Career Management in hrm Process, Models, Role

Table of Contents:-

  • What is Career Management in hrm?
  • Career Management in hrm
  • Models of Career Management
  • Career Management Process
  • Employee and Employer Role in Career Management in hrm
  • Internal Career Management in hrm
  • Career Meaning
  • Career Management Policies

What is Career Management in hrm?

Career management is an aspect of talent management but deserves to be considered separately as an essential activity in its own right. A detailed career management outlines the framework of career planning – the stages that careers can follow within an organization and the dynamics governing career progression.

Career Management in hrm

Career management is concerned with providing opportunities for individuals to develop their abilities and careers, ensuring that the organization has the talent it needs while satisfying individual aspirations. It involves integrating the needs of the organization with those of the individual.

An essential component of career management is career planning, which shapes the progression of individuals within an organization based on assessments of organizational needs, defined employee success profiles, and the performance, potential, and preferences of individual members of the enterprise. However, career management also encompasses career counseling to assist individuals in developing their careers to their advantage and that of the organization.

Career management can be explained as involving steps required to achieve the employees’ career plans; the focus in this context is on what the organization can do to encourage employee career development. In this context, we also need to discuss career planning involving various activities employees plan with help and guidance from counselors and others. An assessment of the skills and abilities of the employees is also carried out to help them chalk out a realistic career plan.

Aswathappa (2015, page 298) defined career management as “enabling employees to understand better and develop their skills and interests and use them for the benefit of the organization and self.”

Dessler (2015) described career management as a process that involves helping the employee understand their career-related skills and interests better and develop them effectively.

Thus, as studied in the above definitions, the focus of career management in hrm is on helping employees understand their skills and potentialities, enabling them to develop these attributes to benefit themselves and the organization.

Models of Career Management

Models of career management are as follows:

1. Supported self-development: The primary responsibility related to the career lies with the employee.

2. Corporate career management: The organization takes care of employees’ career-related aspects and responsibilities.

3. Career partnership: This denotes an equal responsibility regarding the employee’s career, taken by both the employee and the organization.

Career Management Process

The career management process is all about planning one’s professional journey towards success. It sets a roadmap to achieve an individual’s professional objectives by the use of various methods such as self-reflection, goal setting and action planning.

The Career Management Process is given as follows:

Step 1: Strategy for Career Management

In this step, a strategy to manage the career is finalized. This will also depend on the model of career management that is followed. Policies in the organization need to focus on whether lateral entries are permitted, policies related to promotion, etc. The opportunities for talented individuals in the organization also need to be considered. It is also essential to look at the systems and processes in the organization related to knowledge sharing and development. The focus must also be on whether the career management initiative is flexible or fixed. The nature of career progression, whether long-term or short-term, also needs to be focused on.

Step 2: Assessment

Assessment involves evaluations conducted by the organization and self-assessment performed by the employee. These assessments aim to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the employee.

Step 3: Planning

Based on the above steps, planning needs to be carried out regarding the career and career path the employee seeks. Career objectives also need to be identified.

Step 4: Development

This involves enhancing skills and potentialities to prepare for future job-related activities and opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluation

The career management interventions are now to be evaluated, though there could be issues regarding whose perspective (employee or organization) it needs to be assessed.

Employee and Employer Role in Career Management in hrm

Both the employee and the employer will play crucial roles in the career management of the employee.

The primary responsibility for career management lies with the employee. Therefore, the employee needs to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and opportunities and threats. Self-awareness is crucial in this context, and the employee must take measures to identify their strengths, weaknesses, skills, abilities, potentialities, values, interests, and so on. Additionally, the employee should focus on:

– Recognizing available career opportunities.
– Enhancing skills and potentialities.
– Utilizing developmental opportunities within the organization.
– Taking charge and responsibility for their career development.
– Establishing career goals and plans and creating realistic career plans.
– Seeking help and support as needed.
– Upgrading skills and knowledge.
– Keeping track of growth trends and future developments in the organization that could open opportunities for career development.

For employers to play a crucial role in an employee’s career management, the employee needs to be on the job for a while so that the organization knows the right candidate was selected. The career management process can begin once the employee has settled into the job. The organization, the human resource management department, and managers all play essential roles in employees’ career management. This is crucial because an employee who recognizes their potential and realizes it will be an asset to the organization.

Ways in which employers can contribute to the career management of employees include:

– Conducting career-oriented appraisals, matching employee performance with a career path based on their strengths.
– Implementing regular job rotations to help employees better understand which job suits them best and is enjoyable.
– Publishing a career ladder or path that provides information about possible career opportunities, specifying required educational qualifications and experience.
– Encouraging and facilitating employees in the direction of career development.
– Acting as career advocates, providing relevant career-related information to employees and discussing available resources and the organization’s future growth.
– The human resource management department organizes various workshops related to career planning, career management, and career development, as well as orientation, training, and development programs to create a conducive environment for employee development.

Internal Career Management in hrm

The combination of organized planning and active management of one’s professional career is known as career management. Personal contentment, work/life balance, goal completion, and financial security are all outcomes of successful career management.

According to H. John Bernardin, career management is “an ongoing process of preparing, implementing, and monitoring career plans undertaken by individuals alone or in concert with the organization’s career systems. These lifelong activities contribute to a person’s establishment, satisfaction, and success.”

