Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS301: Human Resource Management

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Examine business practices and laws that help business managers create a better and more effective working environment. Subjects include job analysis, recruitment, training, performance measurement, compensation, safety, and labor relations.


Course Introduction

Human resource management (HRM), also called human capital management, refers to how organizations strategically allocate their most valuable resources – their employees – to areas of the company where they will be the most productive. HRM requires more than a strong human resources department: it requires smart, capable team managers working together with the human resource (HR) department to carry out common goals. This cooperation involves careful strategizing, good leadership, and other solid business practices. Companies often maintain their competitive advantage by holding onto resources other businesses lack. Having the right employees separates highly successful firms from their competitors.

As a discipline, HRM dates back to the early 1900s, but its most strategic components result from transitions that took place in the workforce in the late 1960s. When it passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Congress mandated that all organizations adhere to laws that now govern how they treat and respond to complaints from their employees. At the same time, businesses began to realize the advantage they gained when they integrated women and minorities who were transitioning into the workplace. Increasing diversity created cultures that reinforced and supported their missions and visions.

Everyone has a core belief system that is shaped by our individual circumstances and experiences which guides our perceptions and beliefs. We often gravitate toward the situations we understand and make sense to us. To effectively manage human capital, business professionals often have to step outside of their comfort zone to support innovative practices and make strategic decisions that are in the best interest of the company, rather than support a static culture they may consider to be more "comfortable".

We discussed the basics of managing human capital in BUS208: Principles of Management. In this course, we introduce more advanced topics, such as how to identify your business's needs to carry out a proper recruitment and selection process. Training, development, and performance evaluations can help you shape each employee into an ideal firm resource. Providing adequate compensation and incentives can help you retain these precious resources within the firm.

Although you may not be planning for a career in HRM, this course will help you appreciate that much of your career success will depend upon working with the right people.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: The Nature of Human Resources
  • Unit 2: Strategic Human Resource Planning and Staffing
  • Unit 3: Recruitment and Selection
  • Unit 4: Training and Development/Career Planning
  • Unit 5: Performance Management and Measurement
  • Unit 6: Compensation and Benefits
  • Unit 7: Safety, Health, and Wellness
  • Unit 8: Labor Relations and Internal Employee Relations


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • define human resource management;
  • identify human resource management functions and current trends;
  • explain why human resource professionals have developed into strategic partners within organizations;
  • explain why strategic human resource management is necessary to attract, recruit, and retain valuable human capital;
  • explain the importance of corporate culture within human resource management, which includes ethics and social responsibility;
  • identify key laws and legislation that shape how human capital decisions should be made;
  • identify the key elements and contexts of affirmative action, and use the insight to support making informed decisions regarding diversity when managing human capital;
  • define strategic human resource planning;
  • identify why effective planning is vital in human resource management;
  • define and explain how to conduct a job analysis, and discuss the validity of an analysis in support of other key human capital functions;
  • describe how to effectively manage human capital and properly assess knowledge, skills, and abilities to find valuable resources (people);
  • explain how to develop a personnel plan;
  • develop strategies for recruiting, selecting, onboarding, and retaining valuable human capital;
  • create strategies to support the training and development of human capital;
  • describe the impact that career/succession planning has on human capital;
  • explain the distinction between performance management and performance appraisals;
  • conceptualize HR strategies to improve overall organizational success;
  • identify and apply the concepts/issues associated with compensation and benefits to create an attractive environment that draws valuable resources to an organization;
  • identify key laws and legislation with regard to compensation and benefits that shape how human capital decisions should be made;
  • differentiate among direct financial compensation, indirect financial compensation, and non-financial compensation and give examples of each;
  • identify and apply the concepts associated with employee safety and health in support of effectively managing human capital;
  • identify key laws and legislation with regard to safety and health that shape how human capital decisions should be made;
  • describe the purpose of wellness programs within today’s organizations;
  • define the concept of labor relations;
  • identify key laws and legislation with regard to labor relations that shape how human capital decisions should be made;
  • define the concept of internal employee relations; and
  • identify key laws and legislation with regard to internal employee relations that shape how human capital decisions should be made.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments and other quizzes in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.


Tips for Success

BUS301: Human Resource Management is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 88 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.


Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should:


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Thursday, October 29, 2020, 3:44 PM