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Human Resource Management in 2017

“One of the key success factors of high performing organisations is putting their people first.” – Deloitte

Should we do away with HR? This is a highly controversial statement that companies and consultants have been debating about over the past few years. Much as over years, roles of HR has evolved (refers to article on “Challenges of Traditional Human Resource Management“), HR management often remains ineffective, incompetent and costly.

The uncertainty in global politics and the incessant business risks have implied that HR is in fact more necessary than ever. One of the first step towards implementing an effective HR strategy is to understand the organisation’s business value and how they can leverage on their human capital to address challenges and achieve business objectives.

“The talent shortage is real, and it continues to affect employers globally… The role of HR needs to change and evolve to really support the talent strategy in an organisation…..” – Bram Lowsky, Group Executive Vice President, Right Management

Traditionally, HR undertakes a service role, where they filled out paperwork, administered payroll and benefits, in charge of the hiring process. Today, HR activities should be results-oriented rather than system-oriented. Strategic positioning of the HR function and talent management is crucial in ensuring the HR’s relevance to the organisation. Talent management and talent development will be what set organisations apart from one another.

What can the HR do to ensure that the right talent is being recruited into their organisation? First of all, HR should focus in assessing the skills that organisations need to put forth their business strategy, before adding the right people. This is critical because organisations today are engaged in more complex, knowledge-based work, and even overseas ventures, and performance of employee has played a big part in laying the foundation. In order to fill in the right people for the right job, HR should ensure that potential employees are tested for the ability to develop the key skills required for the job.

HR management also finds themselves facing with the emphasis on reputation of their organisation in terms of their roles in society as well as how their employees are being supported. No longer it is the case where potential talents revolves their decision making based on just payroll benefits and other monetary incentives. Companies should be willing to invest significant resources in up-skilling their employees as a typical worker today will be looking out for diversity and flexibility in their roles, to develop new skill set and to showcase their knowledge. The challenge is in the organisation to make sure that they have the capablity to find, assimilate, develop, compensate, and retain talents fitting for their organisation needs.

For HR to stay relevant to an organisation, they needed to be viewed as part of the strategic team with the senior management. They should impel and guide discussions as to how organisations should be organised in order to carry out the various strategies. It is the HR’s role to create a robust framework to define organisation. This framework will identify the underlying model of the organisation’s business structure and provides clarity for managers to better implement systems and establish the type of skills required from the employees.

Rather than focusing on employee performance as an outcome, HR should look at how their initiatives can affect business success. In other words, HR should focused on meeting customers’ needs and not employees’ needs, like how can they improve their quality of product or services to increase customer satisfaction levels. Studies have shown that organisations that placed HR in a strategic position, will be rewarded with greater financial returns.

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