Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is the management of an organization's human resources, or workers. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will typically also serve as the company's primary liaison with the employees' representatives (usually a labour union).
HR is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work such as payroll and benefits, administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advancement, and further research, HR now focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labour relations, and diversity and inclusion.
Whereas in startup companies HR's duties may be performed by a handful of trained professionals or even by non-HR personnel, larger companies typically house an entire functional group dedicated to the discipline, with staff specializing in various HR tasks and functional leadership engaging in strategic decision making across the business. To train practitioners for the profession, institutions of higher education, professional associations, and companies themselves have created programs of study dedicated explicitly to the duties of the function. Academic and practitioner organizations likewise seek to engage and further the field of HR, as evidenced by several field-specific publications.