HR Basics: Human Resource Management Past and Present

Before we explore the model, lets define human resource management. Human Resource Management comprise the formal systems designed to manage people in an organization. The role of human resource management professionals has dramatically evolved over the years. This lesson provides an overview of the past and future roles of Human Resource Management professionals in organizations.

If an organization has a formal HR group (perhaps a department) there are typically three different roles that group might play in the organization. Which of the roles predominates or whether all three roles are performed depends on what management wants HR to do and what competencies the HR staff has demonstrated.

Helping to define the business strategy relative to human capital and its contribution to organizational results. The strategic role requires the ability and orientation to contribute to strategic decisions and a recognition by upper management of those skills. Managing most HR activities in keeping with organizational strategy and serving as employee “champion” for employee issues and concerns. Focusing on clerical administration and recordkeeping, including essential legal paperwork and policy implementation

Human resource management has played an important role in organizational life throughout modern history. In the past role of human resource management, the personnel function was highly administrative, clerical in nature. The past role focused on transactional activities related to the processing of people related activities (such as payroll). A heavy emphasis on compliance lead to the personnel function “policing” policy and procedure.

The present role of human resource management has evolved to focus on the strategic contributions of human resources to the organization. As organizations strive to realize greater results, the critical role of people is recognized by the strategic role of human resource professionals to provide technical expertise, champion employees and lead strategically in their organizations. Human Resource Management is a value added function of the organization, influencing key organizational outcomes.