Human resource management in construction
Human resource management (HRM) is the process of managing people within an organisation. In construction, HRM is primarily concerned with ensuring that a project has sufficient human resources, with the correct skill-sets and experience, for the project to be successfully completed.
HR managers have to be able to identify and document project roles and responsibilities, and develop a plan describing the end-to-end processes that will be required on a project (or series of projects) in order to determine its human resource requirements.
HRM typically involves the following core areas:
- Job design and analysis.
- Workforce planning.
- Recruitment and selection.
- Training and development.
- Performance management.
- Compensation (remuneration).
- Legal issues.
 Role of HR manager
The functions and responsibilities of a human resources manager might include:
- Determining the need for staff.
- Recruiting and training temporary and permanent staff as required.
- Managing employee payroll, benefits and compensation.
- Communicating with employees.
- Resolving disputes.
- Evaluating performance.
- Managing employee relations.
- Ensuring equal opportunities.
- Making sure that site facilities are suitable and well-maintained.
Some HRM functions can be outsourced to external suppliers, such as those involving payroll functions, background checking, benefits administration, training, the production of employee handbooks and so on.
 Challenges in construction
The construction industry is one of the most complex and problematic sectors within which to manage people:
- The operational realities faced by construction organisations, means there is a risk that the needs of employees are subjugated by performance concerns.
- There can be insufficient time for strategic planning because of the tendency for construction projects to be awarded at short notice following a competitive tendering bid.
- Several organisations may work together on a project, perhaps forming a joint venture or some other form of special purpose vehicle.
- There tends to be a transient workforce that may be made up of different contractors and subcontractors. There is an increasing tendency for construction industry organisations to appoint sub-consultants and sub-contractors with skills suitable for particular projects, rather than making internal permanent appointments. This gives greater flexibility but can make training and long-term planning more difficult.
- The workforce may work long hours, claim high travel expenses, have different nationalities and working cultures, and so on.
- Staff turnover tends to be quite high on construction projects.
- Personnel change as projects progress and different skills and experience are required.
- There are many health and safety risks which must be managed.
- There are a great number of legal requirements that must be satisfied.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing consultants.
- Business administration.
- Business process outsourcing (BPO).
- Business rates.
- Construction organisations and strategy.
- Corporate social responsibility in construction.
- Facilities management.
- First aider.
- Health and safety inspector.
- Record keeping.
- Relationship management.
- Site administrator.
- Site induction.
- Site facilities.
- Tax relief.
- Team management for building design and construction projects.
- Toolbox talk.
- Welfare facilities.
Featured articles and news
OMA's plans for new arts centre to revitalise city's culture given planning approval.
Select committee criticises DEFRA for failing to take up its recommendations.
Nicola Sturgeon presents ICE's People's Choice Award to the Forth Road Bridge reopening.
Green paper published for consultation.
Mental health issues effect 80% of construction workers. Read our interview with the founders of a new wellbeing initiative.
Would Stephenson be disappointed by the lack of progress on the high speed transport of Hyperloop?
The immersive pop-up cinema experience that could revolutionise on-site health and safety training.
5 out of 10 filtering facepieces fail HSE tests.
Eleven Magazine announce the winner and runners-up in their Moontopia competition.
As January is the time for hitting the gym, Designing Buildings Wiki lists the best gym architecture in the world.
London is at the top of the list of global construction megacities, beating Dubai and Abu Dhabi.