Human Resource Management

Course Description

Human resource management (HRM)  is the practice of recruiting, hiring, deploying and managing an organization’s employees.  Human Resource departments typically create, implement and oversee the policies that govern workers and the relationship of the organization with its employees. HRM views employees as an asset–human capital– to their business or organizationand HRM’s goal is to make the most effective use of employees in the workplace.

The DSST Human Resource Management DSST exam is a multiple-choice exam designed to evaluate whether candidates possess the knowledge and understanding that would be gained by taking a lower level college course in human resource management which includes the following content: overview of the human resource management field; human resource planning, staffing, training and development; performance appraisals; compensation issues; safety and security issues; employment law; and labor relations.

Exam Outline

The following is an outline of the content areas covered in the examination. The approximate percentage of the examination devoted to each content area is also noted.

I. An Overview of the Human Resource Management Field – 8%

  1. Historical development
  2. Human resource functions
  3. The role and qualification of the human resource manager
  4. Ethical aspects of human resource decision making

II. Human Resource Planning – 9%

  1. Strategic human resource issues
  2. Workforce diversity and inclusion
  3. Job analysis and job design

III. Staffing / Talent Acquisition – 11%

  1. Recruiting
  2. Selection
  3. Promotions and transfers
  4. Reduction-in-force
  5. Voluntary turnover, retirement and succession planning

IV. Training and Development – 8%

  1. Onboarding
  2. Career planning
  3. Principles of learning
  4. Training programs and methods (e.g., Needs assessment, evaluation etc.)
  5. Development programs

V. Performance Management (Appraisals) – 12%

  1. Reasons for performance evaluation
  2. Techniques
  3. Challenges

VI. Compensation and Benefits / Total Rewards – 12%

  1. Job evaluation
  2. Wage and salary administration
  3. Compensation systems (e.g. Performance – related pay, executive compensation etc.)
  4. Benefits – mandatory and voluntary

VII. Safety and Health – 9%

  1. Occupational accidents and illness
  2. Quality of work life and wellness
  3. Workplace security

VIII. Employment Law – 16%

  1. Equal employment opportunity laws (e.g., Civil Rights Act Title VII, ADA, ADEA)
  2. Compensation and benefits related laws (e.g., ERISA, FMLA, FLSA)c. Health, safety and employee rights laws (e.g., OSHA, WARN)

IX. Labor Relations – 10%

  1. Role of labor unions
  2. Labor laws (e.g., NLRA, Taft-Hartley Act, Civil Service Reform Act)
  3. Collective bargaining
  4. Unionized versus non-unionized work settings
  5. Contract management

X. Current Issues and Trends – 5%

  1. Human resource information systems
  2. Changing patterns of work relationships (e.g., virtual office, contingent workers, autonomous work groups)
  3. Global HR environment
  4. Social Media
  5. Corporate social responsibility and sustainability

Sample Questions

All test questions are in a multiple-choice format, with one correct answer and three incorrect options. The following are samples of the types of questions that may appear on the exam.

1. Specific standardized questions are used primarily in which of the following types of interviews?

  1. Patterned or structured
  2. Nondirective
  3. Group or board
  4. Stress

2. Organizational or companywide incentive plans include all of the following EXCEPT:

  1.  Employee stock ownership plans (ESOP’s)
  2. Scanlon plans
  3. Profit-sharing plans
  4. Standard-hour plans

3. Which of the following theories of employee motivation distinguishes between “satisfiers” and “dissatisfiers”?

  1. Herzberg’s Maintenance Theory
  2. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy
  3. McClelland’s Achievement Theory
  4. McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

4. A full-time employee of a local union is generally known as a:

  1. Shop steward
  2. National representative
  3. Business agent
  4. Union organizer

5. Which of the following programs frequently uses simulation to train employees?

  1. Apprenticeship training
  2. On-the-job training
  3. Job instruction training
  4. Vestibule training

6. Which of the following statements is NOT true about exempt employees?

  1. They are subject to the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  2. They are permitted to bargain collectively under the provisions of the Tart-Hartley Act.
  3. They are permitted to have flexible work schedules.
  4. They are paid hourly wage rates.

7. A job specification is usually a written document that:

  1. Specifies how a job is to be done
  2. Outlines the specific duties of a job
  3. Lists the employee characteristics required to perform a job
  4. Describes the process used to obtain specific job information

8. Which of the following performance appraisal methods does NOT require the supervisor to compare the performances of subordinate employees in the unit?

  1. The forced-choice method
  2. The forced-distribution method
  3. The paired-comparison method
  4. The ranking method

9. The Hay Plan is best known as:

  1. An incentive plan
  2. A job evaluation plan
  3. A pension plan
  4. A performance evaluation plan


Answers to sample questions:

1.–A,   2.–D,   3.–A,   4.–C,   5.–D,   6.–A,   7.–C,   8.–A,   9.–B

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