Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What does it mean to be an HR professional? In this article, we will discuss why organizations need Human Resources Management, what its functions and best practices are, and how you can enter the profession.

What Is Human Resource Management?

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the method of managing the employees of an organization to achieve business success.

Human Resource Management vs HR

Human Resources, or HR, are the people who make up the workforce of an organization. HRM is the method of empowering employees to achieve business success.

Why Organizations Need to Understand HRM

Organizations need to understand and leverage HRM in order to navigate the dynamic world of work. Here are a few examples of the ever-changing factors that require our attention.

  • Recruiting is evolving. The process of recruiting is no longer about choosing the best candidate; it is about engaging candidates in a conversation to determine compatibility with the position and company. This may require changing the recruiting process to establish an empowering candidate experience that allows both parties to speak openly.
  • HRM is the champion of change. Organizations often need to make drastic changes quickly. HRM is uniquely positioned to support the workforce in understanding and accepting change.
  • HRM builds community. HRM offers the tools to ensure every employee is included in team meetings and fun company activities as well. Whether it is over Zoom or delivering a package to their home, HRM provides the key to helping employees feel belonging.
  • Positive ROI. HRM has a direct impact on a company’s ROI. To maximize a positive ROI, organizations can leverage Learning and Development (L&D) efforts and performance management to improve productivity by closing skills gaps.
  • A resource for all. Whether it is managing a public health crisis or deciding which candidates to bring in to interview, HRM is a vital resource to employees and employers.

Functions of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management consists of more than recruiting and firing people. This section will provide an overview of the functions of HRM.

Performance Management

Performance management is the structure that provides employees feedback on their performance. Good performance management is led by the employees’ manager with support from HRM. Throughout the process of monitoring performance, rewarding good performance, and coaching poor performance, employees should feel empowered to work on who they want to become.

Recruiting

The talent in a company is the spine that connects everything together for the best possibility of business success. Hiring managers send open positions to HR, who utilizes tools to determine the best candidate for the position. These tools include software to review resumes, assessments, interviews, and reference checks.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

HRM provides the insight that exposes cognitive biases in business processes. This function supports leaders in identifying and overcoming those biases, creating a work environment where everyone is welcome and listened to.

Safety

Organizations often include safety in HRM. This function identifies safety risks and protects employees from them. HRM professionals partner with leadership to effectively train employees and report any injuries that happen at work to OSHA.

Recently, HRM safety initiatives have included programs that address and protect the well-being of employees. These programs cover topics like mental health, nutrition, and financial wellness, to name a few.

Learning & Development (L&D)

L&D efforts are commonly tied to performance management objectives that allow employees to bridge a skills gap. Employers utilize tools like the 9 box grid to identify these gaps and grow their workforce to operate at a more efficient capacity. Employees value this because it gives them a path to see where their future takes them if they stay at your company.

Compensation and Benefits

Fair compensation is the foundation to retaining a talented workforce. As an HR rep, you should monitor raises and set standards with managers for merit pay increases. There are two types of compensation.

  • Primary compensation refers to the compensation and benefits paid directly to the employee.
  • Secondary compensation is every non-monetary form of non-compensation. Examples include schedule flexibility, company cars, daycare, and company cell phones.

When you design the company’s plan for compensation and benefits, the important part is to determine what will motivate the employees.

Succession Planning

Succession planning prepares for when a position is suddenly vacated. A talent pipeline is built utilizing L&D efforts plus performance management to determine who will be ready for a promotion when the moment arises.

How to Become a Human Resource Manager

The HR Manager position is not for the faint of heart. This section will provide four steps to help you navigate this exciting profession and optimize your chance of becoming an HR Manager.

Step 1: Build Competency

A formal education is not required to enter the HR profession. However, successful HR professionals show increasing competency and knowledge of human resources. Balance your education with the technical aspects of HR and the behavioral sciences to understand psychology and decision-making.

The HR profession handles a complex and dynamic work environment. Education provides a solid foundation to navigate an HR career.

Step 2: That First HR Position

Whether it is an internship or entry-level HR position, it can be difficult to break into a new field. Be open to internships, part-time, and temporary positions to help you build an experience that leverages your education and other relevant work experience.

Becoming a member of your local SHRM chapter can be valuable in helping you network with HR professionals in your area and secure an interview.

Step 3: Gain Experience

Following the path of an HR generalist will give you experience in everything HR has to offer. An HR generalist handles everything from soup to nuts and should be ready to tackle any HR function, including recruiting, performance management, diversity, compensation/benefits, learning and development, and safety.

HR generalists can easily progress into higher HR positions due to the breadth of knowledge they build in each of the functions in HR.

Step 4: HR Certification

The HR profession requires each HR professional to continually learn and build competence. How do you show a future/current employer your level of knowledge has reached a credible threshold? HR certification is a great way to show employers and coworkers that you are competent in Human Resources.

Best Practices for Human Resource Management

The HR Management profession is dynamic and constantly evolving. The following best practices will help you navigate HR Management.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

It is time to review the processes regarding recruiting, compensation, and performance management to determine where cognitive biases exist. It may be understood that leaders “don’t look at race” when making a hiring decision, but they might unconsciously choose candidates who most resemble themselves. HR professionals lead the efforts to increase self-awareness around bias and promote DEI throughout the organization.

Elevating the Employee Experience

Employees are looking for more than a paycheck; they seek an experience that aligns with what they deem important in life. Aspects of the employee experience that should be examined include the following.

  • Pay structures. Audit all pay structures and establish that genders and ethnic groups are all paid equally.
  • Work flexibility. The companies that thrive allow their employees flexibility where work is completed. Workplace flexibility is a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining new talent.
  • Health and wellness benefits. This is about more than the company paying its portion of health insurance premiums. Does your current benefits and compensation plan serve the needs of your workforce? If not, now is a great time to learn why not and modify the plan.
  • Leadership development. In addition to exceptional pay and benefits, the employees at your company want to grow into increasing responsibilities. Leadership development opportunities often play a major factor in retaining great employees.

Employee Value Proposition

The combination of pay, benefits, culture, and pride all encompass a company’s employer value proposition. You may want to partner with senior leadership to articulate the wording on what it means to be an employee at your organization.

Agility

No one can predict the future. Nevertheless, companies that learn from the past are better prepared for changes to the way we work. These companies fully understand the power of the people who work for them and continually upskill and reskill employees to adapt to future changes.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Human Resource Management

Delivering on promises for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Recruiting new talent.
Retaining new talent.
Keeping workplace flexibility.
Improving HR processes to adapt to the new world of work.

Recruiting, performance management, training, succession planning, compensation, and benefits.

“HRM mainly focuses on developing and managing systems and processes that enable employees to effectively do their job. HCM can focus on maximizing employees’ economic value to the company. They overlap. Human capital is a mid/late 20th century term used as businesses realized that the true value of employees was the ability to generate profit. . . . It’s viewing employees as an investment. HRM was in the early 20th century, the start of people departments advocating for employees and labor unions.” – Michael Gessel

Ryan is an HR Director with four years of experience and three masters degrees. One accomplishment he is proud of is the design and launch of a learning and development program for 800+ employees.

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