Where did the term “human resources” originate? It’s actually relatively new, a management innovation that was first used in the 1960s, when it was originally called “welfare management”. In a classic HR model the primary responsibility of a human resources department is to implement strategies and policies relating to the management of individuals. In other words, anything that relates to the “human” element of a company or organization falls under the realm of human resources. This encompasses a wide range of services and responsibilities.
If you go back fifty years to when human firma electrónica resources first evolved as a management concept, you’ll be visiting a world that was far simpler than it is today. Computers didn’t exist in a practical form yet. There was no internet, no social networking, and no web based recruiting software to help manage job applicants. There was no need for benefits administration because the options for health care and retirement plans were fewer and much simpler. A basic health insurance policy and pension plan were offered to all employees and there were no questions about government subsidies, affordable care, or investment funds for your 401-K plan. HR had a much easier job back then.
Fast forward twenty years to the 1980s and the responsibilities of an HR department become more diverse. Still slightly before the development of the internet, the world was nonetheless much smaller and workforces were larger. Manila folder filing systems were being replaced by computer databases and the first job applicant software was developed. By today’s standards it was fairly basic, but in the days of Reagan and MTV it was a revolutionary innovation. As human resources became more technologically advanced, the ability of fewer people to handle more data increased.
It was in the 80s and 90s that human resources developed into what it is today. The recruiting, hiring, and benefits administration remained the responsibility of HR, but additional services became necessary as the nation grew up and got ready for the 21st Century. Morale building, employee retention, training, and workforce development were all needed to keep workforces and management abreast of changes and rapid advancements in technology. As the sun set on the millennium, the dawn of social media and cloud based job applicant tracking changed the way business was done for the next ten years. HR evolved again.
The last decade has seen epic tragedies, the worst recession since the Great Depression, and advances in communications that have connected the world together in a way never before possible. Recruitment tracking systems have the capabilities now to reach out over the World Wide Web and recruit folks from all nations. Outsourcing has become more popular, so employment laws and guidelines have gone through some modification. It’s the job of human resources to keep track of all that, along with compliance and confidentiality issues. A lot has changed since HR was first utilized back in the 1960s, but one thing has remained the same. Human Resources is a department that is there for the humans in your company. That makes it a necessity, for labor and management alike.