esposearch - ideal online careers

Human Resource Management: Functions, Activity, and Legal Framework

Human Resource Management is the exploration of the responsibilities that any organization has towards persons it has in its employment and the aforesaid persons’ (employees’) responsibilities to the organisation. Human Resource Management studies describe roles and tasks that human resource managers play and carry out in the organisation. Across different organisations, human resource management core function involves enhancing individual employee productivity to better the organisation’s bottom line. For a long time, HRM was referred to as personnel management, however, the novel term; human resource management was coined to reflect the significance that organisations are currently placing on their workforce. This term is also used in recognition of employees as decisive contributors to the attainment of the organisation’s objectives (Goyal & Bhagwan, 2009).

Human resource is a multi faceted asset whose attributes are continuously evolving and at the same time broadening. It is for such reasons that today’s human resource managers are regularly faced with a myriad of human resource related issues that range from alarmingly high employee turnovers to dealing with progressively intrusive government policies. The upper echelons of organizations’ management are as a result forced to give HRM divisions much more attention largely due to the decisive issues handled by this department. This attention is attested in the now staple human resource manager job advertisements, an extreme rarity just a few years ago. Moreover, the organizations’ ability to attain its goals is dependent on who is in charge of its human resource division (Mumford & Gold, 2010).

Employees are the determinant of an organization’s success. It is essential for this reason that they are referred to as a human resources. Persons through employment create goods and services, which are used to produce wealth. The wealth thus generated, positively adds to living standards. Nowadays, organisations are beset with varied difficulties. This compels them to improve their methods of working to counter both the present and future threats and also position themselves to better exploit the opportunities. This calls for continuous fine-tuning of organisations’ performance so that they become more effective and efficient (Goyal & Bhagwan, 2009)

Like every division in an organisation, HRM formulates its goals against which its actions are benchmarked. Some of the objectives include; societal, organizational, functional and personal. Organisations are socially accountable to the needs and challenges of the communities in which they are situated. Organisations that do not respond to such needs and challenges invariably have constraints imposed on them through the enactment of laws that are unfavourable to human capital decisions. HRM exist to assist the organization in the attainment of its goals. HRM functional goal encompasses sustaining the division’s participation at a suitable stratum that matches the organisation’s

requirements. Otherwise, there would be cases of either under utilisation or over utilisation of resources depending on HRM sophistication or lack of it in meeting the organisation’s demands. To conclude, HRM exists to assist the employees to attain their own individual goals, as long as the goals improve the employee’s contribution to the attainment of the organisational goals. Employee goals have to be fulfilled if the organisation is to cut back on employee turnover and boost the morale of its workers.

Failure to realize this leads to dissatisfaction and employee desertion (Goyal & Bhagwan, 2009).

For HRM to attain the organizational goals, the division is tasked with the following functions, hiring (appointment), sustenance, improvement and retirement (sacking) of employees. Hiring (appointment) of employees involves projecting the organisational human capital needs and supply and factoring such estimates into the organisation’s sum human resource strategy. The goals and anticipated shift in the organisation strategy have to be known if dependable projections of people needs are to be made. The hiring process involves recruitment, selecting and inducting or orientation of new personnel (Torrington et al 2009).

Sustenance is the maintaining function. On appointment, employees are maintained by being proffered perks, such as requisite services and conditions that would be necessary if the workers are to derive satisfaction from their jobs. Employee improvement has to do with equipping the worker with the relevant skills needed for the job along with career or professional growth. This is a domain of concern and expense for most organisations. Career growth or professional development anticipates organizational changes and growth and its effects on workers. Retirement (sacking): This is the concluding activity also recognized as the parting stage in employment. It may entail aspects such as retirement, redundancy, resignation and dismissal. Human resource activities are those practices that are applied to supply and sustain a suitable employee base for the organisation. The invariably widespread activities of HRM include: preparation for human resource requirements, recruitment of the required workforce, performance appraisal and compensation of the workers, enhancing the individual staff welfare and the place of work, creating and sustaining good work relations amongst employees (Mumford & Gold, 2010).

Organisations in observance of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the American’s with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Acts structure HRM policies that spell out employees’ terms and conditions of employment. Employment policies are commonly a reflection of the aforementioned Acts. These policies form the basis of decision making in as so far as acquisition, maintenance, development and termination of human capital are concerned in organisations. In adherence to the Acts, organisations undertake to provide a safe environment in which employees can work with little or zero exposure to harm, motivate every individual to attain as much of their goals in the combination of the goals of the organisation as is humanly possible, provide compensation that is guaranteed to stimulate elevated levels of productivity, guarantee that personnel in its employment are given the priority for positions that are bound to emerge and lastly employees are proffered voluntary and non-voluntary redundancy mechanisms. Organizations achieve this by following the letter of the law. Organisations also undertake not to discriminate employees based on gender, age, physical disabilities and go on to proffer special privileges and considerations to the affected members of the society (Goyal & Bhagwan V, 2009).

Companies such as Microsoft, McDonald’s, and Apple are leading corporations that underpin the success of their operations on the value that they place on their human resources. Microsoft and McDonalds have made countless millionaires from amongst their staff. Employees in these companies are persuaded to improve the organisation’s productivity through the allocation of company stock and performance bonuses. When the employees have the opportunity to own part of the company, they are motivated to attain the organisation’s goals as they longer look at themselves as mere employees but as co-owners of the company. These companies exemplify good human resource management as the target high achievers and strive to keep them in employment at costs that ordinary organisations would consider astronomical and consequently unfathomable (Torrington et al, 2009).


Goyal S. and Dr. Bhagwan V. Pratiyogita Darpan. The Nature, Scope and Functions of Human Resource Management 2009, No. 37, p 15-25, Pratiyogita Darpan.

Mumford A. and Gold J., Management Development: Strategies for Action 2010, No 4, p 23-26, CIPD Publishing.

Torrington D., Hall L & Taylor S. Financial Times: Human Resource Management: Financial Implications, 2009, p17-23, Financial Times


About the author

we will assist you 24/7

Quick Contact

Keep current with the ESPOSEARCH Blog. Let’s get it written!

EspoSearch Ⓒ 2022 - All Rights Are Reserved