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The Fundamentals of Human Resource Management: A Guide

Human resources managers are the bridge between an employee and a company’s management. If you are a human resources manager, it’s important to understand the specific functions and the fundamentals that make up this role. The better you’re able to understand the basics of human resource management, the more you’ll be able to perform your duties with ease. Learn about the functions of a human resources management position and the answers to common questions about this line of work.

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What exactly are the fundamentals of human resource management?

Human resource management refers to the management of a company or organization’s employees and operations. This involves the recruitment and hiring of employees, their management and the direction provided to these employees. There are many key functions and fundamentals in regard to human resource management. They are as follows:

  • Recruiting and staffing
  • Training and development
  • Performance management and evaluations
  • Payroll and benefits
  • Succession planning

Recruiting and staffing

One of the fundamentals of human resource management is the recruitment and staffing of new employees. Human resources managers are responsible for advertising open positions for their companies. Based on the applications they receive, they choose the individuals they want to interview, conduct interviews and select the right candidates to hire. In some cases, they may have candidates perform various assessments to test their abilities related to the job, and they may also complete reference checks themselves to verify certain information. Essentially, they are responsible for filling open positions with qualified candidates.

Training and development

Another main function of human resource management is the training and development of all company employees. Human resources managers help employees perform at the best of their abilities by offering programs that allow them to grow and maintain their skills and expertise. This allows them to improve their performance and efficiency in the workplace.

Performance management and evaluations

Human resource management also involves the evaluation of an employee’s performance. This is often done multiple times throughout the year and is used to help foster communication between a supervisor and an employee. Human resources employees help define company goals and objectives, help employees utilize performance management software and set meetings to foster these discussions. This is important because performance management allows supervisors to determine an employee’s abilities and their potential for future growth and development. Based on the evaluation, supervisors can help create a plan for future goals in order to improve an employee’s performance.

Payroll and benefits

Another fundamental area of human resource management is payroll and benefits. Human resources managers are tasked with creating strategic compensation plans and negotiating health care benefits for employees. The latter involves making sure the company adheres to various policies. A competitive compensation plan and benefits package can be attractive to prospective employees, so it is important for human resources managers to put together strategic offers to attract and retain employees for the future.

Succession planning

Lastly, succession planning is a fundamental area of human resource management as well. Succession planning involves the identification and development of employees who can step in and replace certain leaders when they step down or leave their positions. For example, in the event that a leader retires, human resources managers should have a succession plan in place that details who will take their place or succeed them. This is an important role in human resource management because it ensures that a business will continue to operate smoothly as leadership changes.

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Three crucial points

In order to better understand the role of human resource management, you need to familiarize yourself with the three crucial points or areas that make up this position:


Human resource management involves the recruitment of new employees. This is done by posting advertisements about open positions on job boards, social media and other mediums. Recruiters do this in the hopes of hiring new employees, but the responsibilities may fall on the hiring manager, depending on the company. Recruitment also involves staffing. Therefore, not only does human resource management entail interviewing candidates, but it also involves the management and onboarding of new hires.


A large part of a human resources manager’s role involves managing a company or organization and its employees. They do this by overseeing daily operations such as the supervision of team building. They also manage the downline of employees along with general employee relations. In regard to the latter, human resources managers aim to mediate any disagreements to avoid legal action, help interpret harassment laws and more. Overall, they help employers manage their employees and provide guidelines for what is expected in each team member’s role.


Along with the recruitment and hiring of new employees, the human resources department provides direction and guidance to a company and its employees. This includes providing employees with any necessary knowledge, offering training and coaching to develop their skills and giving them advice regarding work or legal matters.

Essentially, human resources managers help shape the culture of an organization by inspiring employees, among their other duties. They ensure that a company’s mission, values and goals are upheld by guiding how the organization operates. Overall, human resources managers provide direction in order to maintain orderliness in their company and ensure employees understand their roles.

Human resource management FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding human resource management:

What are some key skillsneeded to work in human resource management?

Employers should hire employees that have a wide variety of skills in order to succeed in a human resource management role. Some of the most essential skills include the following:

  • Organization
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Decision-making skills
  • Negotiation
  • Training and developmental skills
  • Budgeting skills

Why is human resource management important?

Human resource management is important because it deals with several issues related to the workplace. It manages compensation, employee training and development, benefits and compensation, safety and more. Because of human resources managers, a company’s operations run more smoothly.

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