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What Are the Basics of Human Resource Management?

J. Beam
J. Beam

Every company or organization, no matter how large or small, needs to attract and retain the best workforce possible to grow and maintain success. The act of recruiting, managing and motivating a company’s workforce is where the basics of human resource management come in to play. While human resource management can encompass a very broad range of roles and responsibilities, the human resources (HR) department is the part of an organization that deals with all things employee-related.

While any number of workplace components may fall under the HR umbrella, the basics of human resource management are employee recruitment and retention. Recruitment may seem obvious, but a company’s human resource department must not only attract potential employees, but also determine the best-suited ones for available openings. As part of the recruitment process, human resource managers oversee a variety of tasks from scripting job announcements to reviewing applicant’s resumes to interviewing and screening potential employees. In very large companies, the recruitment process may be on-going for most of the fiscal year.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Retention is another aspect of human resource management and encompasses a fairly wide range of responsibilities. The goal of retention is to keep valuable employees, limit turnover, and increase productivity, all of which save a company money in the long run. As part of employee retention, programs and benefits must be managed satisfactorily and workforce development and growth opportunities must be provided. Though retention is part of the basics of human resource management, nothing about it is basic, especially in a large company.

Human resource managers may find themselves working side by side with company executives to develop standard work practices for a variety of company performance issues. Employee incentive programs, continuing education, awards programs, and benefit programs all have a direct impact on employee performance and need to be managed by someone.

Whether private or public sector, the size of a company or organization directly impacts the size and responsibility levels of the human resource department, all companies must address the basics of human resource management in some way. Large companies have entire departments filled with HR employees with varying roles and levels of responsibilities, while small businesses may have a single manager who handles every aspect of HR. Some companies even choose to contract out part or all of their human resource needs.

Due to the fact that human resource management can play a varied and broad role within an organization, qualifications and education for human resource managers can be varied as well. Educational backgrounds in business management, human resources, and benefits administration are all equal to the task, but experience and leadership skills are also essential to success. Workers with a broad knowledge of the basics of human resource management may be better suited to filling broad roles, but business owners should not discount those with experience or education in a specific aspect of human resources.

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