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Human resource management (HRM) is a key function of any business. Human resource (HR) managers play an important role in supporting employees throughout the whole employee lifecycle. In turn, they also contribute to the company’s success. HR managers have a host of responsibilities, which we can group into three broad categories based on the stages of the employee lifecycle.

Take a moment to learn about these three stages of human resource planning and management, including pre-hiring, training and development, and post-hiring.

Phase 1: Pre-Hiring

A company’s workforce is the engine that drives it forward. Having the right people in the right roles can significantly impact an organization’s success, so it’s no wonder that a major aspect of HR—also sometimes referred to as people operations or “people ops”—is about finding the right talent and setting them up for success. According to Gartner, 46 percent of HR leaders say recruitment is a top priority for their organization in 2023.

What’s involved in the pre-hiring phase?

The pre-hiring stage includes any talent decisions and activities that occur up until new hires join your team. This can involve steps like:

  • Evaluating the company’s employment needs (known as human resource planning).
  • Writing job descriptions and ads.
  • Attending recruitment events.
  • Interviewing candidates.
  • Weighing in on hiring decisions.
  • Ordering background checks.
  • Negotiating salaries.
  • Facilitating onboarding paperwork.

What role do HR managers play in the pre-hiring phase?

The extent to which HR managers are involved in these steps varies by company. Some organizations may have recruiting specialists or hiring managers that handle the recruitment and selection stage of pre-hiring. In these cases, HR managers may focus more heavily on onboarding.

HR personnel often collaborate with department heads or other company leaders on talent planning and hiring decisions. Although department heads and people managers in the company may have a solid idea of the traits and skills they want in a new employee, HR managers can provide a bigger-picture perspective of the type of employee who would be a good fit for the organization as a whole, considering the company’s culture and goals.

Phase 2: Training and Development

Of course, recruiting employees is just the first step. The three phases of human resource management also extend to the ongoing work of training and managing the employee experience.

The second phase of human resource management is training and development. Employees come into companies with general skill sets that qualify them for their positions, but they may need assistance preparing for and excelling in their particular roles.

Training and development are mutually beneficial for companies and employees. In fact, surveys show that employees see professional development opportunities as key to their job satisfaction. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 68 percent of workers say that if their employer made an effort to upskill them, they would stay with that employer throughout their whole career! That’s an impressive statistic considering the average employee only stays with a company for about four years. Clearly, professional development is important to employees, and it’s also important to HR managers because more skillful employees lead to more successful companies.

What’s involved in training and development?

This phase of HRM continues throughout employees’ time at a company, beginning when they are first hired. HR personnel may be involved in coordinating or leading efforts such as:

  • Onboarding training, including disseminating employee handbooks and reviewing company policies and procedures.
  • Individual employee development plans.
  • Book clubs or team-building activities to enhance organizational culture.
  • One-on-one mentorship programs.
  • Professional certifications and technical training.
  • Seminars and workshops to improve soft skills.

What role do HR managers play in training and development?

People ops staff aren’t necessarily expected to train employees, but they play an essential role in facilitating training and development initiatives. They may collaborate with leadership to determine training and development needs, address the company’s skill gaps, and enhance the employee experience. They may also work with third parties to coordinate special courses or seminars.

However, HR managers directly offer training about employee relations or workplace culture. For example, HR leaders may head up diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) book studies or workshops to build a stronger sense of belonging and acceptance in the company culture.

Phase 3: Post-Hiring

In addition to hiring and training, HR personnel facilitate ongoing activities to manage the employee experience and performance. Of the three phases of human resource management, this third phase is arguably the most extensive.

What’s involved in the post-hiring phase?

Post-hiring includes many aspects of HRM, such as:

  • Managing employee relations and mediating conflicts.
  • Addressing poor performance or misconduct.
  • Ensuring fair practices in compliance with labor laws.
  • Facilitating periodic performance reviews.
  • Managing payroll and benefits administration.
  • Re-evaluating compensation and benefits packages.
  • Offboarding employees who resign or are terminated.

What role do HR managers play in the post-hiring phase?

On average, companies have 2.57 HR staff for every 100 employees, so they know how much ongoing work is involved in managing employee performance and relations. In addition to facilitating routine processes, HR managers are always looking for ways to improve the employee experience and enhance company culture, engagement, and retention.

As with other phases of human resource management, HR managers work in tandem with company leaders for many of these responsibilities. For example, both HR and an employee’s manager will likely be involved in the decision to offer a raise. Once the decision is made, it will be up to HR to document the pay increase and update the payroll. HR managers also work closely with employees as an advocate or intermediary when necessary, protecting the rights of employees and promoting a positive work environment.

Empower Employee and Business Success as a Human Resource Manager

If you’re interested in helping companies and employees thrive by becoming an HR manager, consider pursuing a degree program that will give you the skills and knowledge you need to confidently take on this role. Mount Vernon Nazarene University Online offers fully online programs where you can earn a:

These programs are nationally accredited and will impart vital HRM principles and skills.

Learn more about what you could learn and what career opportunities you could unlock with a degree in human resource management!

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