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Management Midterm Paper: Human Resource Management

Over the recent years, the management in organizations has rapidly shifted from managing their personnel to human resource (HR) management. The latter implies working with an organization’s staff with the goal to achieve strategic objectives of the employer by maximizing employees’ skills and talent to increase their performance. Many studies have shown a link between human resource practices and organization’s turnover, financial returns, firm values, and its productivity. The effective management of an organization’s workforce is critical for the growth and sustainability of this company since the human capital is vital for the survival of any business organization. Therefore, HR’s basic functions should focus on effective employee recruitment and selection by ensuring good working conditions, managing employee relations, developing and enhancing the skills of employees to maintain a competitive advantage in the business and sustain the workforce loyalty.


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Managing Employees for Competitive Advantage

Organizations need to implement strategies that enable them to gain a competitive edge over their rivals in business. According to Aswathappa (2013), an organization’s strategic plan can only be implemented effectively by its employees through the skills they offer. Therefore, the management should mainly focus on motivating, empowering, and enhancing the skills of its employees to increase their performance in the organization for the business to gain a competitive advantage. In addition, an organization needs to focus on innovation if it wants to offer products and services that bring it a competitive advantage over its rivals. To promote innovation, an organization’s workforce needs to be managed effectively and trained to improve its skills and to increase its performance in the company. With the purpose of achieving this, high performance systems implemented in an organization are essential in the maximization of its competitive advantage (Jyoti & Dev, 2017). To improve the performance of its employees, an organization should organize extensive training and development programs for the staff to know about the new products and processes in the company.

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Training is essential in sharpening the skills of the workforce, and it provides an opportunity for nurturing talents that can be useful to the organization. At the same time, training also provides a platform where creativity can be develop and improved, thus encouraging innovation that eventually enables an organization to have a competitive edge over its competitors. An organization’s management is also supposed to empower its employees by giving them responsibilities that match their skills and identifying their potential by offering them challenges that enable them to grow professionally. Employees should also be motivated and rewarded fairly to increase their performance in the organization and improve the competitive advantage of their company. High-performance work systems established by an organization’s management can also lead to the emergence of positive employee attitudes such as job satisfaction, commitment, and loyalty to the organization.

Human Resource Challenges

Change management in human resources is critical for the success of any organization. Organizations need to adopt the mechanisms that enable them to cope with changes that influence the organizational structures (Aswathappa, 2013). An organization has internal and external environments. Factors that influence the latter type of environment of the human resource function include technological changes, international and national changes in the economy, legislation, competitors, national culture, and shifts in the industry of the organization. Consequently, the factors of influence for the internal environment of human resource management include the purpose of the organization, its headquarters objectives, organizational size and structure, the traditions of the organization, the priorities of its management, the impact of the human resource management strategy, training, and the issues of power, politics, and culture of its employees. These factors also include regulatory issues and organizational demands.

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Managing Organizational Demands and Environmental Influences

Changes in a national or international economy will rapidly affect all organizations. However, any shifts in the international economy will affect other nations since many economies in the world have been integrated. Moreover, any recession for the international economy will replicate this condition to other economies. At the same time, any changes in the national economy will have an effect on all organizations in the nation. This will lead to increased unemployment rates, the reduction in wages and salaries, thus lowering the morale of employees in an organization and leading to a decrease in their productivity. Consequently, one can expect a reduction in revenues for organizations, which will eventually lower their competitiveness (Genç, 2014). However, when international or national economies experience a boom or growth season, many organizations will have increased revenues, which will allow them to increase wages and salaries of their workers, thus motivating them to increase their performance in their work. Moreover, workers unions will also have a greater bargaining power for their members, which will result in job satisfaction and eventually increase the performance of these organizations in the economy. Finally, unemployment rates will drop significantly.

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Changes in technology enable the creation of an effective infrastructure for the development of organizational structure. This rapidly increases the income of business organizations and leads to the improvement in the remuneration of employees (Genç, 2014). In addition, the positive impacts of changes in technology will result in effective and efficient functions such as recruitment and selection, training, performance appraisal, and the determination of fair remuneration of employees in human resource management. However, technological changes can also affect HRM policies negatively. For instance, technology lowers the need for labor, which increases the rate of unemployment. Furthermore, technological developments make the skills of some of the employees obsolete since the demand for technologically savvy workers increases and organizations’ expenses can increase since the cost of training workers to attain the required skills will be high.

The behavior and attitudes of managers in organizations are usually influenced by the traditions and cultural values of society. Organizations should always consider them when determining the policies and strategies in human resource management. This results in employees being more responsible and observing the work ethics as well as meeting the expectations of society. Organizational mission provides an operational framework for any organization. At the same time, mission determines the HRM policies of the particular organization since they should be consistent with it. The purpose of an organization together with its HRM policies can act as an ideal source of motivation and inspiration to its employees. Furthermore, the human resource management policies in an organization should support the implementation of organizational strategies. According to Genç (2014), HRM functions, such as recruitment, development, performance appraisal, and remuneration, should be consistent and the must support the objectives of an organization. Therefore, the designed human resource strategies should match the organization’s business strategy to increase the overall performance of a company. The traditions of an organization will determine its best practices through the past events, which can be used to determine values and practices that are expected from all its employees. Nevertheless, traditions can also be used as a basis for resistance by employees in the implementation of new strategies that are important to an organization. Therefore, traditions are vital in shaping the behavior of the employees in the company.

