Analysis Of Hrm Functions And Staffing Management Essay


In the current era of high business competitiveness in which we live now, business organizations operate in an ever-changing dynamic environment, and so must be able to adapt to circumstances in order to stay ahead of the aggressive competition. In today’s business organizations, human resources are the major asset to gaining an edge over the competitors and the achievement of organizational efficiency and success. This paper will critically analyze human resource management functions like staffing, executive relations, performance, training and development. Human resource management has been described as “a strategic approach to the management of employee relations which emphasizes that leveraging people’s capabilities is critical to achieving sustainable competitive advantage, this being achieved through a distinctive set of integrated employment policies, programs and practices. (Bratton, J. & Gold, J. 2003)

Thus, HRM handles not only recruitment, payment and discharge, but also tries to maximize the use of the human resources in an organization in a more strategic level, human resource management provides managers with the tools and skills to enhance their own performance and that of the employees. This paper also focuses on the tasks required of human resource management and the manner in which employees and human resource managers are supposed to work together in order to achieve organizational efficiency. Some current theories and concepts of human resource management will also be discussed here, highlighting their merits and demerits



Proper functioning of a human resource management system entails the creation of values and involves acquisition, development, motivation reward and maintenance of the human resources (staff) of an organization. This includes activities such as human resource planning, job analysis, employee selection, employee recruitment, performance appraisal and human resource development. (Stone 2001, p.13) The basic human resource management functions generally include the planning and forecasting of an organizations short term and long term human resource requirements, and performing analysis of the jobs in the organization in order to determine staff duties, purposes, knowledge skills and abilities that are needed. The staffing of an organization includes the identification of job applicants and selecting the most appropriate staff for any available jobs. It is also inclusive of performance management and remuneration, evaluation and appraisal of employees’ performance and analyzing and motivating employee behavior. Other staffing functions of human resource management are the improvement of work environments and effective working relationships (Kramar, R., McGraw, P., Schuler, R.S. 1997 p.6)

The secondary aim of human resource management involves job design/organizational design, which has to do with interdepartmental relations and organizing and defining jobs. This also includes systems of performance management which are used for the establishment and maintenance of accountability throughout the organization, and also information and research systems which enable management to make informed human resource decisions. “These HRM functions should not only be handled by HR managers but by all managers, regardless of their functional area and their position in the hierarchy. These top personnel must be able to deal effectively with HR issues because they should be responsible for the effective utilization of all the resources at their disposal (Ivancevich, 2001, p.14).

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The human resource management department is responsible for supporting the top personnel’s human resource responsibilities. One way in which the human resource management department can support the top personnel’s duties is by carrying out training of the personnel in certain human resource skills, to enable them to properly analyze the people side of productivity, rather than complete dependence on technical solutions to organizational problems. These can also be actively involved in the formulation, implementation and review of the organizations human resource strategies and plans in order to increase commitment to the effective implementation of these strategies and plans.

It is important for the top personnel in the organization to be knowledgeable about human resource issues and such a background would be an asset to the organization. This enables human resource managers to become part of the business team, as they also became strategic partners with top personnel and assist in determining a strategic direction for the organization. This can be done by ascertaining the specific organizational needs. According to Garrat (1990) “for an organization to survive, learning in the organization must be greater or at least equal to the degree of change” (Garrat 1990)

Nowadays, human resource managers must be more strategically focused and business oriented. HR managers must endeavor to be sensitive to market changes and the need for flexibility and adaptability in their organizations. “Hence, human resource managers now practice four key roles namely the strategic partner, administrative expert, employee champion and change agent. This means that HR managers now become an essential part of the management team, running an organization and contributing to the achievement of the organization’s objectives by translating business strategy into action. It also means that HR managers have to be more efficient and effective in managing HR activities like selection and appraisals. Lastly, HR managers are also required to be the employee’s voice in management decisions and to act as a catalyst for change.” (Stone, 2001, p.11) This can be done by ascertaining specific organizational needs in order to use its competence. Use and satisfaction are evaluated in other departments, management and employees are educated about the availability and use of HRM services (Ivancevich, 2001, p,.15).

