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Y508 Human Resource Management: Study of H&M


As a newly appointed Assistant Human Resource Manager for H&M UK, you have been asked to write an essay explaining Human resource Management in terms of resourcing an organisation with talents and skills appropriate to fulfil the business functions.

Explain the purpose and the functions of HRM, applicable to workforce planning and resourcing in H&M  Inc.

Explain the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches of recruitment and selection used by H&M.



The aim of this report is appreciating and applying the principles present in effective Human Resource Management (HRM). The lifeblood of any organization are its people and the ability of attracting, recruiting and retaining talented staff as a core of all HR activities. This report would be exploring the techniques and tools that are used in HRM for maximizing the employee contributions and the ways of using HR methods for gaining competitive advantage. This report would mainly be focusing on Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), which is a 100 billion SEK company. It is majorly engaged in the designing and retailing of fashion apparels and accessories. H&M is known for the offering of a wide range of apparel, cosmetics, accessories and footwear for all men, women, teen

agers and children. H&M has their major operations in Europe, North America and Asia, with presence in over 40 countries. The company has their headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden ( 2017).


 Human resource can be defined as the complete knowledge, skills, talents, creative abilities and aptitudes of the workforce of any organization, also the attitudes, values, beliefs and approaches of the people who are involved in the different affairs of the organization. It is the aggregate of all the inherent capabilities, skills and acquired knowledge that are represented by the talents and aptitudes of the people who are employed in the organization (Bratton and Gold 2012).

The main functions of human resource management of H&M includes:

  • Different benefits and compensation
  • Establishment of a relationship between employee and labor
  • Development of the different human resource practices
  • Execution of human resource planning, recruitment and selection
  • Conducting proper human resource research
  • Maintaining proper organizational safety and health (Beardwell and Thompson 2014)

The main activities of human resource management (HRM) of H&M includes:

  • Development of the complete knowledge regarding the culture, corporate plans along with the different policies of H&M
  • Training and development of the staff
  • Performance appraisal of the employees
  • Collective bargaining, grievance handling and contract negotiation
  • Assisting in the self-development of the employees at all organizational levels
  • Development and maintenance of motivation for workers by the providing of incentives
  • Review and audit of manpower management in the organization
  • Extensive role analysis for job occupants
  • Job rotation
  • Quality circle, quality of work life and organizational development
  • Establishment of better communication among every individual who are present inside the workplace of H&M (Aswathappa 2013)

Inside HRM, there are two approaches, the best fit and the best practice:

The best practice – Best practice approach states that different HR policies would be consisting of reward plans. Inside this practice, the HR directs to improved commitment of the employees along with high motivation for the same (Buller and McEvoy 2012).

The best fit – The best fit approach believes in different types of reward systems that must be aligned with that of the strategies of the organization. This approach results in the accomplishment of competitive advantage for the organization (Marchington et al. 2016).

For further comprehension of HRM purpose and functions inside H&M, the hard and soft models can be discussed:

Hard HRM – In this model the employees become the resource for trade in which a strong link is identified with that of corporate business planning (Jenkins and Delbridge 2013). Inside this model, HRM would largely concentrate on the requirements of workforce, recruit and manage the professionals in accordance with the need of H&M.

Soft HRM – Inside this model, the employees get the importance of being a primary resource of the company, in this case H&M, and continue a source for maintaining the company’s competitive advantage. Moreover, they get treated as individuals and after that all their needs receive planning accordingly. In this model, HRM would largely focus on the workforce requirements according to the roles and responsibilities with added benefits of motivation and reward systems (Jenkins and Delbridge 2013).

For workforce planning inside HRM, a basic understanding of the labor market is required:

Types of Firm

Types of Labor Power Market



Core firms (Larger firms that possess a power of market along with an aptitude to)

Independent Primary

Subordinate Primary

Line/Control staffs, Salaried workforce from both mechanical and specialized fields

Production workforces who frequently gets unionized by contending with union




Periphery firms (Competitive yet smaller firms contributing a capability of making a good plan onward)



These are extremely capable employees who are usually unionized by craft union

Low skilled, having reduced job safety with elevated turnover for an opportunity of progression. These are really dead-end jobs



The two sources of recruitment are internal and external:

Internal - In H&M, internal recruitment happens when the HRM team looks for recruiting employees with the help of referrals from their existing workforce. It is lower in cost, but can create conflicts between colleagues, while limiting the choices (Wilton 2016).

External - In H&M, external recruitment happens when the HRM team is recruiting from external sources such as agencies, advertisements and so on. In this approach, H&M gets a better chance of acquiring a wide range of employees, with fresher skills and input. However, the new employees have limited understanding of the company, which increases the risk factor (Breaugh 2017).


The main methods of selection are on-boarding and induction in which reliability and validity are the key criteria. Successful induction and socialization of employees gets affected by certain factors (Salau, Falola and Akinbode 2014).

References 2017. H&M group | About. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Nov. 2017].

Aragón, M.I.B., Jiménez, D.J. and Valle, R.S., 2014. Training and performance: The mediating role of organizational learning. BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 17(3), pp.161-173.

Ash, R., Hodge, P. and Connell, P., 2013. The recruitment and selection of principals who increase student learning. Education, 134(1), pp.94-100.

Aswathappa, K., 2013. Human resource management: Text and cases. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Beardwell, J. and Thompson, A., 2014. Human resource management: a contemporary approach. Pearson Education.

Blanpain, R. and Bisom-Rapp, S., 2014. Global Workplace: International and Comparative Employment Law Cases and Materials. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2012. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Breaugh, J.A., 2017. to Recruitment. The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Recruitment, Selection and Employee Retention, p.12.

Buller, P.F. and McEvoy, G.M., 2012. Strategy, human resource management and performance: Sharpening line of sight. Human resource management review, 22(1), pp.43-56.

Cerasoli, C.P., Nicklin, J.M. and Ford, M.T., 2014. Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic incentives jointly predict performance: A 40-year meta-analysis. Psychological bulletin, 140(4), p.980.

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