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How has Human Resources Management evolved?

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An illustration of three employees CVs and the HR is choosing from them

HRM Human Resources Management is a major department in every organization that is dedicated to maintaining discipline. However, it has come a long way. As per the experts, HRM is a new term for dealing with employees in the organization. Well, HRM is evolving and will keep evolving with time.

Speaking about the evolution of HRM, the term is of recent origin.  As per the record, it started revolving around the 1980s. Earlier, goods were only manufactured by skilled artisans and craftsmen. In fact, they were responsible for dealing with all the production processes, producing and selling the products.

It is crucial to understand the evolution of Human Resources management to know about the philosophy, practices, and functions of Human Resources Management that are being widely used in various circumstances. So, let’s talk about evolution in detail.

Understanding the historical perspective of HRM

During the ancient period, skilled craftsmen and artisans used to deal with all the things. That means there was no use of master-servant, employer, and employee. The entire process and tasks related to services and goods were managed by the artists, and for that, they used to take their family members’ help. On the other hand, a certain category of staff and apprentices were used by the effluent craftsmen. That developed a close relationship between the craftsmen and apprentices.

With time, a sense of human approach was gradually evolved in the relationship. After years of training, some people, or you can say apprentices opened their own business. On the other hand, some other apprentices started working with their masters to enjoy some benefits. As per the historical data, guilds are developed by the skilled artisans to protect the trade. After that, they brought slaves, serfs, and laborers to have a better understanding of HRM. This is quite important to understand the management of laborers, serfs, and slaves.

Managing the salves

In ancient civilization, one of the crucial sources of human resources was the phenomenon of slaves. They can be purchased and sold like commodities. The wealthy chiefs, landlords, and rulers brought commodities from the slaves and managed the slaves. Besides, they also used them to carry out tough works, for example, transporting loads, construction works, rowing boats or ships, and more. In return, their masters gave them food and shelter. However, now there are no such things, and it is quite easy to manage the workers using a vacation tracker.

Handling the serfs

In feudal societies, and during the pre as well as the early medieval period, the term of serfdom was very prevalent. They used to do their landlords’ agricultural activities and other associated activities. Every landlord gave a piece of land to the serfs so that they can earn some money for living.  The landlords used to handle their serfs following the principle of authoritarianism, and there was a relationship between serfs and feudal lords.

Managing the indentured labor

When the advancement in the industrial sector and mercantilism emerged with time, the term indentured labor system came into the limelight.  Due to a massive rise in the demand for different commodities and goods, the demand for skilled labor also increased. That increasing demand was fulfilled by the people who migrated to industrial towns from the remote areas.

It may be noted that the process of management of labor is quite different from the management of slaves and serfs. The laborers were abounded by the company’s terms, and conditions and the Human Resources managers had the right to manage them on behalf of the company.

Different eras in the human resources management evolution

Well, there are different stages in the process of Human Resources Management evolution. Those stages describe about the evolution from the industrial era to the present scenario. Let’s talk about that in detail.

The Industrial Revolution

As per the report, managing people or employees at work started during the eighteenth century due to the advancement in the USA and Western Europe’s industrial sector. In fact, the industries witnessed a systematic growth of HR management.

The industrial revolution greatly influenced different elements, for example,

usage of manpower, mechanical energy, development of new types of machinery, and more. On the other hand, the new factory system replaced the old cottage system.

During the 19th century, some companies, such as Jacob from Ireland and the United Kingdom’s Cadbury, appointed multiple welfare officers to enhance the working condition. Besides, they also set up sick pay schemes as well as housing facilities at a subsidized rate. As there was no Employee time off tracker, they used to record the employees’ attendance manually.

Besides, during that time,

three important systems of HR management were introduced, i.e., hiring employees, offering them training, and managing them effectively. With time, the early twentieth century witnessed a new term called scientific management. It was greatly influenced by FW Taylor. After analyzing the job environment, he broke it down into different components, called job specialization. He believed that employees or workers could be trained to work better at one certain component of the work,

but he ignored the fact that employees are humans, not machines. So, they get bored performing the same tasks every day.  As per some reports, FW Taylor’s management theory was adopted by Ford and some food companies. Besides,

it also benefited the HR management with different tools, for example, methods of training, recruitment or selection, and job analysis.

First World War

During the First World War, companies used to recruit women in a huge number to fill the gaps in the workplace left by men workers. Different agreements were created to accept changing of the managing levels and hiring unskilled women for craftsmen’s jobs. Gradually, the scope changed to manage recruitment, bonus, dismissal, and absence.

Different studies conducted by the experts, like Elton Mayo, said that the performance of the workers could be greatly affected by job satisfaction, motivation, leadership styles, group dynamics, and more. Such behavioral science started to influence the employee’s management. After World War and when the economic condition across the world started going up, many companies gave importance to employee benefits.

