Everything you need to know about the features of HRM. Human resource management (HRM or simply HR) is the management of an organization’s workforce, or human resources.

It is responsible for attraction, selection, training, assessment and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, ensuring compliance with employment and labour laws.

“Human Resource management may be defined as the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organizational and societal objectives are accompanied.” – Edward Flippo.

The important features of HRM are:-


1. Part of Management Discipline 2. Universal Existence 3. Concerned with Human Element 4. Action Oriented 5. Pervasive Function 6. Directed towards Achievement of Objectives 6. Integrating Mechanism 7. Wide Range of Activities

8. Development of Human Resources 9. Motivation of Human Resources 10. Continuous Function 11. Service or Staff Function 12. Comprehensive Function 13. Multi-Disciplinary Approach.

Additionally, learn about the features of human resource management as a profession:-

1. Specific Body of Knowledge 2. Acquisition of Knowledge 3. Professional Association 4. Ethical Code and 5. Service Motive.

Features of HRM – Management Discipline, Universal Existence, Pervasive Function, Continuous Function and a Few Others

Features of HRM – Top 9 Features: Part of Management Discipline, Universal Existence, Concerned with People, Action Oriented, Development Oriented and a Few Others

Human resource management (HRM or simply HR) is the management of an organization’s workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for attraction, selection, training, assessment and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, ensuring compliance with employment and labour laws.


In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold collective bargaining agreement, HR serves as the company’s primary liaison with the employers’ representatives (usually a labor union).

“Human Resource management may be defined as the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individual, organizational and societal objectives are accompanied.” – Edward Flippo

“Human Resource management relates to the total set of knowledge skills and attitudes that firms need to complete. It involves concern for and action in the management of people, including selection, training and development, employee relations and compensation. Such actions may be bound together by the action of a Human resource management philosophy.” – Pettigrew & Whipp


“Human resource management includes the practices and policies you need to carry out the personnel aspects of your management job. To be more specific, this involves acquiring, training, appraising, rewarding and providing a safe and fair environment for your company’s employees.” – Gary Dessler

On the basis of above definitions, human resource management may be identified by the following features:

Feature # 1. A Part of Management Discipline:

Human resource management is an important component of management discipline. Although it may not be regarded as a discipline in itself, but surely is a field of study. Since human resource management is related to the family of management process, it draws heavily on the management concepts, principles and techniques and uses them while managing human resources of any business unit.

Feature # 2. Universal Existence:

Human resource Management is a universal function in the sense that it is applicable in all varieties of organizations. The principles and practices are applied everywhere irrespective of size, nature, scope and purpose of the organizations.

Feature # 3. Concerned with People:

Human resource management relates to human aspects or human capital and its management in a business unit. It manages different people such as worker/labour, supervisors, managers, departmental heads and other related top managers too. Therefore, human resource management is defined as the management of human resources and their commitment towards work.

Feature # 4. Action Oriented:

The focal point of managing human resources is ‘action’ instead of record keeping, written procedures or rules. The problems of employees are solved through rational policies.

Feature # 5. Directed towards Achievement of Objectives:

Human resource management is concerned about working in order to achieve the organizational objectives. It also provides tools and techniques to effectively manage the human resources of the firm.

Feature # 6. Integrating Mechanism:

One of the important objectives of human resource management is to recognize the best possible manner to achieve the common goals. It also works to maintain cordial relations between people working at all the levels of an organization.

Feature # 7. Development Oriented:

Human resource management seeks the optimal or fuller utilization of worker’s capabilities or potential. It turns the reward structure to the needs of employees for this. It also impacts training in order to improve the skills of the employees. It makes every possible attempt to make complete use of the talents rested with employees to service the organizational goals.

Feature # 8. Continuous Process:


Human resource management is a continuous process in the sense that it is in operation from the day an entity comes into existence till the day it winds up. It basically takes into account managing human capital of the firm which is not one day or one weak deal rather, it is an on-going process.

Feature # 9. Comprehensive Function:

Managing human resources can never be an exclusive process as it involves all people at work. No individual irrespective of his designation, salary, nature of work is excluded from the periphery of human resource management.

