Human resources is a term with which many organizations describe the combination of traditionally administrative personnel functions with performance management, Employee Relations and resource planning. The field draws upon concepts developed in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Human resources has at least two related interpretations depending on context. The original usage derives from political economy and economics, where it was traditionally called labor, one of four factors of production. The more common usage within corporations and businesses refers to the individuals within the firm, and to the portion of the firm's organization that deals with hiring, firing, training, and other personnel issues. This article addresses both definitions.

The objective of Human Resources is to maximize the return on investment from the organization's human capital and minimize financial risk. It is the responsibility of human resource managers to conduct these activities in an effective, legal, fair, and consistent manner.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Human Resources. The Official Guide to Human Resources is Kelley Rexroad.

Kelley Rexroad has been described as "a big company expert with front porch common sense." Kelley has been blessed with a great fiance, family, bosses, mentors, friends and challenges! All of this has lead to a rich basket from which to draw solutions. She has first hand experiences in every HR function in several industries as well as developing, turnaround and M&A situations.

Kelley is a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. Let help you grow your business profitably.

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