Human Resource Management and Development

Human Resource Management (HRM) is now acknowledged as the key to an organization’s success, dealing with all aspects of acquiring, motivating and retaining employees, who are the back bone of the organization.

This proposition has lead to a change in business mindsets and is today, making management take a greater interest in the utilization of their organization’s human resources. Thus, Human Resources Management (HRM) is emerging as an important part in the growth story of every economy. As a discipline, HR has come up over the years and the whole outlook towards HR has undergone rapid changes. By definition, Human Resource Management is the function within an organization.

HRM is essentially concerned with basic employee management. It deals with the traditional areas that most people think of as HR, including compensation and benefits, recruiting and staffing, employee and labor relations and occupational health and safety. HRM can be defined as,

A business partner who can be directed in the interests of the organization

Change agent

Employee support


Human Resource Development (HRD) on the other hand, deals with the development of the resources in a company’s-organizational development, performance management, training and learning, and coaching. In the broader sense, it means evaluating the performance of employees and helping employees learn new skills.

A good way to start a career in HR is to determine what side of HR you want to work on HRM or HRD. A good question to ask your self is: Do I want to build and implement processes and programs at the workplace, or do I want to help develop people and transform behavior at the workplace? However, choosing one does not mean you are stuck with it forever. Many HR professionals start out in HRM to understand the field and then move into HRD to hone their development.

HRM is an evolving and dynamic field that challenges the ability of even the most seasoned professionals to keep abreast of policies, procedures, compliance requirements and best practices. In today’s economy, talent acquisition is the foremost business challenge that the HR function faces. The lack of investment in education has led to an acute shortage of talented professionals, who can take the onus for change in a developing economy like India, and thus the challenge gets even tougher.

Business schools worldwide have incorporated HR as an important subject of study. At the Indian School Of Business, ‘organizational behavior’ is a compulsory course, hence all students have to complete it successfully. The electives offered include a variety of subjects, including negotiating skills, conflict resolution and strategic HR among others.

If you like systems, analytics and processes, a career in HRM may just be the thing for you. Remember, the key ingredients to success as an HRM professional lie in understanding of the business and overall alignment of all activities to the core business strategies.

In the administrative role, there isn’t much specialized training required. However, to become a strategic business partner, a change agent or an employee champion (specialist roles), one needs to have substantial knowledge of the business and processes. The industry expects a qualified HR professional to bring on board  knowledge by virtue of which they can make visible the unseen. For instance, in a renowned FMCG company, it is imperative for HR professionals to come with an experience of a stint outside the realm of HR (say the sales or plant), which is crucial for better understanding of the business. This helps them earn the credibility of line managers and also facilitates creation of a synergy within the organization.

A bachelor’s degree in management allows entry into a junior cadre of HRM, and an MBA is generally a prerequisite for entry into mid-level/senior positions in HR. You should be able to manage a huge workload in a fast-paced environment and have excellent verbal ability and written communication skills. The skill that sets apart HRM professionals from others is their ability to leverage their specialized knowledge of people for better business.

An HRM professional might start out as a generalist, then choose a specialty area Of HRM, such as benefits and become a benefits manager. After that, the candidate may choose to remain in the specialty area, or move into an HR leadership role.

Today, the traditional HR functions of staffing, recruiting, compensation, and benefits are losing ground to a new generation of value added core HR functions that include career planning, executive development, training, succession planning and organizational development. Juggling responsibilities of talent management and organizational development with equal ease is the need of the hour for HRM professionals.

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