Why It Matters: Human Resource Management

Why does a manager need to understand HR management and its legal constraints?

Silhouettes of male and female employees, under which are the words “Human Resources.”

You’re the manager of marketing, and you’ve just learned you can hire a new person to help with a major project. That’s great news—but how do you select the right person for the job? How much can you pay that person? Is there money in the budget for training your new hire to use your company’s special software system? This isn’t part of your normal job, so how do you know what to do?

Now your new hire has started, and she’s doing a great job. There’s a deadline coming up, and you need her to work extra hours to get the job done on time. Is it legal to ask her to stay late to meet a deadline? Will you need to pay her extra for the extra hours—or can you offer her different options, such as time off, once the project is completed? Again, these questions don’t have anything to do with your role in marketing, so how will you proceed?

The answers fall into the area known as human resources management (HR). Although managers may work in marketing, finance, or some other functional area, it is vital that they understand the basic principles of HR as they interact with their employees. HR covers a broad spectrum of laws and regulations designed to protect the employee, and even though it is not necessary for all managers to be HR specialists, it is important for them to have a general understanding of HR practices.

In this module you will learn about the options, requirements, rules, and laws related to human resources management.