The Changing Face of HR – From Back End to Front End

Over the past half century, HR function has gone through a massive change. The changing face of HR management is the result of the globalization, technological development, and the concept of knowledge-based economy. Many of the responsibilities of the human resource managers are now transferred to the line managers. As a result, the HR managers now need to focus on more strategic matters. In fact, human resource services are no longer considered as standalone personnel function. Earlier, HR management was more of an administrative function and was mostly a back end job. However, it has come to the front end in the recent years and has been undertaking more value-added activities. Human resource services are more focused now and involved in the actual business process of the company, making this branch of management a key activity of the organization.

The new role of HR management

The new role played by human resource services is often described as strategic partner. For example, HR management employs centralized wage fixing system, conciliation and arbitration for workplace negotiation rather than using dispute settlement. As a result, the skills required for HR managers and executives are changing. In modern business context, the role of human resource services has significantly changed. It is gradually becoming more of Human Capital Management rather than managing Personnel/ Industrial Relations, which was its main task few decades back. In fact, it is a complete evolution of the HR management – from a just department managing administrative and employee related issues to an entity that play a strategic role in the development and success of the organization.

Earlier, HR services focused mainly on administration process of the organization. However, it has now shifted its focus to employee engagement in order to obtain the best performance from employees. This, in turn, made HR management service the future face of HCM, where enhancing human capital is the prime focus.

The future HR executives

The future HR executives need to be proactive, especially while handling the talent pool and knowledge experts. They need to focus more on human resource training to link human capabilities to business outcomes. The new role of HR executives will also include dealing with outsourcers and organizational partnership mangers as well as with stakeholders to facilitate organizational transparency. As a result, the future HR executives need to be highly educated individuals. Moreover, they need to be facilitators and strategists helping the organization to meet their bottom line.

Coming to the role of future HR executives, the general belief is that the HR management department is more concerned with the internal policy execution process instead of guiding the organization’s strategic aims. This is not entirely true, though there are companies excluding human resources staff from making high-level decision, when it comes to planning activities for external consultants.

The difference in approach

With the changing face of HR management, mere knowledge about the processes and functions of human resource services is not enough. In fact, more than applying this knowledge to increase employee productivity, HR executives now need to encompass the employee capabilities while defining the business strategies and turn them to crucial component for organizational success. They need to have a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s business process, including the financial aspects and a thorough understanding of the needs and demands of the investors and stakeholders. In addition, they should be in terms with the emerging technologies and use them to help the organization meet their bottom lines. The future HR executive needs to understand and identify the current market trends that are likely to affect the organizational processes. Finally, they should be able to predict the future HR requirements accurately, including assessing the best fit candidates for the job as well as re-channel poor performers’ competencies.

Besides, the changing HR management trends now require the human resource executives to develop a global outlook. Most of the businesses are covering different countries and time zone as well as addressing diverse workforce. As a result, contemporary HR management services involve developing global outlooks for the organization. They need to understand and apply the factors that contribute in extracting the best possible performance from this increasingly diverse workforce.

The other challenges of new-age HR management

Additional challenges of HR management include the need to focus on metrics, especially in identifying the right kind of metrics. Apart from the traditional metrics used for measuring performance and efficiency, HR management now needs to consider the employees’ assessments regarding the organization’s performance in terms of meeting their requirements. This helps the HR executives to measure and manage the human capital advantage of the organization. Finally, the HR management services need to analyze these metrics to improve the shortfalls and help the organization to meet its business goals.

At Kranium, we help organizations to develop and nurture the important resources based on these metrics. We provide customized Managed HR Services to corporate houses and companies across industries. With a strong perspective on human capital, we help organizations to springboard their growth by not only aligning the business needs to the employees, but also aligning the people’s needs to the business.