Evolution of HR in the Past Few Years
Human Resources Departments have evolved over the past ten years and since then there had been a lot of changes in it. Many new methods evolved in order to deal with the official matters and inter-office relations. Counselling and many psychological methods have been very useful so far in tackling with several business and employee situations. Counselling has become a very viable method that is used to calm and correct the behaviour of those who are not performing up to expectations or are exhibiting bad behaviour. And, psychological methods have proven to be extremely useful in a number of occasions and companies have found them to be useful in business situations.
If we take a look over the history of the Human Resource Management (HRM), it has not been that sparkling. But, later on Human Resource Management managed to gain a respecteable position as a profile in the corporate sector. In a study by Kahnweiler (2006), the five key challenges faced by successful HR professionals were: lack of power; walking a tightrope; dealing with skeptical customers who view HR negatively; vulnerability; and being overwhelmed. But, over the last hundred years, the HR profession evolved dramatically, usually in response to external conditions. And, in the past ten years, the profession of HR has emerged as one of the most demanding one all around the globe.
The term ‘HR’ was coined in the United States during the 1960s, when labour relations became a greater concern for US businesses, and has since spread around the world. The people who make up a company’s workforce - its human resources - are considered to be an asset to the company, just like its financial resources and material resources, such as buildings, machinery and other equipment.
A company is more likely to be successful if it manages its entire resources well, including its people. This is why many companies have human resources departments, even though those departments do not directly contribute to the company’s production, services, sales or profits. Rather, effective HR departments allow and encourage the companies’ employees to do their best, which in turn contributes to the success of those companies. Here, the mechanism of science works which directs towards managing and utilising each leaflet amount of resource available in such a way so that the benefits can be extracted for enhancing the growth of the company. The tasks of an HR include policy creation and management, providing guidance to supervisors and ensuring that all workplace laws are followed. In a large company, the human resources manager is a central resource for all employee-related issues. This includes discipline, hiring, termination and promotion decisions.
Nowadays, HR is evolving into a more technology-based profession because the organisations need to:
• Streamline HR processes and reduce administrative burdens
• Reduce HR administration and compliance costs
• Compete more effectively for global talent
• Improve service and access to data for employees and managers
• Provide real-time metrics to allow decision-makers to spot trends and manage the workforce effectively
• Enable HR to transform so it can play a more strategic role in the business
The introduction of a new HR-technique named e-HR has now transformed the face of HR in a new way. e-HR is the portrayal of HR as a portal instead of a person. This has given a new platform to the various organisations in order to regulate the company under the prescribed discipline just like a third umpire does in the Cricket match. Now HR professionals must not only master traditional HR skills and knowledge, but also have the ability to apply that knowledge via technology.
HR as a Quantitative Science
The interference of science has changed the definition and idea of Human Resource Management. Also, it has changed the status of HR. Now, HR is being valued in the society as “science”. HRM is being notified as “human resource science”. Science is a means of generating knowledge and through scientific means that the investigator relies on empirical evidence and strives for objectivity. And, definitely the HR department works on the basis of a lot of investigation and research.
In today’s knowledge-based economy, brains have replaced brawn as the primary source of corporate wealth creation. Consequently the success or failure of any organisation is dependent on the quality of its employees, defined by their knowledge, abilities, skills, and organisational fit.
HRM is equal and important, and often difficult-to-duplicate source of competitive advantage. The people of the topmost level are difficult to be identified, particularly in a tight labour market. The employees must be convinced enough to give their best and more than that, to know the importance of the opportunity they have got. In the era where there is no job security and a lot of career changes, takeovers and mergers prevail; convincing the employees to stick to the job and use their appropriate potential is really a tough task. Definitely, HR department goes through a lot of brainstorming and logical reasoning.
The domain of Human Resource has been widening over years and in today’s world, HR works on the principles of “quantitative science” rather than being limited to the “qualitative science” which involves an in-depth understanding of human behaviour and the reasons that govern human behaviour. The world-class statistical social and economic services are termed to be a quantitative social measure and are studied under quantitative science. HR, on behalf of the organisation, represents the same quantitative science and hence opens a gateway for the all the employees in various aspects so that they may choose their way to perform their best, file their issues and seek their demands.
