Although Taylor's focus primarily was on optimizing efficiency in manufacturing environments, his principles laid the ground-work for future HRM development. The development of the field of industrial psychology and its application to the workplace came to fruition during World War I, as early vocational and employment-related testing was used to assign military recruits to appropriate functions. The Hawthorne Studies, which were conducted in the s and s at Western Electric, sparked an increased emphasis on the social and informal aspects of the workplace.
Interpretations of the studies emphasized "human relations" and the link between worker satisfaction and productivity. The passage of the Wagner Act in contributed to a major increase in the number of unionized workers. In the s and s, collective bargaining led to a tremendous increase in benefits offered to workers.
The personnel function evolved to cope with labor relations, collective bargaining, and a more complex compensation and benefits environment. The human relations philosophy and labor relations were the dominant concerns of HRM in the s and s. HRM was revolutionized in the s by passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other anti-discrimination legislation—as well as presidential executive orders that required many organizations to undertake affirmative action in order to remedy past discriminatory practices.
Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action mandates greatly complicated the HRM function, but also enhanced its importance in modern organizations. As discussed more fully in a later section, these responsibilities continue to comprise a major part of the HRM job. Finally, changes in labor force demographics, technology, and globalization since the s have had a major impact on the HRM function.
These factors also are discussed in more detail in a later section. The major HRM activities in the pre-hire phase are human resource planning and job analysis. These activities form the cornerstone upon which other HRM practices are built. Human resource planning helps managers to anticipate and meet changing needs related to the acquisition, deployment, and utilization of employees. The organization first maps out an overall plan called a strategic plan.
Then, through demand and supply forecasting it estimates the number and types of employees needed to successfully carry out its overall plan. Such information enables a firm to plan its recruitment, selection, and training strategies. For example, assume that a firm's HR plan estimates that 15 additional engineers will be needed during the next year. The firm typically hires recent engineering graduates to fill such positions. Because these majors are in high demand, the firm decides to begin its campus recruiting early in the academic year, before other companies can "snatch away" the best candidates.
Job analysis is the systematic process used for gathering, analyzing, and documenting information about particular jobs. The analysis specifies what each worker does, the work conditions, and the worker qualifications necessary to perform the job successfully. The job analysis information is used to plan and coordinate nearly all HRM practices, including:. For example, an organization may decide to use a mechanical aptitude test to screen applicants because a job analysis indicated that mechanical aptitude is an important job skill.
Or, a firm may raise the pay of one of its employees because a job analysis indicated that the nature of the work recently changed and is now more demanding.
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The hiring phase of human resource management is also called staffing. Staffing involves policies and procedures used by organizations to recruit and select employees. Organizations use recruitment to locate and attract job applicants for particular positions. They may recruit candidates internally i. The aim of recruitment practices is to identify a suitable pool of applicants quickly, cost-efficiently, and legally.
Selection involves assessing and choosing among job candidates. To be effective, selection processes must be both legal and technically sound, accurately matching people's skills with available positions.
Training and development are planned learning experiences that teach workers how to effectively perform their current or future jobs. Training focuses on present jobs, while development prepares employees for possible future jobs. Training and development practices are designed to improve organizational performance by enhancing the knowledge and skill levels of employees. It also must also take steps to ensure that workers apply what they have learned on the job. Through the performance appraisal process, organizations measure the adequacy of their employees' job performances and communicate these evaluations to them.
One aim of appraisal systems is to motivate employees to continue appropriate behaviors and correct inappropriate ones. Management also may use performance appraisals as tools for making HRM-related decisions, such as promotions, demotions, discharges, and pay raises. Compensation entails pay and benefits. Pay refers to the wage or salary employees earn, while benefits are a form of compensation provided to employees in addition to their pay, such as health insurance or employee discounts. The aim of compensation practices is to help the organization establish and maintain a competent and loyal workforce at an affordable cost.
Productivity improvement programs tie job behavior to rewards. Rewards may be financial e.
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Such programs are used to motivate employees to engage in appropriate job behaviors, namely those that help the organization meet its goals. HRM departments within organizations, just as the organizations themselves, do not exist in a vacuum. Events outside of work environments have far-reaching effects on HRM practices. The following paragraphs describe some of these events and indicate how they influence HRM practices. As mentioned previously, the enactment of federal, state, and local laws regulating workplace behavior has changed nearly all HRM practices.
