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Human Resource Management Versus Personnel Management Old Wine in a New Wineskin

There are many authorities who believe that the change from personnel management to human resource management is nothing but a change in title as there is no significant difference between the two concepts. To them, it is just an old wine in a new wineskin.


There are other schools of thought who have the assertion that despite the fact that the two concepts have a lot of similarities, significant differences still exist between them. These differences are discussed below:

1.       Human resource management treats employees as a strategic asset to the organization rather than a cost to be minimized. Personnel management, on the other hand, regards the employees as a cost that should be minimized.

2.       Human resource specialist are expected to be business partners while personnel managers are only personnel administrators that only ensure that employees obey the structures and hierarchy of the organization. As business partners human resource practitioners do not only implement the strategic plans of the organization but also they help in the formulation of such policies in terms of human requirements.

3.       Human resource management is concerned with the welfare of the staff but personnel management concerns itself with ensuring that the employees comply with the rules, regulations and processes of the company.

4.       While HR is concerned with achieving commitment of the staff, PM is concerned with compliance.

5.       While HR places more emphasis on line managers as the implementers of HR policies, the PM relegate such implementation of HR policies to the HR managers.

1st February 2019

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