Concept and Meaning of Human Resource Management (HRM)

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Human Resource Management was formerly known as personnel management, which dealt with the activities of a single department. It typically dealt with the management of people. The functions performed by the department were recruitment and selection, reward, appraisal, development, grievance handling, retirement, registration and so on. It was introduced and developed in the bureaucratic institution where emphasis was placed on organising and managing manpower.

Today, human resource management can be defined as the process of recruiting and mobilising human resources in such a way that they contribute to achieving the goals of the organisation. HRM deals with the human dimension in management, which considers the recruitment and selection, development, motivation and maintenance of human resources in an organisation. It is one of the major functions of management which is related to the management of human energies and competencies. Human resource management helps to ensure the right man, for the right position and at the right time in a changing environment. Organisational performance depends on the efficiency of human resources working in the organisation. Therefore, human resource planning, recruitment, motivation, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation management and industrial relations should be properly designed.

In addition, human resource management is concerned with the development of human capabilities, knowledge and skills to perform organisational tasks effectively and efficiently. It is an area of study that consists of four functions - acquisition, development, motivation and maintenance of human resources. Acquisition refers to attracting employees, development refers to preparing them for work, motivation refers to activating them and finally maintenance refers to keeping them in the organisation.

Therefore, human resource management is an art of managing and mobilising people in the organisation. This is done through the application of various practices and policies that ultimately value human resources as the main assets of an organisation. It integrates the human resource function into strategic management.

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