HR Mangers are supposed to be the administrative experts, in an organization, the employees’ champion, strategic partner and change agent. HR managers are essential part of the management team who are running an organization and thereby contributing to achieve the organization’s objectives by translating into action the business strategies outlined. This implies that the HR managers need to be more effective and efficient in the running and management of HR activities like selection and appraisal. HR managers are required to be the employee’s voice in management decisions and equally act as agents of change.


This involves treating employees as valued assets, there is need for management to see them as proactive rather than passive inputs, and their trust should be gained, participation as well as their collaboration (Legge 1995, p 67) In the process of transmitting theories and models into practice, employees lack commitment, communication and motivation when hard approach is employed by management. It has no become obvious that hard approaches no longer work or favor employees today as people are well informed and enlightened and everyone know their rights and as such demand for a better treatment. On the other hand, when the soft approach is used by organization, the results are completely different. In a case study conducted in the united state, it was discovered that a on standard deviation increase in the use of people first practice is associated with a 7.05 percent decrease in turnover. $ 27,044 more in sales and $ 18,641 and $ 3,814 more in market value and profit (Ivancevich, 2001, p.10)

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There are advantages and disadvantages in every approach, the hard approach, rules, and goals are well defined and strictly adhered to and this means employees are not involved in decision-making, and this is likely to result in decrease in motivation and commitment. On the other hand, the soft approach which may increase motivation ands commitment because the employees see themselves as part and parcel of the organization, but this may be unorganized if rules and goals are not made clear and this in turn will affect the firm’s profit


HR managers have to be sensitive to changes in people, competition and market since they have become more business oriented and strategically focused; they also have to be aware of the need for an adaptive and flexible organization (Harvey and Bowin, 1996, p.21) Human resource management models and theories are usually based upon values, assumptions and beliefs about the nature of relationships between employees and their employers and the various human resource functions involved (Nankervis et al 1999 P.16). There has been quite some debate concerning the issue about whether human resource management is essentially pluralist or unitarist in its perception of the employment relationship. A pluralist approach recognizes that employees and their employers will inevitably experience conflicts of interest that will have to be resolved by the human resource management department in order to meet organizational goals. A unitarist approach on the other hand, assumes common interests between employees and their employers, and tries to encourage both by an inclusive (communication and rewards) system, and an exclusive system of discouragement of membership to unions.

There are two extreme theoretical approaches to human resource management. These are the instrumental (hard) approach and the humanistic (soft) approach to human resource management. The hard approach stresses the quantitative, rational and strategic aspects of human resource management, with the highlighting of competitive advantages and performance improvement. Contrastingly, the soft approach emphasizes collaboration and development of employees. (Stone, 2001, p.10)

Different models have been developed to accommodate the diverse industry and workplace environment in which they operate. The Storey model: this was developed by Storey, and it centers on four parts and they include beliefs and assumptions, line management and key levers, strategic aspects, this goes to show that HRM attempts to increase trust and employee commitment and it aims to go beyond the contract, HRM that is central to corporate planning gives the specialist of HRM some kind of transformational leadership role in the organization, general managers and line key managers have come out in most cases as the key players on HR issues (Bratton and Gold 1999, p.26)

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A properly functioning HRM system is an invisible asset that creates value and involves the acquisition, development, reward and motivation, maintenance and departure of an organization’s human resources. This includes activities like job analysis, HR planning, employee recruitment, employee selection, performance appraisal and HR development, among others. Human resource management consists of 4 important functions including staffing, selection placement, and compensation and performance management. HR managers have to be sensitive to changes in people, competition and market since they have become more business oriented and strategically focused; they also have to be aware of the need for an adaptive and flexible organization


The human management field has emerged as one of the most important assets for organizational success, as HRM is now strategically focused and business oriented. Thus, managers and other top personnel in an organization should work together to successfully tackle market changes and any changes in the competition. Managers should also be aware of the need for flexibility and adaptability in an organization.

There must be continued appropriate staff training as this enables the staff to get to know how human resource management can boost business and how employee performance can be improved. As Buller (1988) noted, the degree of integration between organizational and human resource strategy is influenced by an organization’s philosophy towards people. (Buller 1988)

Relevant human resource theories and models should be integrated into the workplace, as the soft approach to human resource management produces more positive results than the heard approach, due to the fact that a soft approach to HRM involves the employees, thereby resulting in more motivation and commitment. More attention should also be given to theories of individual motivation and the organization should develop a more psychological approach to organizational strategies.


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