Human Resource Management (HRM) vs. Development (HRD)
Human resources (HR) is an important part of many organizations, regardless of size or industry. The HR department serves as the link between the organization and its employees—and ensures that both are set up for success. HR managers oversee, design and implement all processes within the HR department, from payroll to onboarding.
Within the broad realm of human resource management (HRM) is human resource development (HRD). HRD is primarily concerned with each employee’s personal and professional growth—and tries to align their development with an organization’s goals. While HRM and HRD have a lot in common, they also have slightly different objectives. In this guide, we’ll dive into these objectives and highlight the differences between the two disciplines.
On the surface, human resource management may seem straightforward, simply involving the oversight of employees within a company. Upon a closer look, it often encompasses a number of responsibilities related to the mission and culture of an organization, which means your duties and responsibilities as an HR manager can vary by employer and work setting.
While some organizations may have only one human resources manager, others may designate several managers to oversee specific areas within the department. Managerial roles within HR may have different titles, including employee relations manager, payroll manager, and recruiting manager.
Curious about how to become an HR manager? Many HR professionals begin their journey with a bachelor’s degree in human resources, but some discover the field after a career in another sector or studies in a related discipline. Those who enter the field with a bachelor’s degree may start off as a human resources specialist and advance to a managerial position after gaining some years of experience. However, some organizations might prefer that you hold a graduate degree before becoming a manager. An advanced education may make you more appealing to employers in the job search, but it isn’t the only way to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to operate in such roles.
Graduate programs like a Master of Human Resources Management (MHRM) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in human resources may further prepare you to become a leader in the field. While MHRM programs tend to emphasize the ethics of human resources, MBA programs generally explore the business side of HRM and may better position you for executive leadership within a company—a distinction to keep in mind when considering programs.
Thanks to the various online master’s in HR programs available, you may pursue an MHRM or an MBA while continuing to work full-time. Online and part-time programs may provide flexibility, so you don’t have to compromise your career or financial stability in order to further your education. Although not required, some human resources managers pursue professional certifications through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The SHRM offers certifications at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s level.
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Human Resource Development
Human resource development (HRD) is defined as the cultivation of an organization’s employees. It entails providing workers with skills and relevant knowledge that may help them to grow in the workplace. That makes human resource development an integral part of human resource management.
HRD starts with a clear vision for employee development, and most times, it is achieved through organization-wide activities and training. Typically, the HRD team is in charge of developing these initiatives to position employees for career advancement and other related goals.
HRD aims to improve learning and performance on both individual and organizational levels. This may include furthering the personal goals of employees and the broad goals of the organization, so both may benefit from the relationship. HRD also identifies problems within these areas and helps to develop systems to address them.
What Are HR Developers and What Do They Do?
In some organizations, HR developers are important members of the HR team as they oversee a variety of areas within the human resources branch of an organization, including training, employee development, executive and leadership development, human performance technology, and organizational learning. On any given day, their responsibilities might involve creating training programs, designing systems to attract and retain talent, and planning organizational development activities, which may be in the form of workshops and more.
If you are interested in a career in human resources, one thing you may need to consider is a bachelor’s degree—and the same applies for a career in human resources development. There are programs specially designed for this field, like a bachelor’s or master’s in human resource development, but you may still be able to apply to certain positions with a degree in a related discipline. A master’s in HRD typically covers much of the same ground as a master’s in human resources, but a master’s in HRD may spend more time on the development and training aspect.
A combination of an undergraduate business degree and a master’s in human resources—or vice versa—might provide you with a foundation in both areas should you decide to branch out into one area or specialty. A master’s degree is not always necessary for a career in HR, but it may help you become more competitive for certain roles.
Key Differences and Similarities
Some people consider human resource development to be a component of human resource management. That being said, they have two different objectives and typically involve different responsibilities. Human resource development is primarily concerned with training employees and aligning their personal development goals with the broader goals of the organization or business. Human resource management has a broader focus on labor relations, compensation, benefits and compliance. HR managers also work on issues like diversity and inclusion.
A professional with a background in HRM might end up as a general HR manager or a specialist in an area such as benefits, payroll, or recruiting. Meanwhile, HRD experts may be best suited for positions as training and development specialists and managers, instructional designers, or program developers.
While these two areas are distinct, there are a number of similarities between them. For instance, they both involve problem solving. HR managers may be called upon to resolve conflicts in an organization when they arise, and these often require creative, thoughtful solutions. Likewise, HR developers may be tasked with designing new methods and systems of training, involving a similar exercise in problem solving. Because both roles involve working with people, possessing interpersonal skills may prove helpful in the development and managing of healthy relationships between employees and an organization.
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