Second World War Era

During the 1960s, following the development of poor industrial relations, unions, personal managers, and employers were highly criticized for lacking the required negotiation skills and failing to create employee development and industrial relations strategies.

In between the 1960s to 80s, employment began to grow at a higher rate. On the other hand, different personal methods were developed utilizing theories related to organizational behavior, motivation, and more. With time, specialism began to develop, along with resourcing and reward.

HR management in the 1960s to 1980s

Many business leaders understood that the employees were the major factor for a company’s success. They believed that people were a great resource to be managed as effectively and efficiently as other resources,

and that brought changes in the management style.

During that time, the US legislature started passing different employment practices, for example, Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Equal Pay Act 1963,

compelling the HR managers to focus on compliance issues.  Besides, Deci and Rayan’s Self-Determination Theory and Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory started to transform the industry. Industrial psychology and organizational management contributed to HR paying a great focus on the employees’ requirements for recognition, achievement, and advancement.

Every worker wants a particular right to be considered for a role. At the same time,

they also look out for different psychological motivators, covering mastery, autonomy, and purpose to do their best in their works.

The 1990s to 2020s, HR management

Well, the role of the HR managers is now quite complex than ever. Latest and emerging technologies are now shifting focus from personnel management as well as administrative tasks. Today’s HR specialist are spending their energies and time in strengthening the culture and managing the employees. Besides,

they will also have to work with the employees to develop the work environment and make employees happy, which in turn will work for the company and its foreseeable future. On the other hand, with the advancement of technologies, employers are now using advanced software to deal with different tasks and to effectively manage the team. For example, to manage the leaves or vacations, they are now using professional PTO tracking software programs, such as the Day Off app.

New technologies that are used in modern HR management

Speaking about some of the latest and advanced technology used in today’s HR management includes AR, VR, ML, and more. Most of the successful companies are harnessing these modern technologies and different types of digital tools,

such asthe day off app within a professional HR management system.  The HRM solutions evolve with time along with the HR management. It has made it possible to use modern technological innovation to manage and enhance the people and HR experiences as well as processes.  Some of the newest technologies in the HR management are:

VR- Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has become very common in talent management and training. Employees and candidates can learn things effectively and practice skills using such technologies. Besides, they can show with whom they would work in a virtual environment.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Today’s HR managers are widely using machine learning and artificial intelligence in different processes, for example, in recruitment, acquisition, evaluating candidate’s experience, matching candidate’s profile for the role, application screening, and more. Such powerful technologies can help employers in avoiding unwanted bias in interviewing or selection. Machines learning can detect the characteristics of successful candidates and try to detect the same abilities and qualities in future applicants. On the other hand, these technologies can be found in a PTO tracker used by many companies to automate leave management.

Cloud technology

To keep up with all the latest updates, for better agility and capabilities, most of the modern HR solutions work on cloud technology. Today’s cloud technology is mobile-friendly, secure, and flexible. So, HR managers and employees can use the solutions wherever and whenever they want.  Mobile apps like employee leave tracker app and mobile platforms are crucial technologies, providing the employees as well as the employers with multiple self-service capabilities. So, now they can easily access as well as update the policies with a few simple clicks.


In HR, automation has become an important factor. After the introduction of automation technology, it has greatly reduced the manual processing and errors in a company’s HR administration. On the other hand, it has greatly fastened multiple end-to-end processes, for example, new employees’ recruitment and their onboarding. Besides, big data analysis and digital analytics also play an important role in HR solutions, helping the managers to understand how to effectively motivate and engage the employees. Furthermore, some companies are now focusing on different analytics for better HR management. For example, predictive analytics can help HR in creating better strategies for employees’ recruitment, retention, company policies, facilities, training, benefits, and rewards.

Final words

Human Resource Management means offering support to the employees at different stages of the employees’ life cycle, from recruitment, performance management, career planning, coaching & training, and more. The human resources are evolving with time. They need to perform strategically to make an active contribution to a company’s growth. For all these things, today’s HR managers need to follow the latest trends of HR management. Due to the rapid technological development and introduction of new rules, changes happen much faster than before.  It is important for an organization to adapt to the rapidly changing environment in order to survive.  However, a company’s ability to adapt to those changes also depends on the HR manager.

To avoid the issues that the company has faced in the past, you need to understand the HR strategies you have in the company. Are your staff selected, managed, and trained properly to make sure they can perform at their best? What are the methods you use for employee leave management? Consider all these things, understand the changing environment, and you can effectively manage the human resource, which is an important resource for every company, efficiently. And don’t forget to take help of the technology.