The work of human resources departments encompasses a wide range of functions, and large organizations may have many HR professionals on staff. Generally HR functions are split into two broad categories. One, usually called HR management, or just HR, is concerned with the day-to-day operation of a company. HR development, or HRD, has a more forward-looking role.
The types of tasks that might come under the human resources management category include compensation, payroll issues, benefits management and day-to-day employee relations. Human resources professionals from this category would be involved in any dispute that an employee has with management. They would also be involved in hiring and firing. These types of tasks can be described as routine and administrative.
By contrast, human resources development concerns itself with strategic thinking about the workforce. Therefore training needs, industrial psychology and driving productivity gains would all be the province of HRD. Professionals working in this area do sometimes concern themselves with the individuals’ needs in an organization, but they more often consider the workforce needs of the company as a whole.
In a large organization, HRM and HRD functions will be carried out by different professionals. In the work life of an employee, HRM and HRD may seem to have parallel but separate functions. A new employee may be recruited by an HRM officer, but then receive a training plan from an HRD executive. He may deal with HRM when choosing a benefits plan, but then meet with HRD for his performance review.
In order for a large organization to function productively, HRD and HRM must collaborate closely. HRM executives, working closely with employees, may notice a trend in needs for training, or a particular dissatisfaction with workplace conditions. These issues can then be taken up and addressed at a strategic level by HRD personnel. In the same way, in order for a strategic HR change to be implemented, HRD executives may brief HRM staff on changes to be made in hiring practices.