The Future of HR Management
Managing human resources is perhaps one of the toughest jobs in the workplace. Overseeing the hiring of new employees, updating personnel files, and others demands a lot from the manager and personnel. However, human resources management extends beyond these duties.
What is Human Resources Management?
Human resources management involves various tasks but the most important thing of all is to determine the needs of the company personnel as well as to decide a staffing agency or personally hire qualified applicants to fill in company requirements.
Other functions of the human resource management is to train new employees in order to ensure high performance from them(McNamara, “Human Resources Management”).
Aside from recruiting and training new employees, the human resource management likewise handles performance concerns – whether the employee is doing well or underperforming. It is the job of HR management to make sure that both the personnel and the company are complying with regulations (McNamara, “Human Resources Management”).
Moreover, HR management involves provision of employee benefits and compensation package. In small businesses, these tasks are usually carried out by the managers themselves since they do not have the budget to hire an agency who will provide them with short-term or long-term assistance. In any case, they should make sure that their employees are provided with
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manuals, which contains company policies regarding employment in the company (McNamara, “Human Resources Management”).
Human resource management is different from human resource development. HRM involves the activities mentioned above while human resource development consists of broader responsibilities such as providing training to employees and proposing activities for the development of the organization (McNamara, “Human Resources Management”).
Approaches to Human Resource Management
When it comes to managing human resources, there are basically two methods of approaching HRM namely the hard and the soft. With the former, the focus of the manager is on devising a strategy for managing the personnel. In the case of the latter, the manager dwells on improvement of communication between employer and employee, motivating the personnel, and developing their leadership skills (Economic and Social Research Council, “Human Resources in the UK”).
Factors that Influence Human Resource Management
The most common factors that have an impact on the way employees are managed are organizational structures, decision making capabilities, independence and responsibility of the personnel, degree of commitment in projects and team activities, outsourcing of experts, and focus on continuing employee development (Economic and Social Research Council, “Human Resources in the UK”).
Importance of Human Resource Management
In managing human resources, it is important that managers consider “human capital.” This is a term that refers to the intellectual abilities, understanding, motivation, commitment, and
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relationship of the employee to the goals set by the company. Human capital can be lost due to changes in the personnel, reorganization, and ineffective management. It is, therefore, vital on the part of the manager to ensure that their human capital are well-trained and developed (Economic and Social Research Council, “Human Resources in the UK”).
Likewise, the importance of employee recruitment and turnover must be emphasized. In a 2006 study conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), 82 percent of companies in the United Kingdom experienced difficulties in recruiting employees. This was higher by 7 percent from 2005 figures. This was attributed to deficiencies in specialization and needed experience among the applicants (Economic and Social Research Council, “Human Resources in the UK”).
In the same study, turnover of labor in 2006 among UK companies was at 18.3%, which is slightly higher than the 15.7 percent recorded in 2005. Difficulties in employee retention was at 69 percent. Among the reasons cited for the turnover were change in career path, dissatisfaction in terms of pay scale, and lack of professional growth (Economic and Social Research Council, “Human Resources in the UK”).
History of Human Resources Management
Both human resource management and development have seen major revisions during the last two to three decades. Many years back, the Personnel Department was in charge of documenting the recruitment and payment of the employees. In recent years, this job was transferred to the human resource department, which likewise had the responsibility of recruiting, providing training, and assisting in the management of employees in order to make
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sure that the employees are performing their jobs at full potential (Small Business Bible, “History of Human Resource”).
In the field of economics, human resources were called “human capital.” However, compared to other capitals, the employees can be managed over a certain period of time. They are sociable in nature and daily changes take place in their lives. Just because a superior tells their subordinate to do a task for a certain period of time does not mean that they can accomplish it. There are certain factors that may hinder them from fulfilling such task. So the term “human capital” was changed (Small Business Bible, “History of Human Resource”).
Human employment was partly influenced by the socialist parties. According to them, humans are not the assets to the organization but the output of their work. Thus, the employees must be treated according to what they can do and the amount of work they put in. This resulted to an improved hiring and terminating procedure (Small Business Bible, “History of Human Resource”).
This contention of human capital against human resource was a hot issue until the United Nations sided with the view of the developing countries. The contention was that the people of Africa were being treated as slaves and were not being paid accordingly. From here, it was quite clear that during the olden times employees were considered as company assets. The socialist parties then demanded for the establishment of a new system which would provide an opportunity for them to settle their own problems (Small Business Bible, “History of Human Resource”).
The concept that the parties wanted to conceptualize is a department that would be concerned with not just hiring and firing but with other concerns such as medical benefits,
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prompt payment of salaries, and other employee related concerns. The workers must be given the freedom to share their problems with a co-worker who can bring their concern to the management (Small Business Bible, “History of Human Resource”).
Long ago, this department existed in a hidden capacity. Eventually, it became a separate department with existing policies(Small Business Bible, “History of Human Resource”).
