Human Resource Management – The History

Human resource management is something all of us are familiar with. Would you like to know about the history of HR Management history? It is in fact quite fascinating!

It all started when the apprentices of the putting-out system were being provided with welfare measures. It was in the early part of 20th century that the very first personnel department came into existence. Ever since then Human resource management has come up a long way gaining more and more significance with time.

Sometime during the 1980s people came up with the abbreviation HR for human resources. Slowly the HR departments of organizations started taking over the functions of personnel department as well as the training department, thereby forming a synergy. Organizations started realizing that as their business increased, they had new requirements for staff restructuring and training. The decisions made by the companies had to be in the direction of the welfare of its employees as they were their biggest assets.

With the advancement in technology HR organizations have successfully moved from personnel management to business execution. Here is some information about how the four different generations of HR have evolved over the last twenty odd years:

Pre 1990 – Generation “Personnel Administration”:Personnel administration was the focus of all HR organizations before the year 1990. This is the time when all the personnel administrative processes were carried out manually and it took a lot of time to complete them. The term “Human resources” was not even popular those days. These departments were better known as personnel departments or personnel administration. The entire concentration of the HR of this generation was on the efficient processing of the employee paperwork.

1990 to 2000 – Generation “Human Resources”:This was the time when personnel management started being called as “Human Resources.”  ERP technology succeeded in reducing the time that was required to perform the administrative tasks of the HR organizations. This gave more time to the HR organizations to concentrate on topics related to business execution. They slowly started predicting, analyzing and changing the behavior of employees. This was the time when all those talent management techniques came into existence, on which we rely till date. For instance, these include competency modeling, action learning, goal setting and structured interviewing.

The adoption of the personal computers was another reason that helped HR organizations in using these talent management techniques while taking talent-based decisions. This relates to the use of computer-based forms and tools in assessing the candidates for jobs and in evaluating the performance of existing employees. This improved the quality of decisions taken at the workforce pertaining to recruitments, increasing employee productivity and setting goals to drive the development of employees.

2001 to 2010 – Generation “Talent Management”:  This was when internet systems were being used in widespread way. It helped HR organizations share information easily and efficiently. For instance, the data that was collected during the process of recruitment was automatically imported and used in order to manage and improve employee development.

The easier access to information helped HR in shifting their focus from individual employee-based decisions to alignment of the talent management processes. Recruitment, training, payroll and succession were not the only functions of HR any more. This helped the HR organizations in ensuring a steady supply of highly talented people for job roles that meant critical to companies.

2011 to present – Generation “Business Execution”:Cloud computing applications started being adopted increasingly by companies. More time was spent on analyzing how to use these tools effectively in order to improve the productivity of employees. More resources were invested in creating user-friendly and highly scalable applications that made expert HR tools for line managers. HR professionals started supporting business execution in a more active way. The focus was more on how to use the talents and skills of employees to achieve the short-term as well as long-term goals of the companies.

The traditional human resource management procedures are giving way to strategic ones and this is going to continue for a longer period of time.

Sources and References:

http://www.academia.edu/3638379/Evolution_History_of_Human_Resource_Management

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpHX03q_3UI

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/four-main-stages-hr-evolved-over-years-63019.html