What is Personnel?

Definition: Personnel refer to all the individuals working for a given organization. Simply put, it is a term used to address an entire staff.

What Does Personnel Mean?

The word personnel is most frequently employed in the field of human resources and business organization. It addresses the whole number of individuals working for an organization and the term is mostly used in military contexts.

A given military force has personnel that is structured and organized in different divisions and departments. Same happens for any other organization, like businesses, but the term is normally switched for others like human resources or talent management because they are more relatable. The word personnel is also used to describe a particular department or functional area that handles the organization’s staff.

This is one of the most common uses for this term. A person in charge of handling a company’s personnel has to engage in recruiting, interviewing, assessments and compensation-related activities on a daily-basis.

Let’s take a look at a practical illustration.


Mr. Lion is a recently graduated engineer. He was interviewed by a company called ALF Aerospace LLC, a company that provides maintenance services for airlines all around the world. The company decided to hire him and he will start working for them on Monday. What would be the role of a personnel department in this scenario?

As we previously described, a personnel department manages all affairs related with individuals working for an organization. This means that, in this case, they have to make sure Mr. Lion is properly recruited, interviewed, hired, instructed and equipped to conduct all the activities he has to perform for the company. If any problem arises in the relationship between the company and Mr. Lion, the personnel department has to deal with it to make sure a proper solution is presented. They are responsible to conduct each of these procedures for all the company’s staff.