HRM Process: A Traditional view

HRM is a staff function. HRM managers advise line mangers throughout the organization. Furthermore, the company may need more or fewer employees and managers from time to time. The HRM process is an ongoing procedure that tries to keep the organization supplied with the right people in the right positions, when they are needed. The HRM function is especially important given the current trend toward downsizing.

The HRM process includes seven basic activities:

1. Human resources planning is designed to ensure that personnel needs will be constantly and appropriately met. It is accomplished through analysis of (a) internal factors, such as current and expected skill needs, vacancies, and departmental expansions and reductions and (b) factors in the environment such as the labor market. The use of computers to build and maintain information about all employees has enabled organizations to be much more efficient in their planning of human resources.
2. Recruitment is concerned with developing a pool of job candidates in line with the human resources plan. Candidates are usually located through newspaper and professional journal advertisements, employment agencies, word of mouth, and visits to college and university campuses.
3. Selection involves using application forms, resumes, interviews, employment and skills tests, and reference checks to evaluate and screen job candidates for the managers who will ultimately select and hire a candidate.
4. Socialization (orientation) is designed to help the selected individuals fit smoothly into the organization. New comers are introduced to their colleagues, acquainted with their responsibilities, and informed about the organization’s culture policies and expectations regarding employee behavior.
5. Training and development both aim to increase employees’ abilities to contribute to organizational effectiveness. Training is designed to improve skills in the present job; development programs are designed to prepare employees for promotion.
6. Performance appraisal compares an individual’s job performance to standards or objectives developed for the individual’s position. Low performance may prompt corrective action, such as additional training, a demotion, or separation, while high performance may merit a reward, such as raise, bonus, or promotion,. Although an employee’s immediate supervisor performs the appraisal, the HRM department is responsible for working with upper management to establish the policies that guide all performance appraisals.
7. Promotions, transfers, demotions, and separations reflect an employee’s value to the organization. High performers may be promoted or transferred to help them develop their skills, while low performers may be demoted, transferred to less important positions, or even separated. Any of these options will, in turn, affect human resource planning.

Human Resource Planning:

The need for human resource planning may not be readily apparent. However, an organization that does not do planning for human resources may find that it is not meeting either its personnel requirements or its overall goals effectively. For example, a manufacturing company may hope to increase productivity with new automated equipment, but if the company does not start to hire and train people to operate the equipment before installation, the equipment may remain idle for weeks or even months. Similarly, an all male, all white organization that does not plan to add women and minority group members to its staff may well have trouble maintaining high performance and is also likely to become the defendant in a civil rights lawsuit. Planning for human resources is a challenging task today, given the increasingly competitive environment, projected labor shortages, changing demographics, and pressure from government to protect both employees and the environment.