Understanding the Basics of Managing HR Departments Strategically

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by Rod Dunne on November 18, 2011

in Human Side

All of the employees in your organization have their own individual goals and skills. A human resources manager should help employees express their goals with specificity so they can become a valuable asset to the organization in a department that interests them the most.

Human resource management has changed drastically over the years and is just as crucial when setting up your own small business as it is for mature well-established companies.

For the last 20 years, you’ll also find that research in the area of human resources has placed an emphasis on the relation between human resource management practices and the overall performance of the company. The key outcome of this has been various employee motivation ideas and techniques to reward and encourage staff.


If you are assessing your business operations and you are trying to put a focus on strategic human resource management, refer to the information below. You will learn the importance of human resource management and how you can improve productivity to meet company objectives.

The Basics: What is Human Resource Management?

Before you can learn how to improve your HR department you need to learn the functions of human resource management. HRM is a function that focuses on recruiting employees and managing them.

The department conducts interviews and employee screenings to choose the right candidates and then manages the employee’s performance after they are hired. They will deal with issues related to employee compensation, wellness, medical benefits, bonuses, training and other areas of administration.

They also manage performance to offer advancement opportunities to the right employees based on their contributions to the organization as a whole. In an evolving world, HRM has also evolved. Many organizations are noticing the evolution of human resource management and they are starting to use strategy that will impact the structure in a very big way.

In recent decades, the power of your human resource managers to facilitate creativity and innovation management and company has become more prevalent and certainly more clearly acknowledged. After all, your HR manager controls the flow of creative staff into your business and defines the type of company culture which drives productivity within a company.

The Key Functions of Human Resource Management

As you can see, HR does a number of different things for an organization. Contrary to popular belief, managers cover all aspects of employment.

When you are hired you deal with HR, when you want to advance you deal with HR, when you are paid you deal with HR, and when you leave the company you also deal with HR!

Some of the essential functions of Human Resource Management include:

  • Job analysis
  • Recruiting
  • Candidate Interviews
  • Applicant Screenings and Testing
  • New Hire Training
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Welfare Administration
  • Grievance Handling
  • Labor regulations
  • Work safety programs
  • Defining the corporate culture
  • Human resource planning
  • Funds allocations
  • Discipline
  • Advance opportunity management
  • Compensation management
  • Benefits management

As you will note, the HR department plays an integral role in any organization.

Evolution of Strategic Human Resource Management to Driving Business Goals

You would think that executives in a business are responsible for achieving business goals. The evolution of HRM has changed the way businesses accomplish their goals.

That said, the HR planning process has changed over the years. Strategic planning involves analyzing jobs and forecasting the future requirements of an organization when they hit their goals. Some of the planning involved with analysis and forecasting includes:

  • Forecasting the future demand
  • Estimating the HR supply
  • Comparing the predictions with the supply
  • Developing a strategic plan
  • Measuring performance

There are a number of different HR planning tools available to help members of a strategic human resource management team. These tools should be used to make forecasting easy and (at the very least) more accurate.

How Human Resources Management Software Drive Future Benefits

HR and HRM software programs are becoming extremely popular so no discussion of this subject would be complete without mentioning it.

These software tools can handle a number of different tasks that will help processes so you can save time and money when you are trying to manage the department. When you are choosing a human resource management software program, you should look for features that help with applicant tracking, auditing, and forecasting. Enterprise-level products include corporate performance management software features for tracking appraisals and reviews in addition to the standard tasks of mapping and indexing key capabilities and skills in your workforce.

The tools should offer reports on performance and reports that will help forecast need based on the organization’s current performance. Make sure you choose a very comprehensive software package that will help you tackle each of the functions in the department so you can avoid errors and complexities. Moreover, pick software that is capable of handling your company as it grows in size.

Summing Up: As you can see, the Human Resources department is what keeps your organization running. When people picture an HR department, they often think of a small office with one or two employees who handle interviews and offer letters. The days of HR have changed and human resource management has become more strategic than simply administrative. Software programs are available to handle all of the administrative tasks that a computer can handle so the analysis is what the team focuses on. Now that you have an understanding of HRM, you can focus on how to organize your team so they can organize your company.

Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on Product-ivity.com. This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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