Features of HRM – 9 Essential Features of HRM: Concerned with Human Element, Integral Part of Management, Pervasive Function and a Few Others

The essential features of human resource management are discussed below:

1. Concerned with Human Element:

Human resource management deals with people at work. It includes organisation, motivation, guidance and leading, of people for the accomplishment of goals of the organisation.


Its main objective is to maintain better human relations in the organisation by the development, application and evaluation of policies, procedures and programmes relating to people in the organisation to optimise their contribution towards the realisation of organisational objectives. In other words, human resource management is concerned with the basic function of management of getting better results with the collaboration of people.

2. Integral Part of Management:

Human resource management is inherent in managing. It is an integral part of the job of a manager. Every manager is concerned with the performance of personnel functions such as training, communication, appraisal and guidance. If a manager is weak in dealing with people, he cannot achieve the goals of the organisation. Thus, every manager must possess human relations skill to get maximum cooperation of the workers.

3. Pervasive Function:

Human resource management is pervasive in nature. Since people are a necessary element of any organisation, human resource management is inherent in all enterprises. Also, since management means getting effective results with people at work, human resource management is a basic management function permeating all levels of management in any organisation.

It also permeates all the functional areas of management, such as production management, financial management, and marketing management. That means every manager from top to bottom, working in any department has to perform the personnel functions.

4. Wide Range of Activities:


Human resource management involves several functions concerned with the management of people at work. It includes human resource planning, employment, placement, training, appraisal, compensation and maintenance of employees. For the performance of these activities efficiently, a separate department known as Human Resource Department is created in most of the organisations.

5. Development of Human Resources:

Human resource management is concerned with developing potential of employees so that they get maximum satisfaction from their work and give their best efforts to the organisation. It takes into account the personality, interests and capacities of employees for this purpose. It seeks to help the employees in realising their full potential.

6. Motivation of Human Resources:

Human resource management is concerned with the motivation of human resources in the organisation. The human beings can’t be dealt with like physical factors of production. Every person has different needs, perception and expectations. The human resource manager gives due attention to these factors to motivate people at work. He introduces both financial and non-financial incentives to motivate them.

7. Continuous Function:

Human resource management is of a continuous nature. Every manager has to perform this function continuously. G.R. Terry has rightly remarked, “It cannot be turned on and off like water from a faucet; it cannot be practised only one hour each day or one day a week.” Human resource management requires constant alertness and awareness of human relations and their importance in everyday operations.

8. Service or Staff Function:

Human resource management is a staff function that is responsible for offering advice on personnel matters to the operating or line departments. It also offers services like recruitment, training and appraisal of staff to the operating departments. The human resource manager contributes to the success and growth of the organisation by advising the operating departments and top management on personnel matters.

9. Multi-Disciplinary Approach:

Human resource management is multi- disciplinary in nature. Effective management of human resources involves application of knowledge drawn from several disciplines like sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, etc.

Features of HRM – 8 Important Features


The important features of human resources management are as follows:

1. Human resources management are the product of their biological inheritance and interactions with the environment. Their attitudes, behaviour and performance are largely influenced by their family relationships, religious influences, caste and organisational environment.

2. Human resources management are heterogeneous. They consist of many different individuals, each having a unique personality, different emotional responses to different stimuli and different needs, motives, values, attitudes and modes of thinking. Each of them has his own physical and psychological traits.

Most of the problems of an organisation arise because of such differences among the human beings. If the organisation is to achieve success in its business, it must recognise and pay attention to these differences among the individuals so as to enable each individual to maximise his potential.

3. Human beings behave very widely and in very complicated ways. They react differently in different situations or they may even behave differently in the same situation at two different points of time. Their behaviour is always uncertain and unpredictable. It is therefore very difficult to predict their behaviour particularly in an organisation when they are working in groups.

4. Human resources management have the greatest potential to develop and grow provided favourable atmosphere is provided to them. An organisation is sure to succeed if it has the right people at the right place at the right time.


5. Human resources management constitute the most important element in the organisation. The effective and full utilisation of all other resources depends upon the quality and potentiality of human resources.

6. Modern employees possess better education, greater skills, more sophisticated technology and higher competitive strength and enjoy higher standard of living than their predecessors.

7. Human resource management as a factor of production is different from other factors of production like materials and machinery in the sense that it has a will of its own. If human beings are motivated properly by the management, they can put in best of their efforts and work more efficiently and effectively.

