Difference in Application
Personnel management is an independent staff function of an organization, with little involvement from line managers, and no linkage to the organization's core process. Human resource management, on the other hand, remains integrated with the organization's core strategy and functions. Although a distinct human resource department carries out much of the human resource management tasks, human resource initiatives involve the line management and operations staff heavily.
Personnel management also strives to reconcile the aspirations and views of the workforce with management interest by institutional means such as collective bargaining, trade union-based negotiations and similar processes. This leads to fixation of work conditions applicable for all, and not necessarily aligned to overall corporate goals.
Human Resource management gives greater thrust on dealing with each employee independently and gives more importance to customer-focused developmental activities and facilitating individual employees rather than bargaining or negotiating with trade unions.
Finally, in any discussion of personnel management vs human resource management, we must include that personnel management lays down rigid job description with many grades and a fixed promotion policy--usually based on seniority and performance appraisal ratings. Human resource management, on the other hand, has relatively fewer grades and ranks, with broadly defined job responsibilities providing much scope for applying creativity and initiative, and plenty of career paths, with skills, talent and commitment the key drivers of career advancement.