Purpose of Human Resource Management

The Mission of Human Resource Management

Human resource management's mission is to coordinate people within an organization to achieve the organization's goals.

Learning Objectives

Demonstrate the mission of human resource management, in both the broader organizational perspective and the narrower individual one

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Human resource management (HRM) views people as organizational assets and internal customers and works to create job satisfaction and employee efficiency and effectiveness.
  • HRM concentrates on internal sources of competitive advantage. It regards people as an organization 's most important asset.
  • The department of human resources (HR) communicates with employees and adapts the organization's culture and structure to their needs—for example, in negotiating with unions or re-engineering processes.
  • HR leads the employment life cycle, from attracting and hiring the right employees to facilitating performance reviews and eventually processing terminations.

Key Terms

  • human capital: The stock of competencies, knowledge, and social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value.
  • asset: Any component, model, process, or framework of value that can be leveraged or reused.

Human resource management (HRM) is the coordination of an organization's people to achieve specific business objectives, fulfill staffing needs, and maintain employee satisfaction. HRM accomplishes this through the use of people, processes, and technology that focus on the internal parts of the organization rather than on the external environment. HRM draws from many diverse fields—such as psychology, business management, process management, information technology, statistical analysis, sociology, and anthropology—to achieve these objectives.


Human resources: People are assets for an organization.

People as a Resource

HRM concentrates on internal sources of competitive advantage. It regards people as the most important single asset of the organization. HRM is proactive in its relationship with people and seeks to enhance organizational performance in its relationship with them. HR professionals emphasize the quantitative, calculative, and strategic aspects of managing the human resource in a systematic way. It also manages communication, motivation, and leadership between people in the organization.

General HRM Functions

  • Aligning human resources and business goals
  • Re-engineering organization processes
  • Listening and responding to employees to maintain high job-satisfaction levels
  • Managing transformation and change
  • Staffing (i.e., hiring and firing) and training
  • Understanding and integrating labor laws and ethics

Organizational Level

At the macro level, HR is in charge of overseeing organizational leadership and culture. It also ensures compliance with employment and labor laws, which differ by geography, and often oversees health, safety, and security.

In circumstances where employees desire, and/or are legally authorized to hold, a collective bargaining agreement, the human resources department will typically also serve as the company's primary liaison with the employees' representatives (usually a labor union).

HR professionals engage in lobbying efforts, usually through industry representatives, with governmental agencies such as the United States Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board to further their priorities.

Employee Level

On an individual level, HR's mission is to manage the employee experience during the employment life cycle. It is first charged with attracting the right employees. It then must select the best employees through the recruitment process. HR then onboards new hires and oversees their training and development during their tenure with the organization.

HR assesses talent through the use of performance appraisals and then rewards them accordingly. HR may sometimes administer payroll and employee benefits, although such activities are now often outsourced, with HR playing a more strategic role.

Finally, HR is involved in employee terminations—including resignations, performance-related dismissals, and layoffs.

Human Resource Planning

Human resource planning identifies the competencies an organization needs to fulfill its goals and acquires the appropriate people.

Learning Objectives

Express the way in which planning, evaluation and improvement can create competency relative to developing human resources

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The human resource planning process identifies organizational goals and matches them with the competencies employees need to achieve those goals.
  • Human resource planning serves as a link between human resource management and the overall strategic plan of an organization.
  • A plan is made to either develop necessary competencies from within the organization or hire new people who already have them.
  • The plans and strategies for fulfilling human resource needs are continually evaluated and improved, and the acquired resources are continuously developed.

Key Terms

  • competency: The ability to perform some task.

Human resource planning is the process of systematically forecasting both the future demand for and supply of employees and the deployment of their skills with respect to the strategic objectives of the organization. Human resource planning is a process that identifies current and future human resource needs for an organization, based on the goals and objectives set by upper management. It responds to the importance of business strategy and planning in order to ensure the availability and supply of people—in both number and quality. Human resource planning serves as a link between human resource management and the overall strategic plan of an organization.


Planning: Organizations gain an advantage by planning the implementation of their people.

Planning Process

The planning processes is loosely about determining what will be accomplished within a given time frame, along with the numbers and types of human resources that will be needed to achieve the defined business goals. This is typically accomplished by defining competencies that are required by workers to achieve business goals, matching people with these competencies to the right tasks, and assessing the overall process for progress and improvement.

In this way, human resources professionals need to understand each and every task within the organization, as well as the skills and competencies required of the individuals who carry out those tasks. When appropriate, human resource managers may note experience and/or competency gaps or the need to create new roles or hire new individuals to ensure proper functioning.

Planning to Develop Competencies

Competency-based management supports the integration of human resource planning with business planning by allowing organizations to assess the current human resource capacity based on employees' current skills and abilities. These skills and abilities are measured against those needed to achieve the vision, mission, and business goals of the organization. If the available people lack necessary competencies, the organization plans how it will develop them.

Targeted human resource strategies, plans, and programs work to address these gaps in the organization's workforce through:

  • Targeted hiring/staffing
  • Employee learning and education
  • Career development
  • Succession management

Evaluation and Improvement

These strategies and programs are monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that they are moving the organization in the desired direction, including closing employee-competency gaps. Corrections are then made as needed to the broader human resource planning process. It is a constantly evolving planning process for human resource professionals.

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