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Advanced Human Resource Management

Introduction to Human Resource Management


By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. List five areas of a company that the HR position impacts.
  2. Explain and list the tasks of a Human Resource Professional.
  3. List two certifications for HR professionals and explain what they mean.
  4. Define the term “independent contractor.”
  5. Discuss the difference between a human resource professional and a recruiter.
  6. Define “networking.”
  7. List three types of information found in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook.
  8. Discuss the four management roles of HR managers.


Human Resource professionals play a key role in the business world.  A Human Resource professional must wear many hats and possess proficient people-management skills. A person in this field not only needs to be a good time manager and positive role model, but also needs to maintain a superior working attitude with a diversity of individuals. After all, Human Resource professionals manage the human potential for an entire company.  They are constantly engaged in the dynamic process of assessing and filling the needs of an organization.  Human Resource work can be frustrating, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time. This lesson will introduce students to Human Resource Management and provide an overview of the position as a career.

Human Resources (Human Potential)

“The best HR people are a kind of hybrid: one part pastor, who hears all sins and complaints without recrimination, and one part parent, who loves and nurtures,  but gives it to you fast and straight when you’re off track.” – Jack Welch
The definition of Human Resources (HR) is the people that staff and operate an organization. Human Resource managers function slightly to the side of and above a business’ general managerial staff. HR professionals support other management in many ways and fulfill numerous roles.

The responsibilities of human resource managers usually fall in the following areas (though some companies may be structured differently and have separate departments for one or more of these activities):

  • Human Resource Planning
  • HR Information
  • Posting Laws and Changes in Laws affecting the Company
  • Orientation for New Hires
  • Induction into the Company
  • Training
  • Employee Development
  • Job Analysis
  • Recruiting and Selection
  • Terminations (people who quit, retire, transfer,  pass away, relocate, or are fired)
  • Career Path Development and Planning
  • Performance Evaluations
  • HR Policies
  • Succession Planning
  • Wage and/or Salary Administration
  • Performance Incentive Packages
  • Benefit Administration
  • Safety
  • Security (Workplace Violence)
  • Health and Wellness
  • Employee Rights
  • Privacy Issues
  • Compliance Issues
  • Diversity Awareness
  • Labor Union Relations (Daft, 2005, p. 476; Mathis & Jackson, 2005, p. 3)

In short, human resources professionals make the most of a company’s workforce.  They attempt to hire the best people for each position, nurture the good performers, and foster a productive work environment. Thus, HR is the key to all business strategy.

  Sometimes the duties of HR personnel are contracted out with another firm that specializes in HR issues and activities. These persons are often called independent contractors. An independent contractor is not an employee of the company, but is an outside worker that performs a service for the company per the terms of an agreement or contract.
Mathis & Jackson (2005) have suggested that HR Managers be:

  • Strategic business contributors
  • Operational in managing most HR activities
  • Administratively Inclined in order to focus extensively on clerical administration
  • Employee Advocates that serve as company morale officers

A well-known author on organizational development and leadership, Richard Daft (2007), had this to say about the Human Resources sector of a company:

The Human Resources sector is of significant concern to every business. Research groups say U.S. businesses will soon face a shortage of skilled workers. Princeton, New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service,  for example, found that literacy of American adults ranks tenth out of seventeen industrialized countries. Moreover, younger adults under-perform Americans over forty, leading researchers to warn that without improved adult training and education, U.S. companies will fall further behind in the global economy.

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