Human Resource Management

4 April 2017

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the term used to describe formal systems devised for the management of people within an organization. These human resources responsibilities are generally divided into three major areas of management: staffing, employee compensation, and defining/designing work. Essentially, the purpose of HRM is to maximize the productivity of an organization by optimizing the effectiveness of its employees. This mandate is unlikely to change in any fundamental way, despite the ever-increasing pace of change in the business world.

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As Edward L. Gubman observed in the Journal of Business Strategy, “the basic mission of human resources will always be to acquire, develop, and retain talent; align the workforce with the business; and be an excellent contributor to the business. Those three challenges will never change. ” Until fairly recently, an organization’s human resources department was often consigned to lower rungs of the corporate hierarchy, despite the fact that its mandate is to replenish and nourish the company’s work force, which is often cited—legitimately—as an organization’s greatest resource.

But in recent years recognition of the importance of human resources management to a company’s overall health has grown dramatically. This recognition of the importance of HRM extends to small businesses, for while they do not generally have the same volume of human resources requirements as do larger organizations, they too face personnel management issues that can have a decisive impact on business health. As Irving Burstiner commented in The Small Business Handbook, “Hiring the right people—and training them well—can often mean the difference between scratching out the barest of livelihoods and steady business growth….

With technology changing every day, and the talent crunch forcing employers to get the most out of each and every staff member, the focus on HR is set to continue. Even without a time machine, it’s clear HR’s role will move ever-closer to the very heart of business. Plugging the talent gaps This is not to say there are no challenges facing HR in the present day, far from it. At the top of the critical list on Singapore’s business landscape is the impending talent shortage that is set to hit organisations of all shapes and sizes. Elizabeth Martin-Chua, local HR expert and author, says businesses are again having to chase talent.

Previously, the situation was the much more ideal reverse – with job candidates pulling out all stops to find work in their favoured organisations. Now, with the baby boom generation set to move into retirement with only smaller-sized age groups available to replace them, the talent crunch is set to move into a more permanent fixture. That means renewed importance will be placed on those HR

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