Human Resource Management
Human Resources may be the most misunderstood of all corporate departments, but it's also the most necessary. Those who work in Human Resources are not only responsible for hiring and firing, they also handle contacting job references and administering employee benefits.
It's true that any individual who works in Human Resources must be a "people person." Since anyone in this department deals with a number of employees, as well as outside individuals, on any given day, a pleasant demeanor is a must.
Managing employees is a major job, so those in Human Resources must be equal to the task. Ten or twenty years ago, Human Resources personnel were rarely seen. Instead they worked behind the scenes to ensure personnel records were in order and employee benefits were being properly administered, but the job stopped there. Today's Human Resources personnel don't only handle small administrative tasks. They are responsible for staffing major corporations. This is no minor feat.
It's not enough to be able to screen potential employees, however. Those who work in Human Resources also have to be able to handle a crisis in a smooth, discreet manner. Whether the issue is health care related or regarding sexual harassment or employee disputes, a person working in Human Resources must be trusted to keep an employee's personal details to herself. The Human Resource team must also be a good judge of morale and realize when morale boosting incentives are needed. It's up to them to make sure all employees are comfortable with their surroundings and working under acceptable, if not above average, conditions.
For those looking to enter a career in Human Resources, a college education is necessary. One doesn't necessarily have to have a degree in Human Resources, however. Majoring in Business Administration, Psychology, Labor Relations and Personnel Administration, as well as degrees in Social and Behavioral Sciences, can also be beneficial.
Human Resources may have gotten a bum rap, but it's clearly among the most important departments in any corporation. The next time you have to meet with someone from Human Resources, remember that without her, your company might not be running so efficiently.
Overall Human Resources Management can be defined as a "strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisations most valued assets - the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its goals" (from A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice - Michael Armstrong - 2000 revised edition).
Human resource (or personnel) management, in the sense of getting things done through people. It's an essential part of every manager's responsibilities, but many organizations find it advantageous to establish a specialist division to provide an expert service dedicated to ensuring that the human resource function is performed efficiently.
"People are our most valuable asset" is a cliché which no member of any senior management team would disagree with. Yet, the reality for many organizations is that their people remain"
* under valued
* under trained
* under utilized
* poorly motivated, and consequently
* perform well below their true capability
The rate of change facing organizations has never been greater and organizations must absorb and manage change at a much faster rate than in the past. In order to implement a successful business strategy to face this challenge, organizations, large or small, must ensure that they have the right people capable of delivering the strategy.
The market place for talented, skilled people is competitive and expensive. Taking on new staff can be disruptive to existing employees. Also, it takes time to develop 'cultural awareness', product/ process/ organization knowledge and experience for new staff members.
As organizations vary in size, aims, functions, complexity, construction, the physical nature of their product, and appeal as employers, so do the contributions of human resource management. But, in most the ultimate aim of the function is to: "ensure that at all times the business is correctly staffed by the right number of people with the skills relevant to the business needs", that is, neither overstaffed nor understaffed in total or in respect of any one discipline or work grade.