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Human Resource
Management (HRM) is a characteristic of organisational management that focuses
on the management of personnel. HRM is used to establish structures devised for the management of people
within an organization. It focuses mainly on management needs rather than
employee needs and concentrates on the provision and deployment of employees.
It is considered to be a very important feature of people management based on
the theory that human resources, if implemented efficiently and effectively
could determine the success of an organisation. Many organisations have failed
due to the fact that the importance of HRM was not recognised. An organisation
needs to be competitive and employing the right people to ensure that the organisations
goals are achieved is imperative to its success. HRM is aimed at recruiting
capable, adaptable and dedicated people, managing and rewarding their
performance and developing key competencies (Cole & Kelly, 2011). HRM needs
to be part of an organisations strategic plan to ensure that objectives are met
not only in the short term but also in in the long term.

The 1980’s saw a decade of change in regards to the function
of personnel management. Due to an economic crisis on a global scale and a
downturn in business activity, the focus of personnel management and the nature
of personnel activities saw significant developments. New methods, technology
and economic demands combined to set new priorities within this area. HRM
replaced the term personnel management as it evolved into a strategic corporate
approach to workforce management, (Tiernan & Morley, 2013). It has been
debated that the move from operational function to a more strategic function
within organisations has been a renaming exercise while others feel that HRM
gives an organisation a competitive advantage.

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Core HRM Activities

There are a number of
core functions of HRM that must be looked at to understand its concept and how
it contributes to the overall success of an organisation in the competitive
market. We also need to understand how it works within services such as the
Public Service, as they need to fulfil their on-going commitment to provide a
quality, efficient and transparent service to the public.

The core functions of
HRM in an organisation are;

Strategic role, for HRM to help an
organisation to set their long and short term goals that will be included in
the strategic plan. To set out HRM plans that will integrate with the
organisations main objectives and goals. An example of this can be seen in the
Health Service Executive (HSE) National Service Plan 2017 where it states that
one of their main goals within the organisation in relation to their HRM policy
is        “we will engage, develop and value our
workforce to deliver the best possible care and services to the people who
depend on them”.

Employee resourcing, which covers a wide
range of functions including planning, recruitment and selection. This function
is essential within the HSE as specialists such as analysts and technology
experts are being brought on board to make sure we keep up to date with a fast
paced changing society.

Employee development, to ensure that staff
are given training and opportunities to develop. Under workplace initiatives
within the HSE, employees can be supported to undertake education opportunities
e.g. degree to help develop their roles within the organisation etc.

Pay and Reward management, such as
increments within the HSE or financial rewards or health benefits in private

Employee Relations, which covers HRM
activities such as communications, dealing with Trade Unions and employee

Administration, looking after employee
records, ensuring employment policies and practices are adhered to and also
data protection.


The benefits of HRM
within an organisation can be seen on a number of different levels. For the
employee it’s about reaching their maximum potential while making a commitment
to the organisation. For the organisation there are numerous benefits, they
have a skilled and motivated workforce, who are high achievers and strive to
ensure the organisation is successful. This workforce will also aim to meet the
organisations objectives set out in the strategic plan.


Factors impacting HRM approach.

There are a number of
different factors which influence organisations in their approach to HRM
activities. There are internal as well as external factors which can be
examined to access their impact on an organisation.

Environmental Factors;

An organisation needs
to decide the importance of including HRM in their strategic plan. If it is
included each employee needs to accept that it is vital to the success of the
company. If the company is not performing well or there is a downturn in the
economy this will constrict the HRM function in utilising its full capacity.
For example, if the budget is not there it will be hard to hire the specialists
required to fill certain functions.

The external factor is
often out of the control of an organisation. PESTLE analysis (political, economic, socio-cultural, technological,
legal and environmental) describes a support structure of environmental
scanning, which is a component of strategic management. It is
part of an external analysis conducted by an organisation which examines the
different macro-environmental factors to be taken into consideration when
considering the impact each of these factors would have on the organisation. It
is a strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business
position and potential. In the public sector such as the HSE, implications of
e.g. political decisions and policies could have a huge impact on HRM. The recent
moratorium on employing or recruiting Civil and Public sector staff was seen as
detrimental to the efficient day to day running of all services. Since the
moratorium ended strategic planning of HRM is prevalent in the current HSE
National Service Plan 2017 and is seen as an important factor in achieving the
organisations objectives and goals.

There are a number of
internal factors that will also determine the different approaches to HRM
within an organisation. The factors to be examined are;

The organisations structure and size.

The profile of your workforce.

Established Human Resource practices.

The culture that exists within your
organisation can also greatly affect the efficient function of HRM. For

Categories: Management


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