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Difference between role of Personnel Manager and HRM Manager

Traditionally the term personnel management was used to refer to the set of activities concerning the workforce which included staffing, payroll, contractual obligations and other administrative tasks. In this respect, personnel management encompasses the range of activities that are to do with managing the workforce rather than resources. Personnel Management is more administrative in nature and the Personnel Managers main job is to ensure that the needs of the workforce as they pertain to their immediate concerns are taken care of. Further, personnel managers typically played the role of mediators between the management and the employees and hence there was always the feeling that personnel management was not in tune with the objectives of the management. With the advent of resource centric organizations in recent decades, it has become imperative to put people first as well as secure management objectives of maximizing the ROI (Return on Investment) on the resources. This has led to the development of the modern HRM function which is primarily concerned with ensuring the fulfillment of management objectives and at the same time ensuring that the needs of the resources are taken care of. In this way, HRM differs from personnel management not only in its broader scope but also in the way in which its mission is defined. HRM goes beyond the administrative tasks of personnel management and encompasses a broad vision of how management would like the resources to contribute to the success of the organization. Cynics might point to the fact that whatever term we use, it is finally about managing people. The answer to this would be that the way in which people are managed says a lot about the approach that the firm is taking. For instance, traditional manufacturing units had personnel managers whereas the services firms have HR managers. While it is tempting to view Personnel Management as archaic and HRM as modern, we have to recognize the fact that each serves or served the purpose for which they were instituted. Personnel Management was effective in the smokestack era and HRM is effective in the 21st century and this definitely reflects a paradigm shift in the practice of managing people. Some points that can easily understand difference between Personnel manager and HRM Manager: The scope of personnel management include functional activities such as manpower planning, recruitment, job analysis, job evaluation, payroll administration, performance appraisals, labor law compliance, training administration, and related tasks. Human resources management includes all these activities plus organizational developmental activities such as leadership, motivation, developing organizational culture, communication of shared values, and the like. The human resource management approach remains integrated to the companys core strategy and vision, and seek to optimize the use of human resource for the fulfillment of

organizational goals. This strategic and philosophical context of human resource management makes it more purposeful, relevant, and more effective compared to the personnel management approach. Another dimension of the difference is approach between human resources vs. personnel management is the proactive nature of human resource management compared to the reactive nature of personnel management.

Personnel management remains aloof from core organizational activities, functions independently, and takes a reactive approach to changes in corporate goals or strategy. Human resource management remains integrated with corporate strategy and takes a proactive approach to align the workforce toward achievement of corporate goals. For instance, while the personnel management approach concerns itself with a reactive performance appraisal process, human resource management approach has a more comprehensive and proactive performance management system that aims to correct performance rather than make a report card of past performance. Personnel management is an independent staff function of an organization, with little involvement from line managers, and no linkage to the organizations core process. Human resource management on the other hand remains integrated with the organizations core strategy and functions. Although a distinct human resource department carries out much of the human resource management tasks, human resource initiatives involve the line management and operations staff heavily. Personnel management also strives to reconcile the aspirations and views of the workforce with management interest by institutional means such as collective bargaining, trade union based negotiations and the like. This leads to fixation of work conditions applicable for all, and not necessarily aligned to overall corporate goals. Human Resource Management gives greater thrust on dealing with each employee independently and gives more importance to customer-focused developmental activities and facilitating individual employees rather than bargaining or negotiating with trade unions.