human resources

plural noun

Definition of human resources 

1 : personnel sense 1a hiring more human resources

2 : personnel sense 2 Human resources will contact you about your interview. the company's human resources department

Examples of human resources in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the company’s VR play, and plans to bring virtual reality training to every associate, shows the world’s largest company is still investing in human resources and the in-store experience. Patrick Sisson, Vox, "In Walmart’s virtual reality simulation, Black Friday never ends," 15 Nov. 2018 Universities, in particular, don’t allocate many funds to human resources and Title IX offices, says Clancy. Ben Guarino, The Verge, "An academic reported sexual harassment. Her university allegedly retaliated," 12 Nov. 2018 Sneed and former human resources director Buddy Pittman were fired in the wake of the report, which included allegations that executives weren't responsive when women complained of workplace violations. Fox News, "Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to donate $10M after NBA probes office environment," 19 Sep. 2018 The company keeps overhead low by centralizing legal, technical and human resources costs, then spends money on growing its audience by hiring editorial staff for each of its portfolio companies. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "Bustle Owner Plans to Double Down on Gawker," 17 Sep. 2018 In addition to improving home ownership in their central Indiana markets, Carpenter Realtors® is known for supporting its communities by providing financial and human resources to important causes. Carpenter Realtors, Indianapolis Star, "Working with Carpenter Realtors® means giving back to your community," 9 July 2018 Moreover, the zero tolerance policy requires tremendous financial and human resources, resources that cannot then be used elsewhere. Tricia Bacon, Washington Post, "Does ‘zero tolerance’ protect the U.S. from terrorism or crime? Let’s examine the evidence.," 28 June 2018 The Hartford office, one of 11 around the country, specializes in marketing and product development as well as corporate functions such as legal, finance and human resources. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Global Atlantic Moves Office From The Suburbs To Downtown Hartford," 8 June 2018 Success depends on the whole-hearted support of the Security Council, countries that contribute troops and police, host nations and regional organizations, including through the provision of the necessary financial and human resources. António Guterres, Time, "Join U.N. Peacekeepers on the Ground in Congo in This Virtual Reality Experience," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'human resources.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of human resources

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for human resources

The first known use of human resources was in 1915

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More Definitions for human resources

human resources

plural noun

Financial Definition of human resources

What It Is

Human resources is an organizational function related to the procurement and retention of talented employees.

How It Works

All companies deal with human resources in some form or another, even if they don't have dedicated human resource departments. That's because human resources goes far beyond hiring; the function also deals with (among other things) maintaining morale within the organization; creating motivational compensation plans; creating and maintaining performance-appraisal programs; ensuring that important information about benefits, laws, and employment issues is disseminated; and helping employees maintain and develop their skills.

Sometimes the payroll function is part of human resources; sometimes it is part of accounting.

Why It Matters

Human resources recognizes that people are assets rather than liabilities in companies. In order to keep these assets optimally productive, human resources is there to make sure a company hires the right employees, fires the wrong ones, develops employees with potential, keeps everyone happy, and ensures that companies and employees are fulfilling their legal obligations to each other.

One can measure the effectiveness of the human resources function through various ratios such as cost per hire, employee turnover rates, training return on investment (ROI), and benefit costs per employee. However, human resources is as much of an art as it is a science because it deals with some of the more emotional aspects of labor management.

Source: Investing Answers

human resources


English Language Learners Definition of human resources

: a department within an organization that deals with the people who work for that organization

: a group of people who are able to do work

Comments on human resources

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