Importance of Internal Career Management in hrm

Internal career management initiatives boost employee engagement and retention by establishing internal talent pipelines. Assisting employees in understanding and navigating career possibilities and opportunities within the firm improves employee retention and organizational effectiveness while increasing employer desirability. The following statistics from various surveys elucidate the importance of internal career management:

– 87% of millennials and 69% of others rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as necessary in a job. (Gallup, 2016)
– Retention is 3x higher when employees see opportunities for career growth. (CCI Consulting, 2018)
– Nine in 10 employees are open to new career opportunities, and 67% might be actively seeking them now. (LinkedIn, 2017)

The Employee’s Role in Career Management in hrm

In every organization, employers and managers have the role of guiding employees in their careers. However, in today’s environment, no employee can leave this task entirely to the management.

Career planning for employees means connecting personal strengths and limitations with occupational possibilities and risks. Put another way, individuals want to pursue occupations, employment, and a career based on their interests, aptitudes, values, and abilities. They also want to choose fields, work, and a job that make sense in terms of future demand for various occupations. The consequences of making a poor decision (or making no decision) are far too severe.

The Employer’s Role in Career Management in hrm

The employee’s career development responsibilities are influenced by the time the employee has worked for the company. For example, realistic job interviews help prospective employees better judge whether the position fits their abilities and interests before hiring.

New employer career management roles emerge once a worker has been on the job for a while. One essential stage is career-oriented assessments, in which the manager is trained to appraise the employee and connect the employee’s strengths and shortcomings with a suitable career path and required development activities. Similarly, allowing for regular job rotation can help a person create a more accurate view of what they are (and aren’t) good at and the types of future career moves that might be most beneficial.

Career Meaning

The term “career” can be explained as a job or occupational position an employee holds over time. Dessler (2015, page 327) described a career as “the occupational position that a person holds over the years.”

DeNisi et al. (2014, page 197) defined a career as “the set of experiences and activities in which a person engages related to his/her job and livelihood throughout a working life.” The definition by DeNisi et al. points to various aspects of a career, including:

– Certain jobs carried out by the individual.
– Job-related responsibilities and work activities in these varied jobs carried out by the individual.
– Movements and transitions between jobs.
– Assessment of various career components of the employees.
– Satisfaction experienced by the employees while performing the jobs.

Aswathappa (2015) explained a career as an individual’s course of action or progress in an organization or a profession. According to him, a job goes through the following five stages:

1) The individual enters an organization, and the process of self-directed career planning begins.
2) The individual progresses within the work area.
3) The next stage can be termed the mid-career stage, where some employees secure higher positions while others hope to connect higher ones in the organization.
4) Individuals are now well-settled in their work area and plan for life post-retirement.
5) The career ends in the organization. Individuals could also be rehired at this stage or could lead a retired life.

Evolution of Career Perceptions and Strategies

Over time, how people perceive a career has changed. Earlier, it was seen as an upward movement from one job to another, often within a single or very few organizations. Employees were more job or employer-oriented.

Earlier, the stages in a career included exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement. Exploration is denoted by attempts by an individual to identify jobs based on their interests.

  1. During the establishment stage, the individual can create a meaningful role for themselves.
  2. During the maintenance stage, the individual can achieve a level in an organization, and their talents and capabilities are optimized.
  3. During the last step, disengagement, the individual’s priorities will change as they pull away from their work in the organization.

A lot has changed with increased competition, globalization, recession, mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing, etc. Though employees seek to move upward from one job to another, they are also reinventing themselves (Dessler, 2015). Furthermore, individuals now entering the job market are not necessarily job and employer-oriented but look for work-life balance. Thus, what they seek from their careers has changed significantly. Although the stages of a career discussed earlier still hold to some extent, the focus should be on career age (the duration that the individual has been on a job) rather than career stage (DeNisi, 2014). Also, as the individual is involved in multiple careers, there could be multiple explorations. Thus, there is trial, exploration, establishment, and again exploration.

Human resource managers in any organization need to be sensitive to these changes and plan their career management and development programs accordingly.

Career Management Policies

The organization must decide how much it ‘makes or buys’ talented people. Should it grow its talent (following a promotion-from-within policy), or should it rely on external recruitment (bringing ‘fresh blood’ into the organization)? The procedure may involve recruiting potentially high performers who excel in their present roles and are rewarded accordingly. If they prove exceptional, they will be promoted, and the enterprise will achieve its objectives. Deliberately training managers for a future that may never materialize is considered a waste of time.

In contrast, and less often, employers who believe in long-term career planning develop structured techniques for career management. These approaches may include elaborate performance and potential reviews, assessment centers to identify or confirm talent, ‘high flyer’ schemes, and planned job moves following a predetermined program. There may also be policies for dealing with the ‘plateaued’ manager who has reached a certain level but will progress no further. Some managers in this position may accept their level but continue to work effectively, while others may become bored, frustrated, and unproductive, significantly rising stars on the decline.

Steps to address this problem include:

– Lateral activities into various functional areas or specialized subsidiaries to provide new challenges and career scope.
– Temporary secondments and assignments outside the organization.
– Appointments as leaders of project teams set up to address performance barriers within the organization, such as slow responses to customer complaints.


For the organization, career management in hrm aims to meet the objectives of its talent management policies, which are to ensure a talent flow that creates and maintains the required talent pool. For employees, the objectives of career management policies are:

1) To give them the guidance, support, and encouragement they need to fulfill their potential and achieve a successful career with the organization in tune with their talents and ambitions and

2) To provide those with the promise of a sequence of experience and learning activities that will equip them for whatever level of responsibility they can reach.

Career management in hrm calls for an approach that considers organizational needs and employee interests explicitly. It calls for creativity in determining methods to provide development opportunities. Career management policies and practices are best based on understanding the stages through which careers progress in organizations.




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