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Current Trends in Human Resource Management

August 21st, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments


The world of work is rapidly changing. As a part of organization, Human Resource Management (HRM) must be prepared to deal with effects of changing world of work. For the HR people it means understanding the implications of globalization, work-force diversity, changing skill requirements, corporate downsizing, continuous improvement initiatives, re-engineering, the contingent work force, decentralized work sites and employee involvement.  Let us consider each of them one by one.

1. Globalization and its implications

Business today doesn’t have national boundaries – it reaches around the world. The rise of multinational corporations places new requirements on human resource managers. The HR department needs to ensure  that the appropriate mix of employees in terms of knowledge, skills and cultural adaptability is available to handle global assignments.  In order to meet this goal, the organizations must train individuals to meet the challenges of globalization. The employees must have working knowledge of the language and culture ( in terms of values, morals, customs and laws) of the host country.

Human Resource Management (HRM) must also develop mechanisms that will help multicultural individuals work together. As background, language, custom or age differences become more prevalent, there are indications that employee conflict will increase. HRM would be required to train management to be more flexible in its practices. Because tomorrow’s workers will come in different colors, nationalities and so on, managers will be required to change their ways. This will necessitate managers being trained to recognize differences in workers and to appreciate and even celebrate these differences.

2. Work-force Diversity

In the past HRM was considerably simpler because our work force was strikingly homogeneous. Today’s work force comprises of people of different gender, age, social class sexual orientation, values, personality characteristics, ethnicity, religion, education, language, physical appearance, martial status, lifestyle, beliefs, ideologies and background characteristics such as geographic origin, tenure with the organization, and economic status and the list could go on. Diversity is critically linked to the organization’s strategic direction. Where diversity flourishes, the potential benefits from better creativity and decision making and greater innovation can be accrued to help increase organization’s competitiveness. One means of achieving that is through the organization’s benefits package. This includes HRM offerings  that fall under the heading of the family friendly organization. A family friendly organization is one that has flexible work schedules and provides such employee benefits such as child care. In addition to the diversity brought by gender and nationality, HRM must be aware of the age differences that exist in today’s work force. HRM must train people of different age groups to effectively mange and to deal with each other and to respect the diversity of views that each offers. In situations like these a participative approach seems to work better.

3. Changing skill requirements

Recruiting and developing skilled labor is important for any company concerned about competitiveness, productivity, quality and managing a diverse work force effectively. Skill  deficiencies translate into significant losses for the organization in terms of poor-quality work and lower productivity, increase in employee accidents and customer complaints. Since a growing number of jobs will require more education and higher levels of language than current ones , HRM practitioners and specialists will have to communicate this to educators and community leaders etc. Strategic human resource planning will have to carefully weigh the skill deficiencies and shortages. HRM department will have to devise suitable training and short term programmes to bridge the skill gaps & deficiencies.

4. Corporate downsizing

Whenever an organization attempts to delayer, it is attempting to create greater efficiency. The premise of downsizing is to reduce the number of workers employed by the organization. HRM department has a very important role to play in downsizing. HRM people must ensure that proper communication must take place during this time. They must minimize the negative effects of rumors and ensure that individuals are kept informed with factual data. HRM must also deal with actual layoff. HRM dept is key to the downsizing discussions that have to take place.

5. Continuous improvement programs

Continuous improvement programs focus on the long term well being of the organization.  It is a process whereby an organization focuses on quality and builds a better foundation to serve its customers. This often involves a company wide initiative to improve quality and productivity. The company changes its operations to focus on the customer and to involve workers in matters affecting them. Companies strive to improve everything that they do, from hiring quality people, to administrative paper processing, to meeting customer needs.

Unfortunately, such initiatives are not something that can be easily implemented, nor dictated down through the many levels in an organization. Rather, they are like an organization wide development process and the process must be accepted and supported by top management and driven by collaborative efforts, throughout each segment in the organization. HRM plays an important role in the implementation of continuous improvement programs.  Whenever an organization embarks on any improvement effort, it is introducing change into the organization. At this point organization development initiatives dominate. Specifically, HRM must prepare individuals for the change. This requires clear and extensive communications of why the change will occur, what is to be expected and what effect it will have on employees.

6. Re-engineering work processes for improved productivity

Although continuous improvement initiatives are positive starts in many of our organizations, they typically focus on ongoing incremental change. Such action is intuitively appealing – the constant and permanent search to make things better. Yet many companies function in an environment that is dynamic- facing rapid and constant change. As a result continuous improvement programs may not be in the best interest of the organization. The problem with them is that they may provide a false sense of security. Ongoing incremental change avoids facing up to the possibility that what the organization may really need is radical or quantum change. Such drastic change results in the re-engineering of the organization.

Re-engineering occurs when more than 70% of the work processes in an organization are evaluated and altered. It requires organizational members to rethink what work should be done, how it is to be done and how to best implement these decisions. Re-engineering changes how organizations do their business and directly affects the employees. Re-engineering may leave certain employees frustrated and angry and unsure of what to expect. Accordingly HRM must have mechanisms in place for employees to get appropriate direction of what to do and what to expect as well as assistance in dealing with the conflict that may permeate the organization. For re-engineering to generate its benefits HRM needs to offer skill training to its employees. Whether it’s a new process, a technology enhancement, working in teams, having more decision making authority, or the like , employees would need new skills as a result of the re-engineering process.

