With the increasing importance of the human aspect and growing intricacies in the management of labour issues, the place of personnel management in the management set up in any organisation is very important. In every organisation, a separate department is set up as personnel management in which a personnel manager is designated as the head of the department.
According to Flippo, ‘Personnel Management is planning, organising, compensation, integration and maintenance of people to contribute to organisational, individual and societal goals.
Role of The Personnel Manager
Human resources are one of the most important and true assets of any company. Retaining this asset should be of prime importance for the company. Here, a personnel manager plays an important role as he or she is the link between management and employees.
His role can be summarised as:
He becomes a counsellor whenever required. He counsels the employees with the issues and grievances that they are facing which is affecting their productivity.
He acts as a representative. Since he is in direct contact with the workers, he becomes a spokesman in committees. He heads the company during training programs as well.
He is an advisor to the line managers and assists them in dealing with and solving various personnel matters of the staff.
The policies of the personnel are formulated effectively by the personnel manager. Hence, he is assisting the top management.
He acts like a mediator - A linking pin between employees and management.
He ensures consistent administration of the personnel policies of the organisation.
Functions of a Personnel Manager
The main four functions of a personnel manager are as below:
Planning of Manpower
Training and Development
Manpower planning is also termed human resource planning. It involves ascertaining the right number of people required for the right kind of job at the right place and at the right time that fulfils the goals of the organisation. Human resource planning should be a systematic approach to be effective. A procedure is set out for this. The procedure is as follows:
Study of the current manpower inventory
Forecasting of required manpower for future
Developing manpower programs
Designing training programs
Recruitment is an approach to haunt the future employees of the organisation and stimulate the right and qualified people to apply for the opportunities open for them in the organisation.
Recruitment is of two types:
As the name suggests, this type of recruitment takes place internally, within the organisation. Sources for internal recruitment are readily available to an organisation. The sources can be transfers, re-employment of the ex-employees and promotions. Internal recruitment is advantageous as the current employees get motivated with a better opportunity or promotion given. However, the downside of internal recruitment is that it refrains the new talent outside the organisation and all the manpower cannot be filled through internal recruitment. Hence, the organisation needs to hire manpower from outside.
External recruitment means recruiting or hiring from outside the organisation. This kind of recruitment involves a lot of planning, time and money. The different sources from which external recruitment can happen are advertisement, employment agencies, recommendations, educational institutions, etc.
How well an employee performs and an organisation's success depends on how effective the selection process is. The selection process is the process of narrowing down the most suitable and qualified employee for the job opening in the organisation. An organisation saves a lot of money and time in training when it hires the right candidate for the right job.
The employment selection process takes place in the following order:
Preliminary Interviews: This process involves removing unqualified candidates who do not meet the required criteria for the job opening in the organisation. Preliminary interviews are also called screening interviews.
Application Blanks: This is the next process for those who clear the preliminary interview. They are asked to fill in the application blanks. It has the data record of the candidates such as name, age, previous employment details, qualification, etc.
Written Tests: This is the process where a candidate’s aptitude is tested. The written test involves testing their reasoning skills, their knowledge on the subject given, personality traits, etc.
Employment Interview: This process is a one-on-one, face-to-face interview with the potential candidate. A panel of interviewers from the organisation discuss with the potential candidate to assess his personality and to know if he is best suited for the required opening in the organisation. This should happen with utmost honesty from the interviewer’s side and the judgement should be unbiased.
Medical Examination: Once the candidate gets selected in the one-on-one interview, he or she should undergo the medical test to make sure he is physically fit for the job given.
Appointment Letter: After the reference check of the employee is done, a formal appointment letter is handed to the employee which contains details like the package, benefits from the company, leave policy, joining date, etc.
Training and Development
Training and development is an ongoing and never-ending process in the organisation. However, a new employee gets thorough training on the skills and knowledge that is specifically required for the job that has been offered to him. The company trains the employee to enhance the skills and capabilities to do a particular job. Training increases the productivity and effectiveness of the employee. This process involves a lot of planning, money and time.
Other Functions of a Personnel Manager
The functions mentioned above are the four major functions of a personnel manager but the role and responsibility of a personnel manager are vast and so it is important for students to have a brief about the other functions that are performed by the personnel manager.
