Human Resource is one of the major departments in the corporate world as it contributes to effective running of an organization. Human resource as a department dates back in the previous years when it was known as Personnel Relation. According to history, HR initially had several nicknames which include industrial relations and employee relations (Buzzle.com, 2005, Par. 1). During the old days, Human Resources department was not comprehensive as it is today. The Human Resources employees mainly worked behind the scene as they did not have much work to do. Part of their work was to ensure that new employees were well oriented in the organization. Human Resource employees also helped new employees to adjust to their work environment. Apart from this, they also organized housing for the workers and assisted them to get good health care. Early Human Resource employees were very good at keeping secrets of other employees. It was their duty to make sure that information regarding workers was kept in a discrete manner. Thus, personal information like employee’s health and family was supposed to be concealed without leaking out anything. Today the HR has however taken new dimensions due to many changes that have sprouted. The objective of this paper therefore is to address the changing role of HR management in response to trends in globalization, technology, diversity, e-business, and ethics (Buzzle.com, 2005, Par. 1).
Roles and Responsibilities
Due to several changes in the world today, the Human Resource department is drastically adapting to the new trends. Nowadays the HR management is taking more active roles in order to survive the competitive challenges of corporations. As a result of increased changes, there is urgent need for HR personnel to acquire more knowledge and experience. New technologies have really affected the HR leading to more expansions which did not exist in the past. Computer for instance is rapidly developing due to advanced technologies hence requiring the HR to comply with the changes. In the earlier days, information regarding employees was kept in files although today computers have become an alternative (Bratton & Gold, 2004, p 93). Apparently this is an advantage to the HR since they can be able to trace employees’ information much easier than in the previous years. Thus, it is much faster to access information through the computers than if they were to search for someone’s file. It is therefore a necessity for HR employees to be always acquainted with any technological change. Globalization is greatly affecting countries across the world resulting to hard economic times. This has lead to the need for people to seek job opportunities regardless of their ethnic and geographical backgrounds. As such there is diversity in the HR departments that has enabled employees to appreciate one another (Bratton & Gold, 2004, p 113).
Staffing the organization is one of the roles of the HR executive are responsible for recruiting people for diverse backgrounds (Price, 2007, 49). Because of diversity, people can be employed in an organization regardless of their ethnicity. For this reason, the HR can employ people even from different countries so long as they have the skills and potential to work. Because of globalization and new technologies the HR personnel is obligated with the role of conducting training sessions for the employees. Human Resource employees are responsible for training other employees especially for new staff and also when there is a new technology that affect the organization. Other than staffing, the HR can equally fire employees due to several reasons which may include incompetence of a staff or closing of an organization. Organizations usually have ethics that are meant to guide both employees and employers (Werner & Desimone, 2009, p 123). Failing to adhere to organization ethics can be another reason why employees are normally fired by the HR. Instead of firing an employee, the HR can also discipline employees who do not comply with the ethics of a company. This means that the HR is responsible for disciplinary actions like suspending a staff for a few days, overworking a staff or delaying payment for certain duration. Organization ethics is very essential to Human Resource as they guide the personnel to be more responsible in performing their duties. Industrial relation is another role for Human Resource whereby the personnel ensure that corporate corporation is developed. The HR employees are therefore responsible for coming up with policies and procedures that are related with legislation (Ulrich, 2001 p. 58). It is very important for the HR to communicate with employees regarding legal policies that may affect an organization. Human Resource is responsible for taking care of financial management which is one of its major roles in an organization (Werner & Desimone, 2009, p 92). As a result of this, the Human Resource is responsible for managing budget that is normally used within the organization. For effective functioning, the HR ensures that it seeks enough funding for both the department and the organization. The HR has to negotiate for funding that will be used in carrying out other duties in the company (Ulrich, 2001 p. 107).
Human Resource is rapidly going through many transformations due to issues like globalization, technology, diversity and ethics. Previously, the HR personnel worked behind the scene because there was no much work to do. Today however, this has really changed because the HR must adapt to new changes in order to survive in the corporate world.
Bratton J & Gold J. (2004). Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. North America: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Buzzle.com. (2005). History of Human Resource Management. Web.
Ulrich, D (2001). Human Resource Champions: The next agenda for adding value delivering Results. US: Harvard College.
Price, A. (2007). Human Resource Management in a Business Context. UK: Thomson Learning.
Werner, J & Desimone R. (2009). Human Resource Development. US: South-Western Cengage Learning.