The term Human Resources refers to the employees of a business (company/corporation) as well as a department within a business. The Human Resources department manages a company’s services for employees such as benefits administration, payroll, recruiting and training, and performance analysis and review. In years past, Human Resources often were called the Personnel Department.
Scrutiny shows that human beings are not firmly defined 'products' with descriptions delineated by contract, but are individual, creative and social beings that make contributions beyond their actual job function to society and to its growth and development.
Evolution of Human Resources as a business function
Although the concept of Human Resources has been challenged, it remains a fundamental part of most businesses today.
The modern concept of Human Resources began as a reaction to the efficiency-focused mass-production techniques of the early 1900's. Within the 20 years that followed, psychologists and employment experts in the United States started a human-relations movement which rated employees in terms of their psychology and fit with companies rather than as interchangeable robotic parts. This movement continued to evolve throughout the 1900's, emphasizing how leadership, unity, and loyalty played important roles in organizational success.
However, this view was intensely attacked by quantitative-oriented and more rigorous management techniques in the second half of the 1900's and beyond. Nevertheless, the concept of Human Resources has gained a seemingly permanent position in modern business.
Human Resources and employee diversity
Human Resources are responsible for ensuring positive effects from cultural diversity in the workplace. Within the narrow scope of corporate Human Resources there is a move to require workplace diversity that mimics the diversity of a worldwide customer base.
Foreign language and cultural variety, assimilation and acceptance, tolerance, innovative perspectives, and understanding are all elements of diversity programs. This indicates a shift to an employee-oriented point of view, and an implicit acknowledgment that employees offer more to a productive workplace than mere labor. They bring their cultural values, individuality, ethics, perspectives, social connections, even their pets and children to the workplace, and add to its cultural mix.
In recruiting and hiring employees, conducting a detailed analysis of prospects is critical in hiring the best candidate for employment. In this phase of hiring, both internal and external factors have an impact on recruitment. External factors are those beyond the influence of the organization, including issues like future skill requirements, education levels, and inclusion in the company’s growth direction. The internal influences are those that monitor and control, for example management styles or even the organizational culture.
Human Resources hiring considerations
Human Resources are the department where hiring decisions are made after careful consideration of the following factors:
In consideration of the business environment in which any organization operates, Human Resource requirements consider three major trends:
- Skills and qualifications –as businesses hire more highly skilled employees, they must offer higher salaries to get the more desirable candidates.
- Demographics – characteristics of a population/workforce (age, gender, ethnicity or social class).
- Diversity – the cultural variety in the workplace.
Businesses today tend to combine all Human Resource functions into a single group within an organization, rather than having several separate Human Resource departments performing the same tasks from different locations.