Human Resource Management: Biggest Challenges
Human resource management has evolved in recent years. Once a department that focused primarily on recruiting, hiring, training and overseeing benefits for employees, now has become a key component in business strategy.
In some cases, even the job titles have changed. Some human resource managers now work as “HR business partners”. The title reflects the change in how HR workers, particularly those in human resource management positions, interact with business executives.
The profession faces many challenges. Those who earn a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree with a concentration in human resource management are well-prepared to take on the expanding role of HR.
What issues do those in human resource management face in the 21st century? The following sections illustrate some of the issues associated with human resource management.
Compliance with Regulations
The laws around employment change frequently. HR departments are charged with keeping up with the latest changes and ensuring their company is complying. This involves an ongoing process of researching the latest laws – some specific to certain states or cities – and working with organizational leaders and managers on steps that need to be taken to stay in compliance.
No conversation about HR is complete in today’s world without addressing the issue of sexual harassment. The numerous cases of celebrities accusing other’s of harassment in recent years has put the spotlight back on this issue. In the age of the #MeToo movement, human resource management has developed new approaches to both educating employees about what constitutes harassment, as well as ways to fairly handle such cases when they occur.
While always overseeing the recruiting process, human resource management now strives to work more in a partnership role with business executives and department heads. For example, some HR departments now have people specifically assigned to work with individual business units. These HR personnel develop strategies for recruiting employees that best serve the unit’s long-range business strategy. This active approach places HR professionals in the role of partners than facilitators when it comes to recruiting and hiring.
Many studies, including this one from the Brandon Hall Group, show that organizations often do a poor job of developing leadership from within their own ranks. For example, only 8% of the companies in the study had clearly defined unique leadership requirements. HR professionals can take a lead role in this area. One way is developing training programs for employees with the ambition and skills to move up the organizational chart.
Recruiting in a Competitive Environment
The current job environment, with a low unemployment rate, requires companies to offer compensation and benefits that attract and retain the best and brightest. This makes it critical for HR departments to “build a strong employer brand,” according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This includes not just compensation but benefits packages, the ability to work remotely, workplace culture, and safety and security issues.
These are among the big issues facing human resource management. Underlying all these issues is the global reach of many organizations and innovations in technology that impact HR. These include the areas of recruiting and training employees.
Human resource management is a complex, rewarding profession. For those who want to prepare themselves to attain decision-making positions in the field, a business degree with a concentration on human resource management can provide the first step toward reaching that goal.