Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to that part of an organisation’s activities designed to attract, train, develop and maintain an effective workforce.
Some activities and roles undertaken include:
* drawing up job descriptions,
* organising the process of recruiting and selecting new staff,
* organise training (e.g. induction training for new staff),
* arrange and conduct performance appraisal,
* planning future staffing requirements,
* handling grievances,
* implementing HRM policy, e.g. equal opportunities (line managers are expected to be aware of all legal requirements affecting HRM).
The HRM department in an organisation is likely to fulfil a number of different roles:
The executive role
Here, the HRM department is seen as the ‘expert’ in matters relating to Human Resource Management and makes decisions about what should be done in this area. For example, the HRM department will ensure that organisational policies are developed in line with legal requirements, will decide to produce information booklets on training, etc.
The audit role
In this capacity, the HRM department monitors organisational activities to ensure that HRM policies are being properly implemented by all concerned.
The facilitator role
This role requires the HRM department to facilitate the work of other managers in the organisation and help them to acquire and use the skills, techniques and attitudes that they need to make sure that HRM policies are implemented throughout the organisation. For example, team leaders could be given training to help them respond to, and deal with, complex relationships between team members that may involve HRM issues such as grievances, equal opportunities, human resource planning, etc.
The consultancy role
In this role, the HRM department provides advice and guidance to managers at all levels on matters to do with the management of people.
The service role
This requires the HRM department to be the provider of useful information on HRM matters. This is most important in times of change when the organisation needs to make sure that it is up to date with what is happening, for example with changes in legislation on issues like equal opportunities, or with developments in HRM practice or 360-degree feedback.
Remember, think of the different topics you have to learn for HRM (ie HR Planning, Recruitment & Selection; Training & Development; Legislation; Employee Relations) and think how are the HR Dept involved?