What is Human Resources?

Human resources management (HRM), frequently referred to as human resources (HR), is a company or business's department that focuses on hiring and managing employees. This department is responsible for recruiting, hiring, establishing employee standards and benefits, compliance with labor laws, employee counseling, administering compensation and benefits for employees, and more. The human resource department is frequently in charge of creating and overseeing the company's policies and how those policies affect and impact the relationship between the employees and the culture or mission of the business.

Human resources play a significant role in the development and success of a company because this department works as a link to support the individual employee in the workplace setting. Their job is to utilize policies and procedures to maximize employees' productivity and provide a safe and constructive environment. People who work in human resources are insightful employees who can calmly address conflicts and are adept in conflict resolution. Even though human resource employees work behind the scenes, they are crucial to establishing a positive workplace culture that generates success. Human resource management operates with common objectives to accomplish all of these tasks. These objectives include cultural growth, organizational support, administration of procedures, personal advancement, and organization for the goals of the company.

Learning how to balance employees and the work setting is not always easy and is usually a job that requires a bachelor's degree. Sometimes colleges have human resources degree programs, but related fields like business management or a master's degree can also open a door for this career opportunity.

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Human Resources Topics

Benefits Administration

Learn about employee benefits management and understand its importance. Explore how to administer employee benefits and see examples of employee benefits plans.

Business Statistics

Learn the definition of business statistics and find what the use of statistics in business is. See how statistics is applied in business with its importance.

Compensation Management

Learn about compensation management in the workplace and see why it is important. Explore how a compensation management program works and study examples.

Employee Responsibilities

Learn about employee responsibilities and understand how they are implemented at the workplace. Explore the employee rights and responsibilities under OSHA.

Employee Rights

Review employee rights in the workplace to learn more about workers' rights laws and concepts. Learn about employment rights act protections and public policies.

Employment Law

Learn the employment law definition. Explore employment law examples and understand why they are important for both employees and employers. Learn about labor and safety laws.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Learn about equal employment opportunity. Understand what the EEOC is, and how such equal employment opportunity laws protect job applicants, and see its importance.

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

Understand what a human resource information system is by learning the HRIS definition. Discover the types of HRIS systems and learn the purpose of HRIS.

Labor Markets

Learn the labor market definition and what happens in the labor market. See what the split labor market theory is and learn the different types of labor market.

Performance Management

Learn about the performance management process. Discover why a strong performance management system is important, and study performance management examples.

Personnel Management

Learn the personnel management definition and understand how it works. Explore the functions of personnel management and the types of personnel management duties.

Personnel Training and Development

Learn about employee training programs. Discover the types of training methods, and study examples of training and development programs for employees.


Review the recruitment function of HR. Learn the meaning of recruitment and see its objectives and purpose. Explore the types and stages of the recruitment process.

Rewards Management

Explore the reward management theory. Learn the definition of strategic reward management and understand its importance. Discover the different types of rewards.

Strategic Human Resource Management

Learn about strategic human resource management and see how it differs from human resource management. Explore HR strategy examples used in the workplace.

Resources for Strategic Human Resource Management

The variety of Human Resource Management courses offered through Study.com will establish a solid understanding of the basic principles and instill confidence with newfound skills needed to embark upon this career. The different courses address many of the objectives for human resource personnel and provide small, digestible chunks of content that are accessible to all learners. Engaging with these self-paced courses provides learners who have different goals the tools needed to move forward in their education with human resources.

HR Management Courses

The variety of courses offered through Study.com looks closely at the concepts and skills necessary for human resource management. Engaging and self-paced, these courses will help build and strengthen understanding of the topics. With courses like Human Resource Management, Creating a Culture of Learning in Your Organization, and Recruiting and Hiring Employees, learners are provided flexibility in progressing through the course and are given strategies to implement into the workplace environment.

Business 106: Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is a course that first establishes the history of the study of HR, then discusses theories on worker satisfaction, and finally delves into smaller topics like work-life balance, workplace stress, unions, and workplace diversity.

Business 306: Strategic Human Resources Management

This course looks at employee rights, diversity, recruiting, selecting employees, compensation and benefits, and training programs in a strategic way in order to determine how to implement procedures in a way that best serves the employee and employer.

Health 310: Human Resource Management in Healthcare

This course focuses on Human Resource management and understanding the legal and ethical issues in regard to healthcare as well employee benefit plans. Learners look at training and development programs as well as Labor Unions and conflict resolution.

Creating a Culture of Learning in Your Organization

Engage learners in a course that will help establish and build a positive culture of learning. Employees can use these short videos to instill a team-based environment, continually strengthen skills, and encourage lifelong learning for all employees.

Creating Organizational Culture

This course focuses on skills to cultivate an organizational culture in a workplace. Engaging in this course provides insights on how to remove dysfunctional barriers, encourage collaboration and camaraderie, and provide tools for workplace productivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the three major roles of HR management?

    Human resource management has many responsibilities. However, the three main roles they take on are recruitment, interview and hiring, and retention of employees.

  • What is the role of human resources?

    Human resources have a variety of responsibilities that center around making sure there is a system to support employees. This role starts with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring employees, and can extend into supporting employees in understanding their benefit and compensation plans. It may also involve helping the company adhere to labor laws, and with conflict resolution among individual employees. Human resources establish and follow policies that help the employee and the business work in an effort to build a positive culture and work environment.

  • What skills are needed for a HR administrator?

    HR administrators need to have interpersonal skills to address employee concerns. They need to be able to create and implement policies of diversity, inclusivity, and healthcare that is in the best interest of the employee and the company. In addition, HR administrators need to understand and follow the procedures for recruiting, hiring, retaining, and firing employees.