HRM AND PM Differnces - CiteHR
Nitish Mehta
Hr Consultant
Human Resources
Lalit Thakkar
Systems Consultant
+1 Other

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how do you differentiate between a personnel management from a human resource management. based on their nature of work
In personnel management the emphasis on control and getting the things done without having any concern for the development of the individual. On the other hand in HIM we take a holistic outlook. That is not only we are interested in getting the best but at the same time we would like to invest in developing the resource as well. While personnel management looks at employee as a cost centre HRM treats it as an asset.
The difference has been very rightly brought out by Sh. Reddy.
My experience is that the HRD chief and personnel down the line in the HRD function are unable to see the line of demarcation as brought out by Sh. Reddy above. The whole function acts as personnel department only. Even their behavior is centered at 'controlling' the work force, enforce the so-called policies and 'rules' of the management without any significant concern in the direction of development of the human resource. 'Training' is a very important requirement and activity of the HRD. Most of the time it is not done or is sparingly done and that too s an eye-wash. Effectiveness of the training, if at all imparted, is hardly gauged. Though this feature is emphatically included in the provisions of all standard specifications e.g. ISO 9001 etc., it is done halfheartedly just for the sake of records.
I wish the persons at the helm of affairs in all HRD functions take this seriously.
Lalit Thakkar

The contrast between personnel management and Human resource management is that personnel management basically deals with the employees. That is, their payroll, recruitment and employment laws. On the other hand, human resource management deals with the management of the work force, training and the general well-being of all employees.
Rajesh Kantubhukta

Personnel Management - Personnel Management is thus basically an administrative record-keeping function, at the operational level. Personnel Management attempts to maintain fair terms and conditions of employment, while at the same time, efficiently managing personnel activities for individual departments etc. It is assumed that the outcomes from providing justice and achieving efficiency in the management of personnel activities will result ultimately in achieving organizational success.

Human resource management is concerned with the development and implementation of people strategies, which are integrated with corporate strategies, and ensures that the culture, values and structure of the organization, and the quality, motivation and commitment of its members contribute fully to the achievement of its goals.HRM is concerned with carrying out the SAME functional activities traditionally performed by the personnel function, such as HR planning, job analysis, recruitment and selection, employee relations, performance management, employee appraisals, compensation management, training and development etc. But, the HRM approach performs these functions in a qualitatively DISTINCT way, when compared with Personnel Management.

Please keep sharing...


Rajesh Kantubhukta


Human resources is said to incorporate and develop personnel management tasks, while seeking to create and develop teams of workers for the benefit of the organization. A primary goal of human resources is to enable employees to work to a maximum level of efficiency.
Personnel management can include administrative tasks that are both traditional and routine. It can be described as reactive, providing a response to demands and concerns as they are presented. By contrast, human resources involves ongoing strategies to manage and develop an organization's workforce. It is proactive, as it involves the continuous development of functions and policies for the purposes of improving a company's workforce. Personnel management is often considered an independent function of an organization. Human resource management, on the other hand, tends to be an integral part of overall company function.
Rajesh Kantubhukta
Human Resources

Dear Pearlrashad,

I have never been to Kenya, so I don't know your labour laws or past happenings. But below is what could have happened in India.

Right from the 1960s, the activities coming under the purview of the HR Domain have been carried out albeit under different names. Way back then, there used to be a Time Office, which later became Labour Office and had a Labour Officer, who in today's world is typically like a Supervisor of a Contractor doing time keeping, leave and OT calculation etc. Then came Welfare Officer, who became responsible for employee welfare. In 1980's came the concept of Personnel Management and had people like Personnel Officer / Personnel Manager. In late 1990s came a newer concept of "HR".

With time, and with increase in awareness / knowledge / advancements, new issues came to the fore. In line was the development in the field. As rightly said by Mr Rajesh Kantubhukta, PM is more administrative (mundane) while HR is more on the development side. So while you have Policy, Leave, OT, Time Keeping, Compliances coming under PM... T&D, ISO compliances, Competency Mapping, BSC, Assessment Centres, EE, R&R etc fall in HR domain.

Today, we have progressed a step ahead. In line with people's aspirations, there is a separate "Head" for Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Employee Enagagement, PMS, Employee Relations, Statutory Compliances, CSR... eventually all reporting to the real Head HR.

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