Human Resource Management (HRM) is the branch of management that concerns itself with the management of an organization’s most vital resources – the people who individually and collectively contribute to the organization’s growth and development. Earlier referred to as “personnel management”, HRM basically deals with staffing, developing the capabilities of people, retaining, and compensating them in keeping with their individual performances and organizational requirements.
The HRM discipline is an academic theory that believes that employees are individuals with varying needs and goals, and cannot be thought of as just production resources. The discipline takes a positive view of employees, and seeks to align their personal goals with those of the organization, thus leading to the development of the two in synergy. For this end, HRM also seeks to provide employees with adequate training and mentoring so that they gain an understanding of processes and systems typical of the organization.
HRM in modern organizations includes the activities concerning workforce planning, recruitment of talent, induction or onboarding, training and development, and compensation and performance appraisal. HRM may also extend to cover travel management, labor relations, and employee benefits administration.
At the higher level, HRM strategy deals with the best ways to implement HRM policies. While an organization’s HRM policies may cover several aspects such as recruitment, training, appraisals, and compensation, an overall strategy is required to align all areas of HRM.
Several universities offer programs for the study of HRM. The first institute for the college-level study of HRM, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations was set up by Cornell University. Since then, a number of colleges in the US have initiated courses for the study of HRM. Some of these include the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, and Ohio State University.
HRM may include jobs that cover general HRM functions or specialized HRM functions. There may be careers only concerning recruitment and placement, or there may be positions only for training development managers. Sometimes, compensation and benefits tasks are handled by compensation analysts or salary administrators.
Apart from the regular graduate colleges offering programs in HRM, there are a great many other courses available for managers who may want to upgrade themselves or take refresher courses in order to enhance career options or just improve their knowledge of the subject. Post-graduate diploma programs are available in several eminent colleges. These deal with the new innovations in the field of HRM and familiarize people with the latest developments in the field.
For the busy managers, there are some part time courses in HRM available as well. These can be attended in the evenings or on weekends. A valuable option for those people who are unable to take time off from their regular jobs, the curriculum of the part time courses should be studied with care before decisions to enroll are taken up. Make sure that the curriculum suits your training needs before you sign up. Also, check for the reputability of the organization before you join. It is important that you come out of the course achieved your goals.