8. The term ‘human resources management’ is wider in meaning than the term ‘personnel’. The term ‘human resources management’ at the macro level includes all the dynamic components like skill, creative ability, tact etc. possessed by all the people whether they are employees, self-employed people, employers, owners, organisers, promoters etc. working at different levels in the organisation whereas the term ‘personnel’ even at the macro level is limited to the employees working in all the organisations.

The term ‘human resources management’ at the organisational level includes the component resources of all the employees working at various levels – from top to bottom, all the employees like board of directors, managing director, honorary workers, experts in different fields, shareholders and such people as family members influencing the employees of the organisation.

Thus human resources management include the resources of all the people who contribute their services to the attainment of the organisational objectives and those who contribute their services with a view to create hurdles or obstacles in the attainment of the organisational objectives.

Features of HRM

Management is considered as an art of getting things done through others with a view to achieve the common objectives of the enterprise. But these objectives can be achieved only if the organisation is managed efficiently. The management is considered to be efficient if it is able to co-ordinate the various factors of production in such a way that they contribute their maximum towards the realisation of the objectives.


In the past, the management was primarily concerned with the full and proper utilisation of the physical factors such as raw materials and machinery but it did not pay any attention to the human factor on which the maximum utilisation of the physical factors depended. Materials may be purchased at the most competitive prices and machines may be worked to their full capacity but the output cannot be maximised without the willing co-operation of the workers.

Peter Drucker says, “Human being is the central, the rarest, the most precious capital resource of our industrial society”. Its unique characteristic lies in the fact that of all the resources employed in production, it is the most productive, the most versatile and the most resourceful. The physical factors are subject to the law of mechanics.

When combined, they give an output at the most equal to their input but very often they give an output far less than their input. But the human factor is able to give an output far greater than its input only because of its ability to co-operate, co-ordinate, integrate, judge and imagine. But the management in the past did not realise this.

However, in modern days, the management has realised the importance of the human factor in productive activity as well as in the successful accomplishment of the enterprise objectives. In fact, the importance of the human factor i.e. labour is increasingly recognised by the people in the management of modern industrial concerns.

Some authorities even go to the extent of saying that, ‘good management means getting effective results with people’. Drucker rightly remarks that the function of management is to (a) manage work, (b) manage workers and (c) manage managers.


Thus, people working at the operational levels and at the managerial levels are considered as the essential ingredient of every organisation and the way in which people are recruited, selected and utilised by the management leadership largely determines whether the organisation achieves its goals successfully or not.

The modern management has realised that human resource of production is different from other factors like materials and machinery in the sense that it has a will of its own. The importance of human resource lies in the fact that success of any enterprise depends ultimately on the willing co-operation of this factor i.e. labour i.e. people working at different levels in the organisation.

Therefore, a separate department has been set up to deal with labour and to be in constant touch with the needs and aspirations of the workers. This department is known as Personnel Department, which is now considered as an integral part of the managerial set-up.

1. It is continuous in nature and is important in everyday activities.

2. Aims at maintaining harmonious relations between employer, employees and amongst employees themselves.

3. Motivates guides and directs HR to achieve objectives.

4. Deals with all round development of HR leading to job satisfaction and facilitating assumption of higher responsibilities.

5. Covers all levels and categories of employees in organisation.

6. It is pervasive in nature. It permeates all levels of management and also in all functional areas of management like production, marketing and finance, etc.

Features of HRMUnique Features of Human Resource Management

Man, machine, material, money, and time are the resources needed by an organization. Out of all the listed resources, machine and material depreciate with time. Money is required to be spent in a planned manner conforming to the budget but the utilization of time is beyond human control.

Human resource in the only resource that appreciates with time. It gains experience, maturity, and pragmatism with time. Moreover, emotion and sentiments of human beings are of foremost importance.

Michael J. Jucius has defined human resources as ‘a whole consisting of inter-related, inter-dependent and interacting physiological, psychological, sociological, and ethical components.’

Leon C. Megginson says, ‘From the national point of view human resources are knowledge, skills, creative abilities, talents, and attitudes obtained in the population; whereas from the view-point of the individual enterprise, they represent the total of the inherent abilities, acquired knowledge and skills as exemplified in the talents and aptitude of its employees.’

