Human Resources: Gaining Competitive Edge in Changing World
Today’s business environment is fast paced and the fight for attracting talent is heating up. One of the key ways organizations can compete against their rivals is by effective human resources management.
What is a Human Resources Department?
Human resources (HR) refer to a specific department within an organization, with the objective to find, screen, recruit and train job applicants and employees. Furthermore, they are often in charge of different employee-benefit systems.
In one aspect, HR is in charge of the lifecycle of the employee. It helps to attract the person towards the organization, find the right fit amongst applicants, help hire the person, train the person to their day-to-day job, help the employee to succeed in the role and to prepare for the future, and guide the employee and the organization through the process of leaving. After all, HR isn’t just about attracting employees; it also has to deal with employees leaving, either voluntarily or as a consequence of firing.
Adding Value to the Company
For businesses, an efficiently run HR department can be a crucial part of a successful business strategy. In a study by The Conference Board, researchers identified six key activities HR performs in order to add value to a company. These were:
- Effective management and use of employees.
- Better performance appraisal and compensation based on competency.
- Development of strategies, which improve the performance of the employee, as well as the organization as a whole.
- Increase innovation and flexibility that enhances the organization’s competitiveness.
- Application of new innovative approaches in areas such as succession planning, career development and inter-organizational mobility.
- Management of implementation and integration of technology to improve employee management.
Digital transformation of HR
The modern discussion around HR is increasingly focused on technology. Human resources have moved from HR specialist scouting for talent to having Big Data software conduct application processes on their behalf. In addition, many day-to-day activities, such as employee performance monitoring, can be performed by HR technology.
Big part of HR now focuses on social media. Platforms like LinkedIn have become a key tool for HR departments and Microsoft’s recent purchase of the platform perfectly highlights this. In the coming years, human resource departments will have to adapt both to new ways of attracting talent and to using data and technology as a competitive advantage.