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Current and Future Trends in Human Resource Development, Article Writing Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1501

Article Writing

There was a time when most of assume that the job of human resources department or manager is to recruit and train employees, carry out performance appraisals, deal with compensation and benefits plans, ensure that all applicable labor laws are being followed, and stay out of the way of the upper management. But the times have changed considerably and human resources managers have become an important player in formulating the organizations’ competitive strategies. There are various factors that have contributed towards the changing image of the role of human resources development such as more mobile labor force, intensive competition for skilled employees, increasing recruiting and training costs, and more intensive competition among the firms due to globalization.

Few decades back, many of us would spend our entire career with the first company that would recruit us and labor mobility was low. The job security was high and the advancement path within the organization was predictable. Promotion would often be based on duration of service and seniority. But these days it is not uncommon for even skilled employees to often change jobs. Unlike older times, the employees are now responsible for managing their own career and they can no longer count on guaranteed lifetime employment. Job security is low and thus, it is not surprising that employees have low levels of loyalty to their respective employers. Organizations realize this which is why one of the emerging HRD trends is talent management. Talent management refers to realization among the organizations that aligning organizational goals with employee career objective can yield huge cost savings as well as other benefits. One aspect of the organizations’ talent management plans is to make sure that they hire the right people in the first place and then invest in them through training and continuous education (Bogoslaw, 2009).

The companies now do not rely on key words and standardized job applications only to hire employees. They are now forcing applicants to provide examples and data to help the companies understand the applicants better and are also investing in technologies to keep tabs on the skills and talents of existing workforce. The companies are more willing to fill open positions with internal talent to keep employees motivated. One another reason is increasing hiring and training costs that often run into thousands of dollars for a single employee and are even more for specialized positions. These internal promotion activities also keep employees motivated and result in lower employee turnover. In addition, many companies operate in industries where talent shortage is even more severe and effective talent management policies help companies retain existing talent as well as attract new ones (Bogoslaw, 2009).

This trend is significant to the practice of HRD because many changes have occurred in the labor market which makes it increasingly difficult to retain employees, especially those with specialized skills. Globalization has increased competition and labor force today is more mobile. In addition, employees realize that job security is a thing of the past, thus, theyare more willing to switch jobs when better opportunities emerge. Increasing competition means that more companies are now fighting for the same talent. Hiring costs are on the rise thus, it pays to figure out ways to keep existing talent satisfied and strengthen their commitment to the organization. By providing greater job security to the existing workforce, increasing their work satisfaction levels, and effectively matching employees’ skills and strengths with the right position, HRD can help improve retention rates, lower turnover rates, and achieve higher returns from investments in training and continuous education.

There are numerous ways that can help organizations better manage their existing talent. One is to offer long term incentives to the employees that require multi-year commitment and tie employees’ fortunes to the long term prospects of the companies. One such long term incentive is stock options that could only be exercised after a certain period and if the employees leave before the end of the period, they will lose the award. Another way to effectively manage the talent is to closely watch the actions of the competitors including their compensation plans as well as their hiring trends. This will help the companies ensure that their own compensation plans are competitive to such an extent that their employees will have little incentive to leave and second, the companies will be able to react in a timely manner if their talent is approached by the competitors.

Another HRD trend gaining traction is strategic HRM. Strategic HRM means that HR is increasingly getting involved in management’s strategic planning activities to help companies create value and gain competitive advantage over the competitors. HR can create value by developing a culture that attracts top talent and helps keep existing talent loyal. Such HRD initiatives could be costly but the investments pay for themselves through higher employees’ productivity. In addition, HR can also help management achieve strategic goals by ensuring that the company has the right mix of talent to achieve the objectives. These cultural systems are difficult to replicate and thus, provide sustainable competitive advantages over the competitors (Česynienė, 2005).

This trend is significant to the practice of HRD because even though the labor force has become more mobile, the talent shortage continues to exist. This shows the crisis of talent the companies face today. In addition, it’s easier to replicate standardized skills than specialized skills that often require huge investments in education and can only be developed over time. This is why we have seen that manufacturing jobs move where labor costs are low because manual labor can easily be taught but specialized jobs enjoy relatively higher job security. Processes can be exported but creativity and ideas can’t be. Thus, the key to competitive advantage in both present times and future are ideas which is why it is even more important to protect talent. This is where HRD can play a huge role by ensuring that not only the existing talent is satisfied but also that the company becomes an attractive place to work for external talent. We see numerous examples today in tech companies like Google and Facebook that are as famous for their work life as they are for innovation. Talent wants to work there because these companies have developed unique culture due to innovative HR practices that fosters independence, creativity, and interesting work at the same time.

The companies will continue to involve HR department in strategic decision making as well as creating unique company cultures because it also yields other benefits such as high levels of loyalty by employees to their respective companies as well as low turnover rates. It seems that the companies are once again focusing on increasing job security for their talent because certainty will also help employees improve productivity. The companies have also become more selective and careful in hiring process and want to ensure that the recruited employees are a good fit with the needs of the organization. In order to do so, the companies will have no choice but to involve HR in strategic decision making so that the HR knows exactly what the company needs in terms of labor resources to achieve its strategic goals.

The ways in which companies can improve HR’s involvement in strategic decision making include providing more funds to HR for investing in technology and giving HR managers a greater role in developing the organizational culture. New technological tools such as HR-specific software make possible analyzing vast amounts of employees’ data in a way that would not be manually possible. HR managers will have better understanding of the existing talent pool and they will be able to give valuable recommendations to the management to utilize the talent pool more effectively to achieve the strategic goals. The technology will also make it possible to quickly fill vacant position with the internal talent instead of wasting time and money on external recruiting efforts.

An organizational culture has a huge influence on the work lives of the employees. By observing employees over time and collecting data on them, HR managers can develop a good knowledge of what increases employees job satisfaction and vice verse. Giving more authority and resources to HRD in order to shape an appealing organizational culture will result in more committed employees and will make it easier to achieve strategic objectives. Similarly, HRD will inform the management if certain elements of the organizational culture are outdated and are impeding employees’ motivation.

The implications of the new emerging trends are also that the HR managers will have to acquire new skills such as technology proficiency and a better understanding of the overall organization. HR will continue to become even more important part of organizations’ overall strategy formulations because employees with specialized skills have emerged as the most important asset of any organization seeking market leadership as well as a culture of innovation.

References

Bogoslaw, D. (2009, July 24). This is Not Your Father’s HR. Retrieved September 23, 2011, from Bloomberg Businessweek: http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/jul2009/pi20090724_000654.htm

Česynienė, R. (2005). The Most Recent Trends and Emerging Values in Human Resource Management: Comparative Analysis. Engineering Economics , p. 52.

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