Every organization, big or small, has an HR department – whether in-house or an outsourced HR Team. It is one of the most testing departments of a company. Their job is not easy at all. They have to sift through a lot of documents, trying to pick the right candidates for a position and then making the organization work like a well-oiled machine. Still, they do not get appreciated for the amount of effort they put in. Yes we are with you here 🙂
After the last big recession, the HR department has become more empathetic towards employees and they are working extra hard to use the human capital that is available to them. Most organizations have realized the importance of this human capital and the impact it can have on the growth of the business. It is by far the most important asset in the company. If the human resource management is not proper, then there are chances that an enterprise may entirely collapse.
That is the sole reason each and every business conglomerate invests heavily in hiring the right people and motivating them enough so as to keep the business running without any bottlenecks. Human resource is the most important determinant of an organization’s efficiency. Even companies with the most automation require human intervention at some point. Without this, they cannot function properly and generate the targeted revenue.
Even though human capital may not appear on any balance sheet, it certainly is the most valuable chunk in the organization. Managing employees in an efficient manner may be the difference-maker between an organization and its competition and the difference between winning and losing in the competitive marketplace.
What The HR Team Needs To Do
First of all, HR should assess the working capacity of the company. How much strength is actually required in the enterprise? Once it is correctly estimated, then they can work on how to procure them. After this step, they need to keep on assessing how the respective employees can be managed in the most efficient manner. So you see, it is more like planning how to drive a car. The only difference is that there are many drivers, each having a distinct role in running the automobile!
But can the work of the HR be that simple? No, they have to constantly assess whether the employees are able to deliver the desired output. The more voluminous an organization is, the more complex is the process of running it. The HR department needs to maintain the sync and needs to connect the required employees. The targets ought to be achieved in an easy and effective manner.
If there is a lapse of any kind, then they need to assess how to solve that particular problem. Can it be solved at a grassroots level? Or does it require the intervention of the higher-level authorities? Either way, the HR department has to ensure that in no way there should be any disruption in the hierarchy of employees. They should be quick and agile in finding out if there is any problem or not.
The Role Of The HR Organization
HR managers can be functional at various levels in an organization. Their portfolios are such that they can manage multiple roles or even multitask if it is required out of them. Lawler (1995), a distinguished business professor at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of business, chalked out the roles below:
The Three Roles Of HR
In the dynamic landscape of the job environment, an HR employee / management personnel can assume three roles:
- HR Management Role – It is one of the most familiar roles of HR personnel in the organization. HR Management is involved in the hiring of employees and some semi-administrative roles in the organization. In these roles, they have to ensure that the employee conglomeration is in total sync, and nobody is out of line. Disbursing salaries, handling releases and all sorts of employee-related issues and grievances are handled in HR management roles. Normally, an HR manager starts at the junior associate HR level and rises up to the role of the Senior HR Manager. At the initial level, they perform the tasks mentioned above. In the senior levels, they just supervise.
- Business Partner – This is the role in a business organization where HR has a decision making power. They are mainly involved in hiring the workforce. They check out the required core competencies in them. This helps an organization to stay ahead. HR also has a say in some of the business decisions. Normally, when HR becomes business partners, then such organizations have something to do with recruiting and staffing. HR business partners develop systems and practices. All the HR management roles that are mentioned above are performed in a rigorous way, where there is no scope for any sort of errors. That is why they hold such a prominent role in an organization.
- Strategic Contributor – Most of the time, the HR business partners fail in achieving the major objectives of an organization. That is when a strategic contributor jumps in. Strategic contributors have more or less of the same roles of HR Management, but their duties are more accentuated and their roles are less subservient. As the name suggests, they develop hard-core strategies to handle the most important asset / force in the company that is the human resource. The strategic contributors can be dependent or independent partners. But they have a big say in all the decisions. Normally, strategic contributors are found in organizations with a considerable workforce, which is > 10,000. Not only that, strategic contributors have to handle cross-border / global workforce as well. The strategic contributors should possess knowledge of both HR and organizational behavioral practices.
We are trying to underline here how critical the role of HR is in an organization. They function on almost all levels and it is extremely difficult to run operations without having a functional and capable HR department by your side. HR develops and facilitates organizational capabilities and change. The HR body in question should not only be capable of spotting and nurturing talent, but they should also have immense prowess in creating and streamlining the work design and implementation of labor.
Management Gurus and Professors like Lawler, Ulrich, Boudreau and Ramstad have researched for various years and have found out what sort of things can help in the creation and growth of the organization. Now, these findings are in relation to the Human capital aspect only. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for any enterprise if it has to emerge as a global leader. They should know how to create tailor-made roles, which extract the best out of any employee. This way an employee can achieve their maximum potential with minimal effort.
On the basis of their findings, this quartet of Professors has zeroed down on the dots which connect all the organizations. There are three common components of HR measurement:
- Efficiency – Which resources produce HR policies and practices? In most of the cases, cost per hire and the time taken to hire an employee are the factors.
- Effectiveness – Here you question how the different strategic policies affect the talent pool in question. Does this have any sort of impact on the target group or not? One has also to keep a note of some observations. For example, how the aligned actions target talent pools are bringing about change? You need to also find out whether the trainees’ knowledge has increased and whether they qualify for the job or not. In other words, they have to be a complete fit for their roles.
- Impact – The major question is regarding the availability of talent pool. The qualified talent, how do they spell a difference in an organization? Do they bring in the desired results? Also, we should find out how the talent pool affects strategic success by influencing different customer groups.
The Science Behind Emerging HR Decision Trends
Now that you have noticed how the basic mechanisms behind an organization’s functions. But there is something that should be kept in mind. HR has evolved to be a strategic contributor. However, it should never try to come out of its core responsibilities. The HR department should never try to be independent of an organization’s HR requirement. The delivery paradigm should always be about service provision to clients. Its interests should never be outside the scope of an organization.