Term Paper: Strategic Directions of HR

Pages: 4 (1315 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Future of HR: What do you think the future of HR will be in organizations? What do you have to support your opinion? How do you arrive at that conclusion?

According to Stephen C. Schoonover's article entitled "HR Competencies for the Year 2000:The Wake-Up Call!" human resource professionals, who are often placed in the position of having to deal with the particularities of hiring and firing in an organization, must take the time to consider the future of their own area of organizational specialty. Tellingly, Schoonover subtitles his report: "Human Resources Will Not Go Away, But You Might." In short, Schoonover challenges HR experts to prove the relevance of HR in "adding value" and providing new competencies to organizations, or see HR departments become obsolete. "Human resources, as a whole, is significantly behind the change curve," he writes. (Schoonover, 2002)

With an eye upon the future, Schoonover suggests HR departments as become increasingly segmented, as "the knowledge and competencies required for new human resource technologies" becomes increasingly sophisticated. Unfortunately, Schoonover believes that many HR departments have not kept abreast of such necessary changes. Schoonover suggests HR departments as fragment into three critical areas. The first is that of Product and Service Specialists which will focus on product and service development, product delivery and support, selecting and managing outsourced vendors and developing and applying key technologies. These issues pertain to supply-chain dynamics and costs. HR Generalists will focus on account development and management, installation and customization of human resource products and services, and interventions to maximize work team effectiveness. These generalists will deal with some of the technical data used to quantify the performance of critical organizational personnel, and answer questions as to where more or fewer employees may be needed in the future. HR Strategists will focus on business team partnership and consultation, human resource strategy development, and the alignment of human resource consulting, products and services with the organization's general strategic intent. (Schoonover, 2002) Perhaps, soon organizations will do away with HR departments in general, and simply use these divisions to serve the arms of other key areas of the organization.

Thus rather than generalists, the new future of HR will necessitate a field of specialists with different core competencies and personal characteristics, according to Schoonover. But Schoonover leaves out one core aspect of the HR professional's area of value, namely the "human" component of Human Resources. While becoming more fluent in the quantitative and technical measuring devices used to quantify employee performance may be necessary, surely the future for HR should be to mimic what IT departments already do quite well, or supply-chain or marketing specialists. Since when did trying to be 'like' other areas of the organization become a way to justify one's unique place in an organizational context?

HR professionals would be better served to hear the wise words of wisdom of Samuel Greengard of Workforce journal, who stresses that true human resources best practices by "developing human capital," as is their specialty and purpose, their unique role in the organization as human resources professionals. (Greengard, 2003, p.1) Through "avenues such as training, e-learning, succession planning, and knowledge and performance management," developing human capital must be the goal of all HR departments. (Greengard, 2003,p.1) Human resource departments can play an advisory and supervisory role in their organizatonal context. They can know and advise employees where the best places to recruit new talent might be in the country, by using their department's research. When an employee wishes to develop his or her skills, he or she should be able to go to the HR department for suggestions as to how to improve his or her credentials. Where else could an employee go to do so, but an HR department? What would be the best option, considering the skills base he or shewishes to develop -- online learning to gain a certificate, or going to school part time to obtain his or her… [END OF PREVIEW]

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