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What is HR management?

Human resource management (HRM) involves all managerial decisions and actions around recruiting, hiring, deploying and managing an organisation's employees.

A company or organisation's HR department, overseen by its HR Director, is responsible for creating, putting into effect and overseeing the policies which govern workers and the relationship between employer and employees. Therefore, HRM is responsible for making sure those associated tasks are completed efficiently.

In this article, we’ll go over the following questions:

  • What is HR management?

  • What are the different roles within HR management?

  • What is a career in HR management like?

There’s a lot more to HR management than you may realise, so this article aims to explore the different facets of HRM, the roles they serve, and why they're so important.

What is HR management?

Human resource management (HRM) is the phrase used to describe formal systems that help manage people within a company or organisation.

In HR management there are many different dynamics at play. The role of HRM is to manage the people within a workplace to achieve the company mission and nurture workplace culture. A company is only as good as its employees, making HRM a crucial part of maintaining or improving the health of the business.

Some of the responsibilities of HR management include:

Staff recruitment

HR managers may attend job fairs or other industry events, acting as an ambassador for an organisation that is actively looking for more employees. Once they have successfully filled the pipeline with potential applicants, they schedule and help conduct interviews. Following the recruitment of a successful candidate, it is often the HR manager who calls their references.

HR managers are also responsible for identifying  staff turnover rates, and onboarding processes. In some cases they also engage in building and maintaining a list of temporary and seasonal workers who can be called upon if needed.

Managing employee benefits

Handling benefits and compensation is one of the best parts of being a HR manager. They may be in charge of sharing benefits package options, company perks, memberships, and organising exciting events. Additionally, they are responsible for setting a person’s salary, determining raises, and managing pensions.

Conflict management

When there’s a conflict between employees and employers which can’t be solved by a quick conversation, HR managers step in to handle the same. They make sure that both sides are treated fairly, get their time to speak, and that the situation is resolved to everybody’s satisfaction. They may also lead training sessions on conflict resolution in the workplace. 

Protection of employees’ interests

It’s of utmost importance for an organisation to safeguard the interests of its employees. Issues arising from matters such as workplace harassment and discrimination should be handled sensitively and professionally. In ensuring staff members’ physical and emotional safety, the HR manager is responsible for managing and mediating any such incidents that may arise.

What are the different roles within HR management?

HR departments across different organisations can vary widely. They can be different sizes, have different structures, and different names for individual positions.

In smaller companies, it is not uncommon to have a handful of HR generalists, who perform a broad array of HR functions, but larger businesses tend to have specialised roles. Though these HR positions are all different, job functions may still overlap so a multitude of skills is essential.

Amazon is an example of a large company with multiple types of specialised HR positions. On their career website, they list 15 different HR job titles:

  • HR assistant

  • HR business partner

  • HR manager

  • Recruiter

  • Recruiting coordinator

  • Sourcer

  • Recruiting manager

  • Immigration specialist

  • LoA and accommodation specialist

  • Compensation specialist/manager

  • Benefits specialist/manager

  • Talent management specialist/manager

  • Learning and development specialist/manager

  • HR technology/process project program manager

  • HR analytics specialist/manager

When it comes to HR management, this department can be broken down into subsections, typically by pre-employment and employment. An HR manager is normally assigned to each. When you’re a HR manager, you will have to oversee areas such as these:

  • Employee recruitment, onboarding and retention

  • Talent management and workforce management

  • Job role assignment and career development

  • Compensation and benefits

  • Labour law and compliance

  • Performance management

  • Training and development

  • Succession planning

  • Employee engagement and recognition

  • Team building

What is a career in HR management like?

A career in HR management is exciting and rewarding. No two days will be the same! Every week, new challenges will arise and you will need to be quick to act and implement changes for the continued success of the company.

To develop a successful career in HR, you need a good foundation of soft skills including communication and organisation. As discussed in our previous article about how to get into HR in Ireland, there are several means in which these skills can be garnered. If, however, you wish to advance to a managerial level  it’s likely you’ll need some qualifications to bolster your efforts.

In order to kickstart your career in HRM, enrol in our HR Management courses today