The Changing Face of The Human Resource Department
Over the years, the human resource department is undergoing a major facelift which is expected to change the direction of careers in uncertain ways. Presently, employers are moving towards automation and outsourcing of most administrative duties. Eventually, HR specialists would have no recourse but to learn and adapt to new skills or charter unfamiliar territories. They would have to become a master of new skills which are essential as the department transforms (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
According to business leaders, time will come when positions such as HR generalist and benefits specialist will become obsolete and will pave the way for a new role that of being a HR financial analyst (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
Aspirants for management or leadership positions should be an expert strategist and proactive and more concerned with managing the entire business of their employer.
Learning the business of their company can provide some benefit to the HR professional in a sense that they will revolutionize their jobs as well as themselves. In the end, they can aspire for higher and more rewarding jobs which was not possible with human resource before (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
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According to David Ulrich, human resource will no longer comprise one department. It will become smaller and much leaner. Richard Beatty, who teaches management at Rutgers University, said that in the future HR generalists will become successful because of their ability to “think from the outside looking in.” (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”)
With the new human resource management, extensive knowledge of the business becomes important in assessing whether or not there is a need for talent development or outsourcing. No longer will HR be confined to tables and computers but instead will become a proactive job wherein the manager finds problems to resolve (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
The New Look HR Jobs
The following are the possible human resource jobs that qualified HR specialists can look forward to amidst the changing phase of human resource management.
Chief Financial Officer for HR. This position requires mathematical skills in assessing the economic worth of human resource as well as determining the cost of programs that the HR plans to implement. Aside from that, this position entails the ability to assess the value of appropriate trainings that will be beneficial to the organization (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
Internal Consultant. This position expands the various competencies of HR by empowering line managers to scout, interview, select, and keep the applicants that fits the needs of the company while providing knowledge to managers about various legal and
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ethical issues such as disability and age discrimination (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
Talent Manager. The job of this person is to scout, develop, and retain the most qualified employee who meets the criteria of the organization. They will be in-charge of learning and succession planning, transferring employees through the talent pool (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
Vendor Manager. This HR professional is responsible for the determination of functions that needs improvement as well as cheaper outside the firm. They will monitor quality and costs, keep themselves updated with movements in the business, and establish a close connection with outsourcing companies and other vendors (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
Self-Service Leader. They collaborate with in-house and outsourced IT specialists in order to develop and manage web-based portals for most automated jobs, such as administration of benefits and pensions, which can be easily accessed by the employee from their computers (Bates, “Facing the future – human resource management is changing”).
The New Role of Human Resources
The future human resource management will perform the role of facilitator, designer, and educator. As a facilitator, HR will be responsible for establishing employer-employee relationship using new trends and technologies. As a designer, they will take the lead in coming up with strategies that would bring out the full potential of employees. As an educator, they will
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be responsible for bringing new learning to the organization (Wilkinson, “What is the Future of the Human Resource Function”).
With the establishment of new jobs, the retirement of aging workers from the labor force, rapid growth of population, and insufficiency of employees who possess the right qualification for maximum performance of jobs will lead to a high demand for workers that will be greater than the supply. This will become a major obstacle for organizations who are aiming to hire and keep their best employees(Wilkinson, “What is the Future of the Human Resource Function”).
However, in order to ensure that they keep the best talent, companies will need to exert more effort in developing an effective selection and retention procedure, providing opportunities for the best training and development, and for keeping in touch with organizational changes that will somehow restrict the employees from putting their best effort and bringing out the best in them (Wilkinson, “What is the Future of the Human Resource Function”).
The face of human resources management has changed. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning as more changes are likely to come. Nowadays, it is rare to see human resource personnel performing functions that applicants traditionally see such as interviewing applicants, administering tests, or selecting the most capable applicant.
At the rate things are going, the name of the game will become “survival of the fittest” with organizations that have been able to cope up with the changing times likely to succeed. The future looks bright for organizations that have foreseen and reacted to new trends in the business.
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Bates, Steve. “Facing The Future – Human Resource Management Is Changing”. July 2002.
Bnet. 21 July 2008. <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_7_47/ai_89025017>
“History of Human Resources”. Small Business Bible. 21 July 2008. <http://www.smallbusinessbible.org/history_humanresource.html#>
“Human Resources in the UK”. 30 June 2007. Economic and Social Research Council. 21 July 2008. <http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/facts/index6.aspx>
McNamara, Carter. Human Resources Management. Free Management Library. 21 July 2008. <http://www.managementhelp.org/hr_mgmnt/hr_mgmnt.htm#anchor538960>
“Planning for the Future: Strategic Human Resource Management.” Bnet.com. 21 July 2008. <http://jobfunctions.bnet.com/abstract.aspx?docid=140578>
Rubis, Leon. “Preparing For The Future – Insights on Issues – Human Resource Professionals.” July 2002. BNet. 21 July 2008. <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_7_47/ai_89025004?tag=rbxcra.2.a.2>
Wilkinson, Richard. “What is the Future of the Human Resource Function.” Futurist.com.
21 July 2008. <http://www.futurist.com/archives/questions/what-is-the-future-of-the-human-resource-function/>