HR to Become a True Decision Science
In their book Beyond HR, authors John Boudreau and Peter Ramstad have emphasised that human resources is at a critical inflection point, poised between the administrative focus of support services and its potential role as a true decision science.
The term science is used because the most successful professions rely on decision systems that are based on scientific principles and have a strong capacity to incorporate new scientific knowledge swiftly into practical applications.
To become a true decision science, HR must do more than just incorporate facts and numbers. In particular, a decision science for talent to be drawn from the vast array of research about human behaviour at work and how organisations can better compete with talent. For improving effectiveness, HR functions, such as succession planning, performance management, staffing, and leadership development, must be carefully aligned with logical frameworks and human capital measurement systems to help the organisation leaders to make decisions.
A scientific approach shows how decisions and decision-based methods can bring insights of HR fields to bear on the practical issues confronting organisation leaders and employees. In particular, a decision science for talent draws upon and notifies scientific study related to people in organisations. There is lot of research work done on human behaviour at work, labour markets, and how organisations can well compete with and for talent and how it can be organised. However, in a well-developed decision science, the methods and data that are deployed through management systems are used by leaders who understand the principles, and they are supported by professionals who add insight and expertise.
The future of HR function is to become more focussed on the use of sophisticated measurement techniques and statistical methods to access talent as well as link organisational goals. When HR processes are carefully aligned with powerful, logical frameworks and human capital measurement systems, these not only track the usefulness of talent policies and practices, but also actually teach the logical connections, as organisation leaders use the measurement systems to make decisions. Similarly, human resource management systems can enhance how well users understand the logic that attaches organisation success to decisions about their own talent, and the talent of those whom they lead or work with.
HR Technology: for Simplifying, Automation and Interactivity
Human resources has a unique function in the world of business. On one hand, it is the most important aspect of running any size business, but on the other it is said to be an under appreciated area that relies on outdated methods. Automating human resource function is the solution that most of the business owners are looking for, to make this function more efficient. Automating the human resources function not only simplify many tedious processes, but also creates a tool that can be used to monitor and adjust business, strategically.
In present scenario, the challenge faced by business leaders is how to utilise technology in human resources, thus simplifying & automation of the process, and to enhance interactivity among employees and leaders. HR technology has achieved significance nowadays due to its use in most of the organisations to enhance productivity by maximising the value of the organisation’s most significant asset – its people. HR departments across the world are looking towards technology in order to improve service and maximise their effectiveness. However, there is a need to balance the advanced technology with the personal, people side of HR.
In fact, HR technology is all about simplifying and solving problems, and has been formed with ease of use in mind. For instance, tools like Human Resources Information System (HRIS), applicant tracking systems (ATS), benefits portals, talent management systems, learning management systems and time tracking systems, among others, make the job of HR a little easier, by saving time and simplifying the work that needs to be accomplished.
Particularly, the talent management systems are based on technology that makes the process of engaging employees, retaining the best employees, aligning goals, annual performance reviews, salary reviews, internal communication and company succession planning, much easier. Whether one wants to use technology to enhance employee engagement, to simplify an array of administrative processes or to improve internal websites and employee communications, technology is there. In HR, one can truly use technology to get ahead, stay ahead and enjoy the advantage of accomplishing more, in less time.
Hr Functions to Provide with
‘Data-Driven’ Insights on the People Component of Business
It is difficult for business leaders to make effective decisions when they base their strategies on information that is incomplete, outdated or difficult to understand. As a result they can miss the boat on opportunities or not able to recognise that their organisations are at risk. They require access to reliable insight and solutions that facilitate them to attract, manage and retain talent in an increasingly competitive scenario.
The idea of data-driven HR function requires creating measurement systems that encourage and teach HR managers how to think more decisively and logically about their decisions, and to make decisions that are informed and consistent with leading outcome. The laser focus provided by data is importantly increasing with scarce resources in HR departments as it needs to extend its abilities in a data-centric environment by transforming data into intelligent insight and disseminating the information across the organisation.
The analytics allow HR to be involved in managing talent, and collecting clearer information on talent supply chain, and where the demand for particular skills lies. Rather than working on instinct alone, the HR processes provide a detailed roadmap of how to reshape the organisation’s people resources to deliver on the corporate strategy.