A personnel manager performs counselling as the main function in an organisation. The personnel manager is always available for the employees to discuss any issues they are facing; it could be personal or career-related. A personnel manager has a fair understanding of topics related to health, family, finance, etc.
A personnel manager helps the management to initiate policies related to employees and the work environment. Not only policies are initiated but also formatted if needed. These two roles of initiating and formatting existing policies are one of the other functions performed by the personnel manager. These policies are mostly related to employee welfare, salary and compensation, appraisals and the overall betterment of the organisation.
A personnel manager is well equipped with laws and practises around human resources and is capable of giving guidance and advice to the senior management or line managers in case of any concerns. There are a lot of challenges that are faced by line managers daily and the same have to be addressed aptly. Human resource point of view becomes crucial in these situations.
A personnel manager is a link between the employees and the organisation. A personnel manager needs to understand the concerns of the employee and pass the concerns over to the management so they can be discussed and resolved by the management.
A personnel manager does not only pass the concerns from the employees to the management but also relays any new policies or information from the management to the employees directly as the personnel manager has a better understanding of the overall situation and is in a position to answer any questions the employees would have about the policy or information relayed.
A personnel manager has to make a lot of quick and correct decisions for the smooth functioning of the organisation. As the personnel manager initiates policies there is decision making involved in initiating policy and the impact it has on the employees as well as the management. A personnel manager has to be quick with his decision and also should be able to justify the decisions if questioned raised by employees or the management.
A personnel manager ensures there is a healthy environment at work and employees have a pleasant feeling rather than a disturbed environment. There are instances when there could be disagreements or arguments amongst employees or between the management and employees or an employee. The personnel manager acts as a mediator and resolves these arguments on healthy grounds without being biassed or judgemental.
A personnel manager always works towards the welfare of the employees and the management. Various facilities are made available to the employees and management and a smooth running of these facilities is ensured by the personnel manager as well. Facilities like transport, cafeteria, etc.
FAQs on Role of Personnel Manager
1. What are the 4 levels of Management?
The four levels of management include:
Top-level Managers consist of the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), COO (Chief Operating Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer), the Managing Director and the Senior Executive.
Middle Managers consist of department heads, directors and chief supervisors.
First-line Managers consist of assistant managers, section managers, office managers, shift managers, etc.
Team leaders are the direct reporting managers for the staff or entry-level employees.
2. What is the difference between Personnel Management and HR Management?
Though HR management is similar to that of personnel management, yet they hold some differences. These differences are:
HR management is a much-advanced form of personnel management. HR management is the specific management of the human resources of any organisation. The primary focus of personnel management is towards the welfare of the employees and maintaining proper relations of the employees with the organisations. Whereas, HR management concentrates upon motivating and developing leading to the proper maintenance of the human resource.
The HR management concentrates more upon the administrative functions while the personnel management satisfaction is attained through personnel function.
The personnel management aims towards increasing business and the HR management concentrates upon the productivity and work culture of the organisation.
3. What is the importance of personnel management?
Personnel management is important in any given organisation as it is responsible for the work environment, issue resolution between employees or management and employees. Building compensation and benefits strategy, health and safety policies, employee disciplinary action policies, etc. Personnel management principles are different at different organisations but the motive is to ensure everything in the organisation functions smoothly. In a work environment that is free of any grievances and concerns, the productivity of the employees is directly affected.
4. What are the different types of personnel management?
Personnel management involves a process that can be approached from various angles. There are 3 broad categories that personnel management can be subdivided into - Strategic personnel management, Tactical personnel management and Operational personnel management.
Strategic personnel management involves staffing recruitment and the overall process from hiring to onboarding of an employee.
Tactical personnel management involves the planning and developing skills of the onboarded staff and training.
Operational personnel management involves maintaining records of the employees and managing facilities offered to the employees.
5. Why is the employee retention rate low in organizations?
A personnel manager deals with a lot of challenges especially to retain employees. There are various reasons for dissatisfaction within an employee to decide to part ways with the organisation. The personnel manager needs to uncover the reason and then try to retain employees. It is difficult though to retain an employee who has made a decision after consideration and hence the retention rate is low as most of the employees do not reconsider their decision.