Module 1: Need for Human Resources.
Topic 1: Human Resources Management
—Roles and Responsibilities
What Is Human Resources Management?
Successful organizations bring together different kinds of people to achieve a common purpose—without
people organizations would not exist. The term “human resources” implies that people are as important to
the success of any business as other resources are, such as money, materials, machinery, and information.
Human resources management (HRM) is about more than just hiring, paying, and training people, it is
about the management of people in an organization.
is defined as the activities, policies, and practices involved in obtaining, developing, utilizing,
evaluating, maintaining, and retaining the appropriate number and skill mix of employees to accomplish the
organization’s objectives (textbook, p. 2).
Note that the word “employees” is also intended to cover contract workers, people from other organizations
who are working on projects, or any similar working relationship.
Whatever business you are in, and irrespective of its size, employers make many decisions that affect the
organization and its employees. Let’s look at the situation of a new entrepreneur and some of the HRM
decisions to be considered.
After many years of formal employment, Jennifer Brown is keen to go out on her own and achieve her
long-term goal of being an entrepreneur. After much exploration, she has decided to capitalize on her
knowledge of the medical field by establishing a business offering a medical transcription service to
hospitals and general practitioners. She is sure she can get more business than she can take care of herself,
but to do so, she will have to employ other people to help her. This leaves her with a number of questions:
How many people will I need?
Will I have enough work to employ people full-time or should I hire people on a part-time or
What should their skill set be?
What benefits are they entitled to?
How can I ensure the right people have been employed?
When I get the right people, how do I ensure I keep them?
What legislation will I need to know?
Irrespective of the nature of your business and its size, you will be facing similar questions and thus will
need an understanding of human resources management.
The question of who undertakes these activities in any given organization depends on the size and
complexity of that organization. Many large and complex organizations have dedicated HR professionals