate information and requirements to avoid unqualified applicants and to collect an adequate number of candidates to provide line managers with more options for the position.
Once a new employee is hired, regardless of previous experience and qualifications, there will be an adjustment period to acquaint the employee with the company’s policies, rules, regulations, organizational culture, and goals. During this time, the training and development function of HRM comes into play. Through the adjustment period, the focus of HRM is on training new employee in the procedures and expectations of the organization in the least amount of time so the new employee will become productive. “At the conclusion of the training and development function, HRM attempts to reach the goal of having competent, adapted employees who possess the up-to-date skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to perform their current jobs more successfully” (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007....