Unit 6: Human Resource Management
"Business - real business - isn't about money. It's about people. You have to know and understand people."
- André Meyer
The late André Meyer was a financier who collaborated with corporations in countries around the world. He served as an advisor to leaders of state and worked as the head of the investment-banking firm Lazard Frères. Despite the fact that his career was entirely focused on raising capital and profits, Meyer saw people - including the employees of a company - as the most important aspect of business success. Meyer's belief still resonates in today's business world. Indeed, knowing how to implement effective and strategic human resource management is a crucial skill for any manager.
Human resource management (HRM) exists in many forms. We often think about Human Resources as the company department that handles paychecks and benefits, or the office an employee visits when he or she encounters a problem such as harassment or discrimination. However, HRM oversees many more responsibilities than these traditional tasks. Perhaps the most important change in the practice of HRM has occurred within the recruiting of top-quality employees for a firm. Historically, HR staff, rather than company managers, have recruited and sifted through applications to find candidates to interview for positions at a company. But HR department staff often lack the knowledge necessary to effectively screen for many newer, more technical positions - a situation in which a manager's expertise and input greatly benefit the hiring process.
In the 21st century, as companies work harder to attract and recruit talent, modern HRM is developing a more strategic nature. For example, a top HR executive today will most likely report directly to the CEO and play an integral role in executing a company's strategy. To stay competitive, today's managers must also work in conjunction with HR to be able to quickly and reliably identify the skill sets and personal characteristics that are needed to increase productivity in a company's present and future workforce.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 18 hours.