The strategic Role of HRM

  • 9 Pages
  • Published On: 2-12-2023
Introduction

Put in just a few words, the role of a human resource manager is to establish a system that caters for needs of common workers while enabling the organization to achieve its objectives through satisfied personnel (Boldizzoni &Quaratino, 2011). While some organizations have established an HR system that exactly meets this definition, others are struggling with various HR issues that continue impede their ability to achieve organizational missions through its workforce. Using practical examples, this essay seeks to evaluate the role of HRM in organizations and how HRM links to wider organization strategies. The essay argues that human resource management entails a variety of functions that must be coordinated to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals.

Human Resource Management

Every employee is important to organizational success. According to Collins & Clark (2003), they represent the face of the organization and in some cases, every purchase of products or services occurs through them. This implies that employees can either break or make the company in the sense that if a customer encounters a negative experience with employees, they are unlikely to come back; while if they have a positive encounter with employees, they are likely to come back. That is why, according to Zuzeviciute & Tereseviciene (2010), organizations need to hire the right employees, equip them with the right expertise through training, and motivate them to remain in the company.

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Organizations must work hard to create a good working environment, provide satisfying jobs, give fair benefits and compensation system and develop a suitable work schedule for their employees. These activities are part of organizations’ human resource management practices that align with their strategy of using human resources to gain a competitive advantage – through a process known as human resource management (HRM) (Van Dink & Esser 1992).

Fundamentally, HRM consists of a variety of managerial actions that organizations take to attract, develop and retain employees. Each of these activities is complex and involving. For example, to attract talented personnel, organizations must develop systems that ensure that only qualified employees are selected (Foote &Robinson, 1999). Similarly, to develop employees’ professional skills, according to Rowden (1995), organizations must establish systems for training both new and current workers. Lastly, to retain employees, organizations must appraise, motivate and compensate them appropriately (Rastgoo, 2016).

Human Resource Planning

One of the most significant functions of HRM is human resource planning. According to Dhanpat et al (2020), human resource planning is a strategic activity that seeks to ensure that organizations have just the right number of committed employees. For example, in multinational organizations such as Starbucks, the HR must ensure that in each of their coffee outlets around the world, they have just enough, fully trained staff to serve and take care of its customers.

Therefore, through strategic human resource plans, HR managers develop steps that organization will take to ensure that they have the right number of employees with the necessary skills at the right time and place (Soliman &Spooner, 2000). According to Dhanpat et al (2020), this process begins by evaluating the company’s objectives, strategies and missions. For example, if a company’s (e.g. Starbucks) mission is to develop satisfied customers and develop an environment where staff treat customers and each other with respect, the organization will develop an HR plan that looks for the passionate, self-motivated, creative and adaptable team. Similarly, if a company’s (e.g. Norwegian Cruise Lines) strategic goal is to give its lavish customers the best attention, then this goal determines not only the type of employees they need (e.g. strong work ethic and good customer relation skills) but also the number of employees needed.

Job Analysis

One of the important roles of HR managers in HR planning is job analysis. Here, the manager must be aware of the number and types of jobs to be fulfilled, then organize information about every job to identify the responsibilities that come with that job, the tasks involved, and the required skills or knowledge (Kusumawardani &Agintiara, 2015). The information acquired through the job analysis is then useful in preparing two important documents namely: job description, which identifies the employee responsibilities and duties; and the job specification, which outlines the required employee skills, abilities and knowledge to perform the job (Chukwunonso, 2013).

Employee Demand and Supply Forecasting

The other important component of HR planning that HR managers engage in is HR demand and supply forecasting. After conducting a job analysis and developed both job description and job specification, HR managers must move further to forecast how the organization intends to hire in future. The process of HR demand and supply forecasting entails three important steps as illustrated below:

HR demand and supply forecasting

For instance, an organization such as KFC might realize that they need two hundred more employees to work at its new stores scheduled for opening next month. Similarly, Google might realize that they need three thousand new employees to handle its newly launched internet marketing product. After calculating and ascertaining the gap between the future demand and supply of workers, it is the HR manager’s role to develop a plan that brings the required balance (Boon et al 2019). If the demand for employees is likely to outweigh supply, the HR manager must hire new employees, encourage available workers to put in new efforts or develop initiatives that save labour (Jiang& Messersmith, 2018). Similarly, if the supply for workers is likely to outweigh demand, it is the HR’s responsibility to deal with overstaffing through various strategies such as retrenchment of encouraging voluntary, or early retirements.