Consider, for instance, the impact of anti-discrimination laws on firms' hiring practices. Prior to the passage of these laws, many firms hired people based on reasons that were not job-related. Today, such practices could result in charges of discrimination. To protect themselves from such charges, employers must conduct their selection practices to satisfy objective standards established by legislation and fine-tuned by the courts.
This means they should carefully determine needed job qualifications and choose selection methods that accurately measure those qualifications. Unions often influence a firm's HRM practices. Unionized companies must adhere to written contracts negotiated between each company and its union. Union contracts regulate many HRM practices, such as discipline, promotion, grievance procedures, and overtime allocations.
HRM practices in non-unionized companies may be influenced by the threat of unions. For example, some companies have made their HRM practices more equitable i.
Legal, social, and political pressures on organizations to ensure the health and safety of their employees have had great impacts on HRM practices. Organizations respond to these pressures by instituting accident prevention programs and programs designed to ensure the health and mental well-being of their employees, such as wellness and employee assistance programs. Today's global economy also influences some aspects of HRM.
Many firms realize that they must enter foreign markets in order to compete as part of a globally interconnected set of business markets. From an HRM perspective, such organizations must foster the development of more globally-oriented managers: individuals who understand foreign languages and cultures, as well as the dynamics of foreign market places. These firms also must deal with issues related to expatriation, such as relocation costs, selection, compensation, and training. Someone wishing to enter the HRM field may choose one of two routes: generalist or specialist.
Entry-level HRM generalist positions are most often found in small or mid-sized organizations that employ few HR professionals—one or two people who must perform all functions. Because of their many responsibilities, HRM generalists have neither time nor resources to conduct in-depth studies or projects.
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They usually hire outside consultants who specialize in these kinds of services. For example, consultants might help the organization to revamp its compensation system, validate its selection practices, or analyze its training needs.
In larger organizations, each HR professional's area tends to be more focused, zeroing in on particular HRM tasks. Individuals holding these positions are called HRM specialists. Exhibits 1a and 1b describe some traditional and newer HRM specialty areas. In most professions a direct path leads to entering the field.
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For instance, someone aspiring to be a lawyer, physician, accountant, or psychologist enrolls in appropriate educational programs and enters the field upon receiving a degree or license. HRM is atypical in this regard; people may enter the profession in a variety of ways. For instance, most of today's HR professionals enter the field through self-directed career changes.
Approximately one-third of these individuals entered HRM by transferring from another part of the company; the remainder entered from other fields such as education, social services, accounting, sales, and administrative secretarial positions. HR professionals entering the field directly out of college about one-third of all HR professionals traditionally come from a variety of academic backgrounds, including business, psychology, and liberal arts.
More recently, however, HRM new hires have earned degrees in some area of business, such as HRM, management, or general business. For instance, when it hires recent graduates for entry-level HRM positions, Bell Atlantic considers business school graduates with concentrations in business administration, finance and commerce, management, or industrial relations.
As one might expect, large organizations provide the greatest opportunities for HRM career growth. Most senior-level HR professionals take one of two paths up the corporate ladder. Some begin their careers as specialists and eventually become managers of their specialty units. To advance beyond this level, they must broaden their skills and become HRM generalists.
The other path to securing a senior-level HRM position is to begin as an assistant HRM generalist at a small plant or unit within the organization and advance into an HRM managerial role at successively larger plants or units. An HRM career in manufacturing might progress as follows:.
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Helps resolve employee relations problems; develops union avoidance strategies; assists in collective bargaining negotiations; oversees grievance procedures. Develops and administers affirmative action programs; helps resolve EEO disputes; monitors organizational practices with regard to EEO compliance; develops policies for ensuring EEO compliance, such as sexual harassment policies.
Conducts research studies, such as cost-benefit analysis, test validation, program evaluation, and feasibility studies. Develops and administers work and family programs including flextime, alternative work scheduling, dependent-care assistance, telecommuting, and other programs designed to accommodate employee needs; identifies and screen child- or elder-care providers; administers employer's private dependent-care facility; promotes work and family programs to employees. Translate the manners, mores, and business practices of other nations and cultures for American business people.
Other cross-cultural trainers work with relocated employees' families, helping them adjust to their new environment.
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