What is Human Resources, You Ask?

When most people think about HR they think about hiring and firing. The skilled HR Professional is sought after to successfully match skilled and qualified individuals with the organization’s ongoing and future business requirements to maximize return on investment and secure future survival and success.

The main role of the HR professional is to develop a strategic plan to maximize return on investment in the organization’s human capital and minimize financial risk.

HR aka Human Resources is a relatively modern term, from the late ’60s.  It originated from “‘welfare management practices.”   HR emerged largely as an administrative management activity, coordinating a range of worker related processes and becoming known, in time, as Personnel.  HR progressively became the more usual name for this function, in the United States, as well  internationally.  It reflected a more quantitative as well as strategic approach to workforce management, demanded by corporate management.  The purpose of HR was to gain a competitive advantage, utilizing limited skilled and highly skilled workers.

The HR function has evolved today to ensure objectives are achieved, by implementing company requirements effectively, taking into account federal, state and local labor laws and regulations; ethical business practices and the cost of doing business.

The following functions are typically carried out by HR:

  • Maintaining awareness of and compliance with local, state and federal labor laws
  • Recruitment, selection, and on boarding
  • Employee record-keeping and confidentiality
  • Organizational design and development
  • Change management
  • Performance, conduct and behavior management
  • Industrial and employee relations
  • Workforce analysis and data management
  • Compensation and employee benefit management
  • Training and employee development
  • Employee motivation and morale-building

In the coming weeks, I will write more on each of these topics to explain and educate you about HR.   If you have any pressing needs I’d be happy to help.  You can reach me at

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