In fact, academics and consultants in the human resources field have been trying to reorient HR departments toward measurements that are more meaningful to the business. Therefore, it is clear that HR executives must do more than use data to report on past performance, generate compliance reports and process administrative tasks. They require to use data to ask (and answer) some hard questions that are at the heart of how employees contribute to business performance.
Fortunately, the help is at hand, is in the form of a new generation of human capital analytics. Technology makes it possible for the HR managers/leaders in organisations to deploy systems to add insight and expertise to human resources and human behaviour at work. A variety of technological approaches can help HR executives to link investments in human resources to a company’s returns on capital. More importantly, they can also help HR leaders to actively shape their organisation’s future and directing programmes toward the long-term needs of the business.
HR Technology is Helpful for Small & Medium Enterprises too
One of the biggest sources of disappointment for small and medium sized business has been the lack of ability to easily and economically use technology to better manage their business functions. HR software solutions that depend on expensive mainframes and high-level programming skills are quite unaffordable for small and medium business.
HR functions have struggled for over a decade to shift their focus from administrative to more strategic contributions. However, the sudden boom in Internet technology has dramatically accelerated the transformation to a more strategically orientated HR processes. Therefore, there is no need to be concerned that HR technology is only for big companies. Small and medium scale companies can also benefit from HR technology in large as well as small ways, by reducing the administrative burden of many tasks, saving time and costs in a variety of divisions, and streamlining business’ operations. HR technology is now more affordable than ever; since implementation and consulting time have been reduced, and there is no need to blow the annual budget on one piece of technology or software.
Further, small businesses can select the components of HR technology they are most interested in and don’t need to add a lot of fancy reports or gadgets. For example, smaller businesses that add talent management software to their companies prefer to focus it on employee performance reviews first before adding in other features. HR technology can be customised as per the company’s needs and interests. For small businesses, flexibility, choice and customer service are crucial to the launch of any new HR technology.
Choose Best Practices in HR Technology to Ensure Valuable
Return on Investment
Selecting an appropriate HR technology or software for your organisation is an important decision. The right tools and capabilities, specifically selected to align with business objectives, will improve the efficiency of human resources managers and administrators, increase employee satisfaction and appropriately manage the costs associated with workforce management.
But the question is that how you will ensure to select the best HR system/software to manage core HR functionality effectively and cost efficiently. Here are some points that can help to selecting HR software or tool:
• Before deciding on an HR system, there is a need to know what type of capabilities HR software/system applications provide. Generally, the most common HR software features and options include Employee Database, Payroll, Attendance, Time Collection, Training Management, Recruiting, Employee Self-Service systems (ESS), Manager Self-Service, email Alerts, Performance Review Management and Compensation, succession Planning and other customised features
• The needs and requirements are to be clearly defined before opting for a particular HR system. For example, a typical company determine its needs for an HR system/software to include Hiring Process Management, New Hire On boarding, Performance Appraisals, Training/Learning Management, Job and Pay History, Termination Processing and Ease of use
• Before deciding on a HRIS, HRMS or HR software, there is a need to determine how much you are able to spend on a system. The cost may be based on the number of applications and features for which the system is required
Since, it is complicated to predict hard cost savings with the implementation of an HR application; instead, it is required to focus on the value added options of the application. This approach requires HR department to think about the business objectives, issues and problems and show how an HR application will help the overall organisation provide solutions. The chances of success for selecting an effective will be much greater if you are clear that it meet the critical business objectives.
In the past, HR managers did everything manually, had no support from computerised applications to calculate and store date and their job was a relatively tedious one. Nowadays, new technologies designed particularly for the HR sector is facilitating the companies to go beyond the common software tools and helping to push HR forward into a more proficient future. There are many inventive and useful tools available that are capable to increase HR effectiveness and it is definitely worth keeping an eye on the technology that can offer the best solution.
When it comes to integrating with latest software, hesitation is natural and any HR tool a company choose to start using must complement its needs. However, technology is there to offer a solution to an issue, not complicate it. HR managers may be apprehensive at first but with the support of carefully chosen technology they will find way through unknown waters. The innovative piece of software that seems complicated in the first place might become the future of human resources and lift a company’s processes to a whole new level of efficiency. Therefore, the new technology in HR can benefit an organisation by reducing costs, increasing access to a greater market, reducing stress, reducing wasted time and increasing profit margins.