Human Resources is the set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy. “Human capital” is sometimes used synonymously with human resources, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view (i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and economic growth). Likewise, other terms sometimes used include “manpower”, “talent”, “labour”, or simply “people”.
From the corporate objective, employees have been traditionally viewed as assets to the enterprise, whose value is enhanced by further learning and development, referred to as human resource development. Organizations will engage in a broad range of human resource management practices to capitalize on those assets an employee base that is a mirror reflection of the make-up of society insofar as race, gender, sexual orientation etc.
- Skills and qualifications: as industries move from manual to more managerial professions so does the need for more highly skilled graduates. If the market is “tight” (i.e. not enough staff for the jobs), employers must compete for employees by offering financial rewards, community investment, etc.
In regard to how an individuals respond to the changes in a labour market, the following must be understood:
- Geographical spread: how far is the job from the individual? The distance to travel to work should be in line with remuneration, and the transportation and infrastructure of the area also influence who applies for a position.
- Occupational structure: the norms and values of the different careers within an organization. Mahoney 1989 developed 3 different types of occupational structure, namely, craft (loyalty to the profession), organization career path (promotion through the firm) and unstructured (lower/unskilled workers who work when needed).
- Generational difference: different age categories of employees have certain characteristics, for example, their behavior and their expectations of the organization.