8. Contingent workforce

A very substantial part of the modern day workforce are the contingent workers. Contingent workers are individuals who are typically hired for shorter periods of time. They perform specific tasks that often require special job skills and are employed when an organization is experiencing significant deviations in its workflow. When an organization makes its strategic decision to employ a sizable portion of its workforce from the contingency ranks, several HRM issues come to the forefront. These include being able to have these virtual employees available when needed, providing scheduling options that meet their needs and making decisions about whether or not benefits will be offered to the contingent work force.

No organization can make the transition to a contingent workforce without sufficient planning. As such, when these strategic decisions are being made, HRM must be an active partner in these discussions. After all its HRM department’s responsibility to locate and bring into the organization these temporary workers. As temporary workers are brought in, HRM will also have the responsibility of quickly adapting them to the organization. HRM will also have to give some thought to how it will attract quality temporaries.

9. Decentralized work sites

Work sites are getting more and more decentralized. Telecommuting capabilities that exist today have made it possible for the employees to be located anywhere on the globe. With this potential, the employers no longer have to consider locating a business near its work force. Telecommuting also offers an opportunity for a business tin a high cost area  to have its work done in an area where lower wages prevail.

Decentralized work sites also offer opportunities that may meet the needs of the diversified workforce. Those who have family responsibilities like child care, or those who have disabilities may prefer to work in their homes rather than travel to the organization’s facility. For HRM, decentralized work sites present a challenge. Much of that challenge revolves around training managers in how to establish and ensure appropriate work quality and on-time completion. Work at home may also require HRM to rethink its compensation policy. Will it pay by the hour, on a salary basis, or by the job performed. Also, because employees in decentralized work sites are full time employees of the organization as opposed to contingent workers, it will be organization’s responsibility to ensure health and safety of the decentralized work force.

10. Employee involvement

For today’s organization’s to be successful, there are a number of employee involvement concepts that appear to be accepted. These are delegation, participative management, work teams, goal setting, employee training and empowering of employees.  HRM has a significant role to play in employee involvement. What is needed is demonstrated leadership as well as supportive management. Employees need to be trained and that’s where human resource management has a significant role to play. Employees expected to delegate, to have decisions participatively handled, to work in teams, or to set goals cannot do so unless they know and understand what it is that they are to do. Empowering employees requires extensive training in all aspects of the job. Workers may need to understand how new job design processes. They may need training in interpersonal skills to make participative  and work teams function properly.

  1. Luisa Goldsmiths
    August 21st, 2013 at 17:27 | #1

    Thanks for this great article 🙂 !!

  2. Anonymous
    November 21st, 2013 at 16:47 | #2

    thanks a lot dude 4 solving my problem

  3. Anonymous
    December 10th, 2013 at 12:26 | #3

    thanks for updating hrm information

  4. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2013 at 22:37 | #4

    Thank you for this excellent article, indeed topics are beneficial to all types corporations!

  5. December 21st, 2013 at 09:37 | #5

    Reblogged this on Human Resources Management.

  6. Bhanupriya Pandey
    January 9th, 2014 at 09:30 | #6

    Nice article…

  7. Anonymous
    May 2nd, 2014 at 15:10 | #7


  8. Anonymous
    June 19th, 2014 at 18:05 | #8

    This really helped.. thanks!

  9. June 30th, 2014 at 15:18 | #9

    great Article. Shows that our job has changed so much. We must strive ensure that we remain relevant

  10. Anonymous
    October 1st, 2014 at 15:32 | #10

    thanks, imformayive

  11. Iftikhar S Bhatti
    December 6th, 2014 at 01:54 | #11

    very informative article, thanks

  12. maynard_totten
    December 21st, 2014 at 16:04 | #12

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  13. Afshin
    May 1st, 2015 at 16:42 | #13

    Thank you very much for your useful article. I am going to prepare a presentation about the trends of Human Resource “Planning” (NOT HRM) from 2010 to now. I know most of 10 factors which you said can cover HRP area, but would you please specify newer factors which have strong relations with HRP?
    Thank you

  14. Jide
    June 24th, 2015 at 15:12 | #14

    Very educative

  15. Nhi Nguyễn
    September 27th, 2015 at 15:25 | #15

    It’s really great to describe in some sentences but you can emphasize more than that. Actually, I’m on way learning and trying to understand more about global HRM. Thus, this article definitely fixes with my expectation. And now, I ought to dig deep into this amazing article.
    Thank you very much for your meaningful support! Wish you all the best!

  16. Lillian Grace Apio
    October 1st, 2015 at 23:33 | #16

    Quite comprehensive and educative thanks alot

  17. Lillian Grace Apio
    October 1st, 2015 at 23:34 | #17

    Quite comprehensive and educative thanks a lot.

  18. George
    October 6th, 2015 at 04:53 | #18

    Good article, do you have any references?

  19. sunday adedeji
    November 17th, 2015 at 22:37 | #19

    nice article

  20. Alamu Adejumoke
    December 21st, 2015 at 05:10 | #20

    This article has really been helpful. Thanks

  21. sma
    February 11th, 2016 at 13:53 | #21

    thanks for your article it is very useful.

  22. sma
    February 11th, 2016 at 13:57 | #22

    thanks for a useful article

  23. Raymond
    March 10th, 2016 at 00:48 | #23

    i have learn alot from this article.Thanks

  24. Raymond
    March 10th, 2016 at 00:52 | #24


  25. Nick
    April 5th, 2016 at 14:01 | #25

    Nice. Please create citation

  26. Mohammad Qadeer Baloch
    April 7th, 2016 at 01:14 | #26

    very useful specially for HRM field I have learn alot from this article bundle of thanks.

  27. Baruch
    August 12th, 2016 at 19:52 | #27

    useful article even up to this day… thanx a lot

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