Before defining the term "HRM", which was defined relatively recently, the concepts of:
• personnel management;
• staff organization and management;
• administration of staff activity.
In the literature over time, several definitions have been formulated regarding the concept of "HRM", namely:
• the function that aims at the efficient use of the staff for achieving individual and group objectives;
• strategic approach to ensuring, motivating, training and developing a company's human resources;
• the activity through which the objectives are set in relation to the employees;
• the set of influential management decisions and practices directly the staff, or human resources, that carry out their activity within the organization;
• all decisions that affect the relationship between employees and employers, and other interested categories;
• the totality of the decisions regarding the employment relationship that have a special impact on the efficiency of the employees and of the organization;
• the totality of the activities of planning, recruitment, maintenance of the personnel as well as the creation of a special organizational climate that will ensure the necessary human resources.
Several definitions have been formulated in the literature
The first definition considers that HRM represents a set of activities oriented towards the human factor, which have as main objectives the conception, design, optimal use and socio-human development;
According to other HRM specialists, it represents the totality of the activities that regulate the optimal use of human resources, for the benefit of the organization, of each individual and of the community in general;
Another approach considers that HRM the totality of the activities that follow the most efficient use of “human capital”, in order to achieve the organizational objectives, simultaneously with ensuring the conditions that guarantee the satisfaction of the employees' needs;
Another author defines HRM as a set of decisions that affect the relations between the main social partners - the employer and the employees - meant to ensure the increase of productivity and efficiency of economic activity;
According to other specialists, HRM represents the totality of the measures elaborated at interdisciplinary level regarding all the activities occasioned with the staff recruitment, its selection, employment, motivation, until the employment contract ends.
It can be seen that the authors did not intend to give final definitions of human resources management, but only some intermediate definitions, of an operational nature necessary to highlight their conception of this new specialized field, as well as to avoid confusion in dealing with human resources issues.
Therefore, going through and analyzing the different definitions presented, it can be appreciated that, at present, there is no official, unanimously accepted definition of human resources management and that meets the consensus of specialists in the field.
Consequently, we can see that the mentioned definitions do not contain contradictory elements, that they complement each other, each definition contributing to the circumscription of the content of human resources management.