The role and responsibilities of the human resource manager has continued to become more involving and complex over the years. Human resource managers are no longer viewed as administrators. They are largely the soul of the company and organization, as they deal with the organization’s most valued assets, people. They handle all aspects concerning the employees such as recruitment and selection, training and development, employee relations, compensation and benefits, analysis and job design, policy creation, and communication, planning and forecasting, and ensuring that the organization is compliant with the law (Noe et al., 2003). The role of the human resource management has continued to change in the face of globalization, increased business diversity, more technological advancement, introduction of e-business and more complex rules regarding ethics.
Many businesses and organizations have diversified their areas of interest and their regional areas. Many of them have set up offices in different countries and continents. This means that they have had to adapt to the way the country does business if they are to see any sort of growth. Human resource management has been mainly affected by this turn of events. They have to develop a global mentality, while at the same time maintaining the consistency and the quality they had at their home office. This is hard indeed, as they are bound to face opposition from different areas. They have to establish human resource standards that will be acceptable to their areas of interest. They have to ensure that the practices do not offend the local people and that they are in line with the standards set in the country (Blanpain, 2010). Some of the elements they have to consider include language, gender and religion among others.
Human resource managers have to ensure that they abide with the ethical standards. They have to be compliant with the law and ensure that they practice and maintain ethical principles. Ethical concerns are mostly experienced in the areas of employee treatment, due process and free speech (Noe et al., 2003). Some of these principles have evolved over the years. People nowadays are more aware of their rights and in most cases, they are sensitive and become offended over matters that would have been considered trivial years ago. Moreover, some of the ethical principles have often been controversial. Deciding to take a particular option means that people who support a particular side will be left out and they may not like the decision made. The ethical decisions made by the human resource management should benefit the majority of the people. It should meet all the laws and government codes. This means that the managers should be aware of any changes in government regulations concerning the treatment of employees. The decision made should be in accordance to the organizational and the professional standards of ethical behavior. Human resource managers should be up to date with all the latest development in the different professions (Mathis & Jackson, 2005).
Technology is continually advancing and human resource managers need to keep up with the latest developments. Human resource is no longer seen as a people issue. It incorporates strategic management and planning. The technology must be strategically aligned, have business intelligence and be efficient and effective. This will also help the managers in choosing the appropriate training and development tools for the employees. They cannot do this effectively if they do not know the latest and most competent technology in the market. Technology has made things easier for the human resource managers. It has eased and quickened communication and made it possible for people to work anywhere. The development of technology has widened the scope of knowledge of the human resource managers. It has led to quicker innovations and has contributed to the shift in human competencies (Peterson, 2010). It has led to the creation of job opportunities in technology related areas and this means that more people are doing businesses related to technology. Human resource managers cannot do their work effectively if they do not have the technical knowledge (Lin, 2011). The managers have had to learn more about technology and look for ways through which they can incorporate this knowledge with their usual responsibilities (Peterson, 2010).
Human resource managers, especially in America, are faced with the challenge of working with people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. There are people of all races and ethnicities in America. Part of the job description of the human resource manager is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly at the work place. This means that they should check and eliminate incidences of discrimination, prejudice and favoritism. No employee should feel inadequate just because he or she is different. Diversity is also present in terms of gender and human resource managers should ensure that they treat men and women equally. The managers should recognize the fact that women and minorities may just be as qualified as the others are. They should offer them the same opportunity for advancement and the same working conditions (Noe et al, 2003). The nature of the human resource manager has changed in the sense that for a long time, the rights of minorities and women were not considered. The affected groups did not fight for their rights as they have done in recent years. Transparency in terms of job appointment has also increased and people have come to object any form of discrimination.
Many business owners and organizations have changed the way they conduct their businesses, and this has especially been enabled by technological advancement such as the widespread use of the internet. Many of them have taken the concept of e-business and this has enabled them to expand their clients and their areas of interest. E-business creates unique and challenging opportunities for the human resource manager. The concept is relatively new compared to others in the market and this means that the managers have not developed policies and practices to deal with the human resource problems that might occur (Noe et al., 2003). Many of the people involved in e-business are young entrepreneurs, some of who have no work experience. There may be issues concerning appearance and conduct and the managers should know how they would approach the issues once they occur.
Blanpain, R. (2010). Comparative labour law and industrial relations in industrialized market economies. Netherlands: Kluwer Law International.
Lin, H. L. (2011). Electronic human resource management and organizational innovation: The roles of information technology and virtual organizational structure. The International Journal of Human Resource Management 22 (2) 235
Mathis, L. R., & Jackson, H. J. (2005). Human resource management. Thompson Business & Professional Publishing.
Peterson, J. (2010). The role technology plays in today’s human resource management. Retrieved from http://educationforthe21stcentury.org/2011/01/the-role-technology-plays-in-today’s-human-resource-management/
Noe, A. R., Hollenbeck, R. J., Gerhert, B., & Wright, M. P. (2003). Fundamentals of human resource management. Columbus, OH: The McGraw Hill Companies.
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