Employee Recruitment

Part of HR’s role and contribution to an organization’s strategic objective is employee recruitment. With accurate information on the number of employees needed, the types of job positions to be filled and the required skills for those job positions, HR managers are then required to develop an employee recruitment strategy. First, Gurlek & Uygur (2020) defined employee recruitment as the identification of suitable job candidates and welcoming them to apply for open job positions.

However, before dwelling much on employee recruitment, it is important to note that as HR managers go through the hiring and recruitment processes, they must adhere to existing anti-discrimination rules and regulations because violating such laws may lead to dire consequences (Kehoe & Collins, 2017). a typical case of discrimination is when a person is unfairly treated based on characteristics that are unrelated to their abilities. Thus, as HR managers recruit, they must bear in mind that in the UK, it is unlawful to discriminate against recruitment candidate son the basis of their race, ethnicity, sex, age, color or religion (Ubeda-Garcia et al, 2018).

The UK Human Rights Act protects and enforces various employment laws, including the citizen’s right to equal treatment in the face of law including equal pay, whereby employees who do significantly equal work must receive equal compensation (Kusumawardani &Agintiara, 2015). Other rights protected under the Human Rights Act and employment law include equal treatment at the workplace regardless of the recruitment stage.

Meanwhile, the first duty in the recruitment process is to identify where to find the candidates. According to Dhanpat et al (2020), it is the HR manager’s role to identify the candidates and ascertain whether they are qualified. In the process, organizations must not only assess the candidates’ ability to perform the duties but also whether they fit the organization in terms of how their interpersonal styles and values match the company culture and values (Boldizzoni &Quaratino, 2011).

A key decision issue at this point is whether the company should recruit internally or look for external sources. According to Chukwunonso (2013), both internal and external sources of job candidates have their benefits and limitations, and therefore it is the HR manager’s role to evaluate what fits the organization. For example, internal hiring relays a signal to employees that the organization rewards good performance. However, the organization will probably need to fill the left position (Boddy, 2017). On the other hand, Dhanpat et al (2020) observe that hiring from outside the organization provides the opportunity to bring fresh skills and ideas into the organization.

Employee Development

After recruiting employees to fill the various position, the HR managers now have the responsibility of developing them to help them do their jobs well. According to Dhanpat et al (2020), this is done through training and skill development, which occurs from the time a new employee enters the organization (orientation) and continues if they are still a staff member. At orientation, according to Kusumawardani &Agintiara (2015), the human resource manager’s role is to provide the new employee with relevant and adequate information about the company and their jobs, while making them feel as comfortable as possible. On the other hand, continual training and professional development aims entail equipping employees with the knowledge and skills they need to operate in the current environment, including skills on new technology as well as new industry competition.

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In conclusion, there are several roles of HRM, some of which could not be addressed in this essay. However, the essay has highlighted the various function of HRM and how they align to organizational strategic goals, missions and objectives. A key element of the HR roles is HR planning, which spans from the identification of potential employees to recruiting, orienting and training them. However, in the process, HR managers must abide by the relevant human rights and employment laws put in place to guide the various HR functions.

References

Boddy, D., (2017), ‘Management – An Introduction’, 7th edition, Chapter 11, Human Resource Management. Review and Complete the activities in ‘Test your Understanding’, ‘Think Critically’ and ‘Develop a Skill’ (pp369-370).

Boldizzoni, D., & Quaratino, L. (2011). The role of Human Resource Manager: Change Agent vs. Business Partner? Research into HRM in Italy. EBS Review, (28).

Boldizzoni, D., & Quaratino, L. (2011). The role of Human Resource Manager: Change Agent vs. Business Partner? Research into HRM in Italy. EBS Review, (28).

Bombiak, E., & Marciniuk-Kluska, A. (2018). Green human resource management as a tool for the sustainable development of enterprises: Polish young company experience. Sustainability, 10(6), 1739.

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Úbeda-García, M., Claver-Cortés, E., Marco-Lajara, B., Zaragoza-Sáez, P., & García-Lillo, F. (2018). High performance work system and performance: Opening the black box through the organizational ambidexterity and human resource flexibility. Journal of Business Research, 88, 397-406.

Van Donk, D. P., & Esser, A. (1992). Strategic human resource management: A role of the human resource manager in the process of strategy formation. Human Resource Management Review, 2(4), 299-315.

Zuzeviciute, V., & Tereseviciene, M. (2010). The role of a human resource manager as a facilitator of learning: Some evidence from Lithuania. Baltic Journal of Management, 5(1), 68-81.


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