HR Roles and Responsibilities
Role expectations for various positions in firms are changing due to the evolving domestic and global business environments. Managers must now be able to have interpersonal skills in dealing with employees instead of the old ways of simply telling people what to do, and financial auditors now work closely with CEOs and the Board of Directors to assure quality and accuracy in a firm’s financial reports so to keep out of the deep end of the legal pool and to be viewed as ethical to stakeholders. Alongside these positions, human resource managers are now facing new roles and responsibilities as well with advancements in areas such as technology, diversity, globalization, e-business, and business ethics. A whole different game is being played in the world today and the ability to adapt to these changes is imperative for human resource personnel.
Many companies today are finding that expanding across the world opens up doors to a virtually limitless marketplace. Solely conducting business locally or even domestically is becoming a practice of the past. Firms can now export their products all over the globe being noticed by new segments of people and seeing profits never before fathomed. Human resources must be managed a bit differently because of this; an array of time zones to deal with makes almost all firms that work globally a 24-hour operation, so human resources need staffing in various places and at various times. “The globalization of the world economy and the development of e-commerce have made the notion of a 40-hour work week obsolete. As a result, companies need to be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week” (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007, p. 57).
When operating on a global scale human resource staffing practices work in contrast to a domestic level as well. When expanding and growing to a caliber such as that a few human resource managers may be required to travel to another country in order to screen a high number of applicants to fill HR roles in that environment.
Technology is a factor in all areas of business that is rapidly changing. As soon as a piece of new technology is introduced to the public a new and improved product of the same sort is right behind just waiting to be seen as well. Globalization and IT have affected each other to the point where almost anything can be done from different parts of the world (Mani, 2006). Keeping track of employee records is much less of a clutter in these times thanks to spreadsheets and databases. “Advances in computer-related technology have had a major impact on the use of information for managing human resources” (Noe et al., 2007, p. 49).
Diversity is yet another aspect of business that human resources must recognize. People come from all backgrounds and are different in race, religion, sexual orientation, culture, and other traits that make everyone unique. Assembling a diverse workforce allows people to not only become more familiar with other types of people but allows for a wide array of ideas that may not have been thought of if the workplace was made up of only one or two kinds of individuals. “Diversity in the workplace adds a special richness, but also special challenges. As a human resources professional, manager, supervisor, coworker, staff member or business owner, effective diverse work relationships are critical” (Heathfield, 2010, para. 1).
E-business is growing larger by the day with many entrepreneurs entering the market knowing their overhead will be lower than owning or renting storefronts and offices. This concept ties in with technology in that human resource management can often be done from even a handheld computer to keep track of employee records. While this is just on piece of the pie HRM now needs to be familiar with what makes an e-business clock tick. Furthermore HRM must be able to identify qualified applicants that can perform the duties of the e-business side of things. “Executing a talent search with these qualities, therefore, is much easier when HR specialists are conversant with e-business trends and take a collaborative approach to defining current and future skill requirements” (Schnapprafael, 2007, para. 7).
Ethics is an area of all business that should be instilled into everyone’s minds so when making decisions the best possible outcome can be achieved. With work environments becoming more diverse with time HRM must be aware of various backgrounds from which people come from. “Business and HR leaders can model behaviors and create corporate practices that reduce unethical business practices even while making their firms more competitive in the marketplace” (Vickers, 2005, para. 6).
HRM must respond to the ever-changing trends in the business world and the ability to adapt to these changes will allow those respective firms to prosper and move right along with those trends – the rest will fall behind unless proper training is implemented or new faces are hired to take over. Most things change with time, so as in nature when animals change to be able to survive in certain climates and conditions the animal that is HRM must be able to do the same for business conditions.
Heathfield, S.M. (2010). Diversity in the workplace: search for similarities. Retrieved from http://humanresources.about.com/od/diversity/a/diversity.htm
Mani, R.S.S. (2006). Human resources – impact of globalization on hr. Retrieved from http://en.allexperts.com/q/Human-Resources-2866/IMPACT-GLOBALISATION-HR.htm
Noe R.A., Hollenbeck J.R., Gerhart B., & Wright P.M. (2007). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management (2nd ed). McGraw-Hill/Irwin: New York, NY
Schnapprafael, M. (2007). Sourcing the best e-business talent: a recruiter’s perspective. Retrieved from http://www.hr.com/SITEFORUM?&t=/Default/gateway&i=1116423256281&application=story&active=no&ParentID=1116442772712&StoryID=1171341932904&xref=http%3A//www.google.com/search%3Fq%3De-business+human+resources%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft%3Aen-us%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26startIndex%3D%26startPage%3D1
Vickers, M.R. (2005). Business ethics and the hr role: past, present, and future. Retrieved from http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/employee-development-employee-ethics/394111-1.html