Sumantra Ghosal considers human resources as human capital. He classifies human capital into three categories-intellectual capitals, social capital, and emotional capital. Intellectual capital consists of specialized knowledge, tacit knowledge and skills, cognitive complexity, and learning capacity. Human resources need caring and nurturing for deriving the best from them.

Keith Davis says, ‘Knowledge and skill enhance the ability of any person. Situation and attitude are determinants of motivation. Ability and motivation result human performance. Lastly, human performances backed by resources give rise to organizational performance.’

The unique features of human resources management restated are:

i. Human resources management appreciate with time

ii. Human resources management are emotional

iii. Human resources management manage other resources

iv. Human resources management possess physiological, psychological, sociological, and ethical components

v. Human resources management need knowledge, skills, and creative abilities

vi. Human resources management may have inherent talents

vii. Human resources management can be developed by way of training

viii. Human resources management can do well through non-training methods like job redesign programme, job enlargement, job enrichment, job rotation, career counselling, suggestion scheme installation, HRD audit, climate survey, job satisfaction survey, stress management, and time management

ix. Human resources management are truly human capital (three categories of human capital are intellectual capital, social capital, and emotional capital)

Features of HRM – Important Features of HRM as a Profession: Specific Body of Knowledge, Acquisition of Knowledge, Professional Association, Ethical Code & Service Motive

Human resource is the most important asset of any organization. It can take an organization to the great height and, if not motivated, can break the organization. Every organization therefore, has to manage its hu­man resource as it is the most critical ingredient for organizations’ growth.

Human resource means the human beings who populate the organizational positions. They work at different levels in the organiza­tion and bring with them their inherent abilities, skills and knowledge. They join the organization with a set of beliefs, values, talents and apti­tude. Human resource management is the process of acquiring, train­ing, appraising and compensating employees to achieve organization goals effectively.

According to Gary Dessler, HRM is a process of acquiring, training, appraising and compensating employees and of attending to their labour relations, health and safety and fairness concerns. David A. Decenzo and Stephen P. Robbins have said that HRM is the people con­tent of any organization’s management. They have further said that since the world is changing rapidly, HRM must develop mechanisms to ensure that an appropriate mix of employees in terms of knowledge, skills and cultural adaptability are able to handle global assignments.

HRM may be regarded as a profession by many even though it does not possess all the characteristics of a profession. Before examining whether it is a profession or not, it is necessary to identify the essential attributes of a profession.

1. Specific Body of Knowledge:

There should be a specific body of knowledge for any profession. HRM has developed as a distinct body of knowledge. The complexity of managing enterprises has been adding new knowledge to the existing fund of knowledge. Thus HRM satisfies one of the fundamental requirement of a profession.

2. Acquisition of Knowledge:

An individual can enter a profession only after professional studies and through formal training. The sound theoretical knowledge coupled with hands on experience during the course of study helps a professional render efficient and effective service to clients. Therefore high emphasis is laid on initial acquisition of knowledge through formal methods.

In terms of this criterion, HRM cannot be strictly regarded as profession, because entry to the management discipline is not restricted to management graduates. Persons pursuing any discipline is eligible to pursue a management discipline or any special branches of the management discipline.

3. Professional Association:

An occupation which claims professional status should have an association. A representative body of professionals is needed to regulate and develop the professional activities. The body should prescribe the criteria for an individual to become a member of the association. There is a no single association unifying all HR professionals under one umbrella though there are handful of HR associations in India like National Institute of Personnel Management and other associations of HR professionals. Hence, HRM cannot be strictly termed as pure profession.

4. Ethical Code:

Some ethical standards are prescribed for every profession. Every member is expected to conform to these standards. The ethical code regulates the extent of power that can be exercised by individual members. Since it is likely that a member by virtue of expertise in a given profession can misuse his power, code of ethics is needed to regulate their power. Besides the code of conduct enables a client to know the standard of service provided by the professionals.

But as far as HRM is concerned, there is no universally acceptable ethical code for HR professionals throughout the world. But managers are supposed to be socially responsible and expected to protect the interest of stakeholders like customers, suppliers, financiers, creditors, Government and general public. Nonetheless, practice of ethical code by HR professionals in the absence of a single representative association is meaningless.

5. Service Motive:

Service motive emphasises that professionals should keep social interest in their mind while charging fees for their professional service. Monetary value of services rendered cannot be measured precisely in the absence of market mechanism except competition among the professionals themselves.

