This research paper covers some aspects of a possible career in human resource management. The career is important because it involves the management of the most vital resources – human resources in any organization. Hence, it is imperative to recognize that human resource management (HRM) is now considered a critical component for overall organizational success. Human resource managers now require advanced training and possess diverse sets of skills in legal affairs, finance, psychology, and other relevant knowledge to facilitate their roles. Most importantly, it is necessary to understand future practices in HR management.
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Overview of Human Resources
Human resource management strives to guide organizations to achieve their strategic objectives through the effective management of employees. Human resource management aims to strike a balance between employees, job satisfaction, and productivity. In this regard, effective human resource management has been linked to enhanced productivity, change management, and good work-life quality (Mathis & Jackson, 2010).
Academics and HR professionals acknowledge that HR roles continue to experience rapid changes. Hence, HR managers of the future must prepare for such dynamisms to rise above the status quo. In fact, many organizations argue that human resource development is critical for their ability to compete and succeed in the global markets. Previously, human resource managers had specific roles in administrative and policy issues. Today, however, functions of human resources managers have changed and become significantly ambiguous, changing with strategic direction, workforce needs, industry changes, and concentrated on leveraging human resource talents for creating a competitive edge. At the same time, HR managers increasingly find themselves as consultants to assist managers and senior executives to better work with their staff.
Functionally, human resource management is wider and consists of recruitment and selection; compensation and rewards; planning; job design; career development, training and development, and dismissal among others.
HR recruits generally focus on non-specialized roles and other rotational functions while graduates are most likely to concentrate on more advanced strategic aspects of human resource management. Human resource management requires a strategic application of different disciplines found in the field to promote organizational change and create value through change management. Change management encompasses aptitudes and expertise required to initiate and execute change or use tools to promote change.
Given these dynamics, HR professionals are constantly required to revamp their skills and expertise to manage aspects of change successfully. They also need to understand how to use tools of change to ensure value creation. While HR managers may handle some aspects of change management in their organization, it is vital to recognize that most organizations prefer to use consultants to handle change management. As organizations shift their focus to people management, HR managers can now come from any department and must display strong skills in finance, strategic management, and business acumen.
Today, most organizations focus on applicants with MBA qualifications for their HR department. As the scramble for HR professions increases, students trained in business and economics courses make the transition to the field of HR. It is expected that such candidates would bring creativity and flexibility to implement new ideas and embrace change.
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Current Trends and Job Outlook
Human resource professionals can work almost in every firm and industry. They generally work in organizations, during normal work hours and full time. The job may involve traveling to other subsidiaries or recruit new hires outside.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics presents a positive outlook on the employment of human resources managers. It is expected to grow by 13% between the years 2012 and 2022, just like in other professions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015).
The growth in demands for human resource professionals is attributed to new organizations and existing ones that expand their businesses to other regions. Hence, competition is most likely to increase for the best talents in HR management.
Academics have also noted that HR managers of today face challenges, which also create new opportunities. Stone and Deadrick (2015), for instance, have identified globalization, changes in economies, increasing diversity in the local labor markets, and ever-changing technologies as factors that have resulted in new demands. At the same time, they have thrown human resource management into new directions full of opportunities for the HR department, employees, and organizations (Stone & Deadrick, 2015).
While there are external changes, there are also fundamental changes noted in the workforce across the globe, which put pressure on HR professionals and their organizations to develop specific, creative solutions to train, develop, integrate and train the best employees amidst these rapid changes. Hence, organizations must use their HR departments to navigate these shifts and position themselves as ideal employers to get talented employees.
HR managers must, therefore, focus on current trends involving the changing nature of employee roles, the future workforce, and industry dynamics. HR professionals will have to rethink their strategies and move even faster to possible future changes noted in technologies, demographics, and society while adjusting their practices for change (SHRM Foundation, 2014).
The Future of Human Resource Management
Recent studies have established that future trends in human resource management would be driven by workforce expectations, emerging technologies, growing globalization, and the escalating demands for agility due to unpredicted operational conditions. This implies that HR professionals of today will face unknown, barely recognizable environments. Hence, they must be proactive and respond effectively. On this note, research has identified some major trends that are most likely to reshape human resource practices at least for the next few years (Coombes, 2014).
First, major changes will continue to be noted in the extended workforce. That is, modern corporations will have to work with an ever-changing, regional, and global network of employees, associates, affiliates, and outsourcing service providers. As employees grow beyond the borders of their organizations, human resource managers will have to concentrate on both employees inside and outside their organizations.
Second, the function of HR will shift toward managing individuals rather than people. That is, employers will have to concentrate on a specific employee rather than use a one-size-fits-all model. Hence, employee preferences and needs will be customized specifically for them.
Third, as technologies expand, new trends in HR practices are observed. These tools such as social media, analytics, and cloud computing have continued to disrupt HR practices while providing the best ways so far to management talents.
Fourth, HR recruiting agencies now focus on global recruitment as supply and demand fail to match in the regional markets. Hence, workforce diversity continues to increase as human resource agencies focus on robust recruitment strategies to get the best talents for multinational firms.
Fifth, HR managers will also have to create agile corporations through their recruited employees. Business environments continue to be unpredictable and, therefore, organizations can only gain a competitive edge from their workforce to remain competitive and succeed. HR practices must also evolve to meet such dynamics as organizations strive for the best talents.
Sixth, major changes that will continue to shape HR practices will emerge from new knowledge learned in human behaviors and brain science. Analytics will play a critical role in future HR practices with the aim of identifying the best in employees to achieve better performances.
In addition, it is imperative to recognize that social media will lead to a workplace that is more open. HR managers will have to observe information privacy as they face more challenges posed by modern technologies. Further, the HR department will enhance collaboration with other business units while leveraging skills from anywhere at any time for their organizations.
These observable trends will continue to shape HR practices with widespread impacts. Hence, HR professionals will need to develop diverse sets of different management practices to manage a highly dynamic, global, and knowledge-driven workforce.
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This research shows some major aspects of human resource management, specifically the change management, current trends, challenges, and the future of HR practices. HR managers will have to appreciate these trends while exploiting unprecedented opportunities to create agile firms through human capital. Conversely, HR managers who fail to adjust will become irrelevant.
Coombes, R. (2014, February 5). Ten trends that will reshape the future of HR. HR Magazine. Web.
Mathis, R. L., & Jackson, J. H. (2010). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
SHRM Foundation. (2014). What’s Next: Future Global Trends Affecting Your Organization – Evolution of Work and the Worker. New York, NY: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited.
Stone, D. L., & Deadrick, D. L. (2015). Challenges and opportunities affecting the future of human resource management. Human Resource Management Review, 25(2), 139–145. Web.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015). Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Human Resources Managers. Web.