What is human resource management?
Human resource management, or HRM, is the primary role of a human resources department that focuses on recruiting, hiring, onboarding, managing and providing guidance for employees. The human resources department has a wide scope of responsibilities that centers around the development of programs and processes that improves the work performance and environment of the company.
The organization’s overall operational success depends on the ability of the human resource management department to manage talent, provide legal advice, coach, mentor, train, perform administrative duties and identify tools that will positively contribute to the company.
As a result, it is often the responsibility of many human resource departments to foster the culture and develop the overall mission of an organization. They do this by creating protocols for the effective development of the organization as well as the teams and departments that are a part of it. When done correctly, this inspires and empowers employees by allowing them to invest in an organization and transform into valuable members who actively contribute to its mission and values.
Titles for HR professionals
There are many roles within the human resources department that come with their own set of responsibilities and titles. Some examples are:
- HR assistant: As one of the entry-level positions in an HR department, HR assistants provide administrative assistance, such as correspondence and organizational tasks, to the senior members of the HR staff.
- HR specialist: These professionals focus on one or a few different aspects of the department, such as negotiations, placement or benefits.
- HR generalist: Instead of specializing in one or a few aspects of human resources, an HR generalist has a broad range of duties that cover most of the functions of the department.
- Recruiter: They are often third-party professionals or internal members of an organization who function outside of the human resources department and work closely with HR professionals to find ideal candidates and fill vacancies within an organization.
- HR administrator: HR administrators are generally mid-level employees who handle various responsibilities, including payroll, recruiting, training and employee benefits.
- HR manager: This role develops and oversees the various policies and regulations that are instituted for every department and employee, such as paid time off and benefits.
- Senior recruiter: Recruiters can advance into the role of a senior recruiter, a position that has similar responsibilities but with more pay and a title that reflects their expertise at evaluating the needs of an organization and finding exceptional candidates for the position and company.
- HR director: As a senior member of the human resources department, HR directors usually report directly to executives and strive to keep an organization profitable, productive and competitive.
- Recruiting manager: As one of the top-most positions a recruiter can hold, these individuals oversee the overall recruitment process by ensuring that candidates are qualified and compatible.
- Vice president (VP) of HR: The VP of HR is responsible for maintaining the operations and profitability of an HR department. They accomplish this by supervising and consulting with management to develop better staffing strategies.
- Chief HR officer (CHRO): As the highest position that can be held within a human resources department, the CHRO creates strategies that support and provide direction for the organization. Though the scope of their responsibilities is large, they specifically focus on organizational performance, managing changes, managing talent and succession planning.
Important responsibilities for HR professionals
Human resources management positions are likely to include a variety of functions and responsibilities. The most common areas covered are:
- Hiring and staffing: One of the primary responsibilities for human resources is identifying and hiring quality job candidates. This can include both actively pursuing professionals who have not inquired about the company as well as assessing applicants for job postings to identify the best candidate.
- Employee utilization and development: A key element of successful companies is using employees in roles they are best suited to and developing employees to take on new, more advanced positions. Human resource professionals often play an integral role in overseeing these development initiatives.
- Employee review: Providing feedback to staff is an efficient way of guiding employee behavior and shaping it to meet the broader goals of the company. In addition to direct oversight from team managers, human resources staff oversee annual staff reviews to create a setting for formal assessment and goal setting with employees.
- Staff maintenance: Human resources assists in staff management in both internal promotions and layoffs. Often these tasks will be performed in conjunction with senior staff from other departments.
Each of these tasks plays a crucial role in helping a company find and maintain its most valuable staff members in order to maximize production and profit.
Related: Onboarding Best Practices
Human resource management FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding human resource management:
Why is human resources management important to an organization?
Human resources professionals are responsible for keeping the staff of a company organized and prepared with the aim to significantly improve the productivity of the business. By keeping company morale high and addressing any internal disputes professionally, human resources managers help a company recruit and maintain the best workers.
What are some key qualifications to look for in human resource team members?
Human resource staff should have the following skills and knowledge:
- Knowledge of local, state and federal employment law and policies
- Familiarity with human resources, hiring and training best practices
- Proficiency with HRM software
- Organization and time management
- Interpersonal communication skills