What is a human resource manager

Successful personnel management: the fuel for companies

Modern personnel management serves to sustainably develop the organization and thus ensure the company's success. There are 7 central design areas - so where do you start?

The basis for strategic personnel management are clean processes. How Personio can help.


Human resource management, the word alone conveys a sense of consistency. Indeed, there is something big hidden behind the term human resource management: a pool of all personal solution models within an organization. But in the age of digitization, these solution models only represent the current Represent options for action and design needs of a company.

The main task of personnel management is now to permanently adapt these solutions to the changed circumstances and, if necessary, even to completely rethink them. The aim is not only to maintain your own organization, but also to develop it sustainably and successfully. But first things first: What tasks and goals does modern personnel management pursue?

What is the definition of human resource management?

Personnel management combines all HR strategies, measures and fields of action that are intended to support the development of the company - also with the help of change processes.
A big chunk, for which other terms are also used synonymously, such as human resources, workforce management, human resource management or human resource management.

In large companies, personnel management can also be used as a synonym for the personnel department. In everyday working life, however, personnel management is not the exclusive task of this department, but should be designed and carried out by all managers.

The cited "personal design fields" include five areas:

In the course of the past few decades, the topic of human resource management has undergone a significant change in meaning and expansion. Central knowledge since the beginning of the 1990s: The employee is an important resource for the company. Today, the realization that every employee contributes to the company's success has established itself in human resource management. And this as a person and not as “human capital”.

Step 1 for strategic human resource management

Use the right HR software: You can keep track of things, free up time for strategic projects by automating routine tasks and gain valuable HR insights through analytics.

What tasks does personnel management have?

In times of a labor market, advancing demographic change and a shortage of skilled workers, personnel management must fulfill a central task: All departments must be staffed with qualified specialists at all times. Because without qualified employees, no company will be economically successful in the long term. Personnel management is therefore a central component of strategic marketing.

The following 7 fields of activity are derived from this:

  1. Personnel planning
    How Much Personnel is Required? What qualifications does it have to have?
  2. Recruiting or recruiting
    Internal and external recruitment of personnel through the appropriate channels
  3. Personnel management and communication
    All processes from onboarding to leaving; internal and external communication with employees
  4. Compensation management
    All principles of remuneration, from the basic salary to the personal bonus
  5. Personnel development and retention
    All measures of training and further education, job enlargement, job enrichment and job rotation
  6. Staff appraisal
    Overview of service provision and potential analysis of employees
  7. Personnel controlling
    Management and control of all HR processes based on relevant key figures

Taken as a whole, these seven central areas of human resource management are aimed at sustainably developing the organization and asserting it in the market.

These design areas can be of a strategic nature - such as remuneration management or personnel development - or of a non-strategic, but rather transaction-oriented nature - such as personnel administration and personnel controlling.

What are the goals of human resource management?

If we take a look at the fields of action, it becomes clear: A functioning personnel management makes a significant contribution to the company's success. A strong HR that sees itself as a business partner will therefore essentially formulate three main goals that are of strategic importance for the company.

Goal 1: Know and merge company goals and employee wishes

Bringing the wishes of employees in line with business goals is the crux and supreme discipline of personnel management. The social needs of employees (leisure time, family, etc.) often run counter to the company's economic goals (profit maximization, expansion), because younger generations of employees in particular are more critical of the purely economic compulsion to succeed. Here it is important for HR to start, to listen, to take concerns seriously and to implement solutions within a strategic framework.

Goal 2: Achieve and maintain high employee satisfaction

If you manage to keep fluctuation as low as possible in personnel management and you bind the right employees with the right people to the company over the long term, you are doing a lot right. It has meanwhile been proven in numerous studies that a satisfied employee is a more productive and at the same time a more creative employee. Use all possibilities of employee loyalty - show development paths, convey perspectives.

Goal 3: Achieve sustainability by reducing costs and ensuring greater competitiveness

If HR management succeeds in making employees happy and retaining them in the long term, you will automatically achieve this goal as well - because lower personnel costs are a direct result. You have to recruit fewer employees, you have to train fewer new employees, and the number of absenteeism due to illness also decreases. The result is lower costs and greater competitiveness.

Strategic human resource management is a must

The performance of an organizational unit should always reflect the overarching strategic goals of the board of directors or management. The goals of HR are broken down corporate goals.

How close you have come to these goals in the course of the financial year can be illustrated and controlled at any time using key figures. HR managers should definitely make use of this opportunity: If you only realize in November that you are lagging behind your required recruitment rate for the calendar year, you no longer have time to take suitable measures and will likely miss your goals.

Strategic Human Resource Management: Examples of Measurement

Key figure 1: fluctuation rate

How high the fluctuation is, whether it stagnates, decreases or increases, can be measured and documented without a doubt. Reports provide information about the fluctuation in the entire company as well as in individual departments.

If it turns out that there is an imbalance between the teams or the layoffs in an organizational unit have increased, the HR manager can no longer pretend that he had no idea, but has to think about further steps.

First of all, he should have an interview with the line manager. This should clarify whether there are identifiable causes for the terminations. For example, if the pressure is too high and the employees throw in the towel, one could increase staff. If, after an employee survey, it turns out that the managerial style of the technical superior leaves the team tossing in the towel, it is time to offer them coaching or, in the case of particularly serious conflicts, to carry out departmental mediation.

The extent to which the measures brought about an improvement in the fluctuation values ​​can be checked again after a previously defined period of time.

Key figure 2: sick leave

A high level of sick leave brings numerous disadvantages to a company and costs a lot of money. So if the metrics indicate that the sickness rate is rising or staying at a high level, it is time to take action. This includes taking a closer look at the working conditions across the company and at the department level. HR can then decide which areas for improvement are available. Should the offices be equipped with ergonomic furniture? Is work unevenly distributed or is there even evidence of bullying? There are many reasons why employees become physically and mentally ill.

Except in exceptional cases, such as in food production or infectious diseases, employees are not obliged to tell their boss what they are suffering from. HR managers cannot rely on this data when selecting suitable measures.

This is what defines modern personnel management

Modern personnel management is characterized by the courage and the will to change. Gone are the days when staff was only “managed”. Today, personnel management always has the corporate strategy in view in all activities. It not only supports managers in all organizational units operationally, but also integrates them with a network that is as networked as possible, making them “staff ambassadors”, so to speak.

Only those who think and act holistically in personnel management can balance the interactions between the players in the company and steer them in a common, successful direction. The human resources department makes a significant contribution to this, turning from the dry administrator of standardized company processes into an important management consultant and a strategist with a long-term perspective.

Need a look into the future?

New trends in human resource management are often reactions to the “driving forces” of society. Globalization and digitization are forces that require permanent, flexible and agile adaptation in companies. The corporate culture is an indicator of whether this adaptation is successful. Cultures that stand still cannot follow technological disruption and the resulting changes in social relationships. Digitization, for example, ensures more and more IT-based processes. This results in a shift in priorities for HR management: HR managers have to do less and less standard administrative tasks (there are digital processes and workflows for this) and can instead focus their work on strategic projects.

The actual operation on site and the specific workplace are also becoming less important as a result of digitization. In times of crisis, this is clearly demonstrated: Large parts of the workforce work remotely, which means that personnel management is faced with new tasks in the areas of diagnostics and personnel controlling.