Even though professionals can charge higher fees by virtue of his expert knowledge, their service is truly measured not in terms of money but in terms of social service they render. This is true for HRM too. Management is an integration force and its contribution to society by way of integrating various resources into productive units is more significant for the stability of society. This integration function is priceless.

Features of HRM Top 21 Features

1. HRM is a pervasive function. HRM allows all levels of decision-making in an organisation and it also perform many ways. Academically, the nature of the subject is inter-disciplinary. It is based on social sciences, particularly, sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, economics, etc.

It also suggests the contingency paradigm. There are three main areas of potential pressure identified these are-affirmative action in pursuance of social justice objectives, concern for occupational safety and health in a welfare state, and pension regulation for wellbeing of workers.

2. It is based on comprehensive function. HRM is concerned directly or indirectly with every decision of the section from the level at which it is made.

3. In the HRM, cost effectiveness is a means to attract, induce and mobilize resources for its policies, which draw the attention of main line management to its policies and proposals.

4. In the HRM, there is a need to support trend and tailor personnel requirements to make optimum utilisation of available human capital.

5. HRM department provides for an integrating mechanism and it try to build and maintain coordination between all operative levels in an organisation. Thus, Human Resource manager is a specialist advisor and performs vital staff function in an organisation.

6. It based on imperative function for all complex organisations where intersection interests are in­extricably linked.

7. HRM is action-oriented, it mainly focus on action rather than record keeping, written procedures or rules. All the problems of employees are solved through rational, standard policies.

8. HRM seeks to maximize employee motivation to make than contribute to their maximum potential. All the work has been done through a systematic process of recruitment selection, training and development together with worker-friendly policies like fair wage, bonus and reward system, effective grievance redressal, etc.

9. HRM is purely people-oriented. We define in two ways people’s existence that is as individuals working for personal satisfaction and members of a group or collectivity, contributing towards a common objective.

People are the pillars of an organisation. “Organisational Equilibrium” is contingent on matching or balancing personal need satisfaction with organisational goal fulfillment Right man in the right place at the right time maximizes benefit of collective endeavour-both in the interest of the organisation and the individual employee. .

10. HRM is development-oriented. It is related to the institution of employee-friendly activities like career planning and development which is help than to develop their full potential. Job enlargement and job rotation practices are facilitated; employees are assigned a variety of tasks, which helps them to gain maturity, experience and exposure.

11. In the HRM, tangible quantifiable benefits result to the organisation as also externalities, intangibles or unquantifiable gains which optimize organisational performance. Enhanced productivity is then used to reward employees monetarily and motivate them further towards better and improved performance.

12. HRM is continuous activity. It requires to maintain healthy organisational climate and it also create awareness of human relations. Organisational rationality and organisational effectiveness are concerns for the development of organisation. Organisational survival is the prime concern.

Concerns of efficiency arise only later. In the modern age, organisations face the challenge of conflicting interests within internal (in- house) and external (laws, guidelines, implementation regulations) policies.

13. Human resource management function related to both public as well as private organisations. In the opinion of Fayol’s management as a universal science.

14. Human Resource Management is a management function, which basically focuses on the people dimension of organisation. As organisation is more complex and sophisticated, it based on specialisation at various policy and operating levels.

15. HRM also related both regulatory and policy planning functions. The HR department performs the vital task of wearing sectional and individual interests. Organisations had looked at the personnel department for management and it consider that the human resource department better suited for the task.

16. Human Resource Management covers myriad functions such as the specific and defined areas of planning and control, resource allocation, conflict resolution and settlement of legal claims.

17. HRM based on three important requisites for sound practice-advising, implementing and organizing change.

18. HRM is to be proactive rather than a reactive management functions. It plays a vanguard role and imparts direction to an organisation.

19. HRM is the art and science of managing people in an organisation. It helps in behavioural sciences, new trends in managing.

20. Human resource strategies are derived from the overall business strategy in the same way as investment or marketing strategies. Decisions relating to employees need to be integrated and made consistent with other decisions.

21. HRM is purely differs from personnel management in treating people as resource. People are human capital and are treated as resource, in that tangible and intangible benefits flew from their utilisation. Organisations have to effectively harness this resource in order to be productive.