Introduction

Human resource management is a vital strategic process because it can determine whether a company will succeed or fail in the pursuit of its goals (Senyucel, 2009). Various organizations depend on their human resource function as the strongest link in their value chain activities. Often times, it allows an organization to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Due to this importance, the roles of human resource management will be increasingly crucial as the dynamics of today’s business landscape becomes increasingly uncertain and also demanding.

The core competencies will also evolve as the dynamic nature of the modern society is also evolving. It will add the to the current challenges in human resource management. This article will examine the roles of human resource management in today’s organization as well as the core competencies. It will also discuss the evolving HR function in the future.

The Roles of Human Resource Management in Organization today

Dessler (2020) defined HRM as the process of acquiring, training, appraising, and compensating employees, as well as attending to their concerns, such as in labor relations, health and safety, and fairness issues. This definition encapsulates the vital role of HRM in an organization. Torrington et al. (2020) used another approach in defining HRM using its six key objectives: staffing objectives, performance objectives, change-management objectives, administration objectives, reputational objectives, and well-being objectives. These six key objectives illustrate the significance of HRM’s role in an organization today.

In a more general view, HRM is a combination of people-oriented management practices that views people as vital assets, instead of costs, and its main objective is to provide and maintain a skillful and committed workforce to establish competitive advantages (Senyucel, 2009). The increasing competitiveness of the industries demands that every company should gain competitive advantages that can keep them in the competition. This intense competition complicates HRM’s role to retain the best talents in tighter cost control to ensure competitive advantage (Torrington et al., 2020). Research by McKinsey and Co depicted the war on talent in many industries (Merlevedes,  2014). The demand to be more flexible and responsive to change has reduced job security, but managers are required to improve employees’ loyalty and a higher level of discretionary effort (Torrington et al., 2020).

Globalization, technological advancement, and intensifying competition may increase the complexity of HRM roles, but they also bring potential benefits and opportunities. It is the main challenge for HR managers to understand the intricate, and sometimes delicate, nature of these contemporary issues so that they can draw the most advantages out of the challenges.

The Current and Future HR Core Competencies in the Organization

Competitive advantage can only be achieved through the development of core competencies that are superior to the competitors (Senyucel, 2009). Members of the organization can provide competitive advantages only if the HRM has developed core competencies that can draw out the best in the people. Typically, current HR managers should have core competencies such as relationship building, communication skills, cultural stewardship, and critical thinking (Leonard, 2019). These are the competencies required to successfully manage the workforce to become a competitive advantage.

In the future, contemporary challenges will be increasingly common in HRM, such as diversity in the workforce and technological advancement. The trend is now for HR managers to have the competency in managing culturally diverse teams consisting of people from a wide variety of backgrounds (Torrington et al., 2020). Diversity can increase the risk of marginalization and miscommunication between employees which can hinder performance (Davidson, 2021). However, studies have also shown that teams that consist of people with diverse backgrounds are 87% better at decision-making compared to homogenous teams (Stahl, 2021). It is the main challenge for managers to bring the most benefit of diversity and suppress the potential issues that may come with it.

In bigger multinational firms, managers should also deal with political, legal, and economic differences between countries, in addition to cultural differences (Dessler, 2020). These factors bring more uncertainties to the business environment (Sonyucel, 2009), which can complicate managers’ jobs. Due to these uncertainties, long-term planning in HR is becoming less viable. HR strategy is shifted from meticulous planning to flexibility and capacity to adapt to changes as well as seize opportunities quickly (Torrington et al., 2020).

The trend is also for HR managers to have special competencies in utilizing technological advancement. Rapid technological advancement enabled globalization and transformed the HR landscape. Traditional HR tools are outshined by sophisticated technology, such as artificial intelligence which is now used in various HR functions (Chevalier, 2022). Communication technology fueled the discussions about telecommuting and how employees are increasingly demanding it for their work-life balance. Technology has simplified managers’ work, but it also opened new issues that should be addressed.

The Evolving Roles of Human Resource Management

Along with the advancement of civilization, HRM will increasingly face new issues that will force the HR function to evolve and add further layers to its activities (Torrington et al., 2020). The modern HR function has largely evolved since its origin in the nineteenth century and it will continue to evolve in the future. The economic, cultural, and technological trends may pose a significant force that may shape HR functions in the future.

For instance, companies are increasingly aware that their employees’ activity on their social media may affect their reputational objectives. However, they should also draw a clear line between the company’s issues and the fulfillment of personal rights. These kinds of ethical dilemmas may cause HR functions to evolve further, since there may be a conflict between the efforts to achieve reputational objectives and well-being objectives that are enabled by advancements in communication technology.

Conclusion

The role and core competencies of HRM will be increasingly crucial as the dynamics of today’s business landscape may cause new issues and challenges. The significance of the HRM role will be more crucial in achieving the six key objectives: staffing objectives, performance objectives, change-management objectives, administration objectives, reputational objectives, and well-being objectives. These roles require HRM to develop core competencies that should enable the organization to acquire a competitive advantage. As the business workforce becomes increasingly diverse and depending on technology, the future HR competencies will also be increasing progressively in complexity. The economic, cultural, and technological trends will add the next layers of challenges that may cause the HR function to evolve.

References

Chevalier, F. (2022, February 10). AI in HR: How is it Really Used and What are the Risks? HEC Paris. https://www.hec.edu/en/knowledge/articles/ai-hr-how-it-really-used-and-what-are-risks

Davidson, P. (2021, December 16). Challenges in Human Resource Management and How to Overcome Them. Spiceworks 1. https://www.spiceworks.com/hr/engagement-retention/articles/challenges-in-human-resource-management-and-how-to-manage-them/

Dessler, G. (2020). Human Resource Management. Pearson.

Leonard, K. (2019, March 1). Examples of Core Competencies of a Human Resource Manager. Small Business - Chron.com. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-core-competencies-human-resource-manager-10027.html

Merlevede, P. (2014) Talent Management, A focus on Excellence. Bookboon.

Senyucel, Z. (2009). Managing Human Resources in the 21st Century. Bookboon.

Stahl, A. (2021, December 17). 3 Benefits Of Diversity In The Workplace. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2021/12/17/3-benefits-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/?sh=44661ad322ed

Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S., & Atkinson, C. (2020). Human Resource Management. Pearson.

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