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The size and structure of an organization are measured through its productivity, revenues, clientele, and the number of employees. The HRM functions will be more complex in large organizations as compared to small or medium-sized ones. The size of an organization is important in determining the management style to be used. In addition, organizational structure can be either vertical or horizontal. For instance, large organizations will require democracy and decentralization in their organizational structure, whereas small and medium-sized ones need a centralized organizational structure for an effective management. The headquarters is expected to determine the objectives and strategies of the organization since it is responsible for the formation and implementation of unified policies and strategies across its branches. Therefore, the HRM policies of an organization will depend entirely on the policies, set by the headquarters.

The issues of power and politics are commonly experienced in any organization. Moreover, these issues usually shape the HRM functions in an organization. For instance, managers will support the implementation of policies that enable them to gain power; hence, they tend to recruit or promote those individuals who support them. In addition, the management can also be biased in giving training and developments opportunities to its employees by favoring certain employees who are loyal to them. Furthermore, politics are usually observed in an organization, especially from unions that are formed by employees. Political issues can be demonstrated through demanding the implementation of labor policies established by the law such as gender equality, minimum wage, and other salaries requirements.

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Managing Regulatory Issues

HRM policies should be implemented in accordance with the regulations and the laws that have been enacted in the state. Federal, state, and international laws and policies are important in human resource management since they influence the policies of an organization. Thus, labor laws and regulations regarding the standards for working hours, the minimum wage and salaries, working conditions, retirement benefits, health benefits available to the employees of an organization, and safety requirements will determine the organization’s human resource policies. In addition, international organizations must comply with legal regulations that have been established in the countries of their operations. For instance, organizations in the mining and construction sector must comply with the safety and security regulations established for the employees to avoid legal issues with them. Therefore, adherence to legal regulations will help create healthy working conditions between companies and their employees.

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Work Design and Workforce Planning

Managing Job Design and Job Analysis

Job design is a human resource management function that entails analyzing the content and methods of a job to fulfill its organizational and technological specifications as well as the requirements of the job holder. The main purpose of job design is to increase the job satisfaction of employees while, at the same time, increasing their performance level by improving the quality of output received from the employees. According to Porter, Riesenmy, and Fields (2016), well-designed jobs increase the motivation of employees of an organization, which results in an increased performance and organizational commitment. In addition, when employees are satisfied, they are likely to invest more time and effort in their work. Job analysis implies the analysis of job and its human requirements and the determination of the placement of the job. This is a basis of human resource management that presupposes identifying the skills required for a particular job. Job analysis matches job responsibilities with the required knowledge and skills in an organization

Workforce Planning

Workforce planning is a HRM process that involves determining the sufficient number of skilled personnel that an organization requires at a specific time. Such a planning creates a basis for the allocation of resources in an organization and involves recruiting a sufficient number of employees into the right position that matches their skills at the right time. Workforce planning uses the information gained from job analysis and job design to ensure an effective recruitment and selection in an organization. This is a vital forecasting tool that enables an organization to avoid surplus or shortages in labor supply. The advantages of an effective workforce planning include the rapid replacement of employees, obtaining the right skills required for a job, employee development, the reduction in production delays, the reduction in the cost of labor, and low turnover rates.

Managing Employee Competencies

The literature on human resource management has identified recruitment and selection as one of the important aspects in HRM. According to Searle (2009), this process involves the attraction, identification, and retention of the most qualified individuals to fill specific positions in an organization. The recruitment process implies attracting candidates with the required qualifications to make an application to fill the advertised position in an organization. However, selection is the process of choosing the best candidate for a position from a pool of qualified applicants.

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Recruitment is the process of attracting individuals with the required skills for a particular position in an organization. The main reasons for this process are filling a vacant position when an employee leaves and finding workers for new positions created when an organization chooses to expand. This process involves a thorough review of an organization`s job requirement through conducting a job analysis. Further, recruitment entails placing advertisements for the vacant positions and inviting qualified applications to fill the vacant position. The common recruitment methods include headhunting, the use of recruitment agencies, and advertisements in the press and websites.


Selection is the process of choosing the best candidate for a vacant position from a pool of other qualified applicants. The most common selection techniques are the use of recruitment agencies and consultants to select the best candidates, conducting interviews, psychometric testing, graphology, references, ability tests, technical tests, and assessment centers. This helps select the best candidate to fill a vacant position in an organization. Selection is an important aspect in managing employee competencies because it enables an organization to get the right candidate, increases its performance, and reduces the turnover rate.

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Summary and Conclusion

In conclusion, HRM has experienced a rapid growth as an important aspect in the management of employees of any organization. Thus, human resource management determines the performance of an organization by maximizing the skills and talents of employees to increase their productivity and performance. An organization should manage its workforce effectively to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals through the recruitment and selection of individuals with proficient skills that match the organization`s job description. The employees of an organization also need motivation, training, and development to develop and hone their skills. The human resource management challenges that should be managed effectively to increase efficiency are regulatory issues, organizational demands, and environmental influences that determine an organization’s strategies and its human resource policies. Work design and workforce planning involves the analysis of the job description and matching the requirements of a job with the right skills and knowledge as well as maintaining a sufficient number of employees in the organization. Employees’ competencies can effectively be managed by the recruitment and selection of individuals with the required skills and knowledge to fill various vacancies in an organization. The implementation of HRM policy should align with the organization’s strategies since they dictate the direction the business will take and eventually affect its overall performance. Therefore, the most important task of human resource management professionals is relating the human resource practices to the business needs to acquire a competitive advantage for an organization.



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