Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Monday, November 26, 2007

As we've moved from Old Economy to New Economy and from 20th Century to 21st Century-in the era when we are trying to outsource most of the functions-in some of the organizations even the total HR-Functions are being outsourced. what are the various roles that an HR-Professional can look up to?
I have spoken to many recruitment consultants but somehow they failed to give the clarity of role that they're “Head Hunting” for. People with in the organization…at times are just overlapping the various functions. In this write-up…I am just trying to explain the various roles that HR Professionals can play in New Economy…along with the traits required for each function.

Recruitment Team (Sourcing, Hiring, Staffing, Talent Acquisition Etc)

Lets start with Recruitment Team. This team is also known as Sourcing or Hiring or Staffing or Talent Acquisition team in various organizations. They are “Sales People” within HR Department. Their main role is to get “Best of the Talent” available in the open market. Hence, they need to know what exactly they are looking for. Their role starts with “Talent Requisition” raised by the respective department…and ends only with Induction of the New Hiree. In between, he needs to prepare the Job Description, Identify the Competencies required, Identify the source for hiring, Interview the candidate, Coordinate the interview with the respective department and complete the documentation.
The various competencies that one must have to be a part of the Recruitment Team are as follows:

1) Should have excellent knowledge about the Business of the Organization.
2) Should also be aware of the competitors in the same industry.
3) Need to identify the various resources for hiring and select the best one based on “Cost Effectiveness” and “Urgency”.
4) Should have clarity of competencies that he is looking for and also have clarity on the role a new hire is expected to play.
I am sure…if we take care of the above-mentioned competencies in Recruitment Team…the others (missed out) competencies will take care of themselves. Clarity of concept is important. I've seen recruitment managers who are working as Zonal Managers and are'nt even aware of the distinction between headhunting and sourcing. The responsibility of the recruitment team…actually ends on the day of Induction and from there onwards…”Employee Relation” and “HR-Generalist (Operations)” Team takes over.

HR-Generalist (Operations) Team. This team is actually a backbone of the HR-Department. The job-responsibility of this team starts on the day of Induction with Joining Formalities. The various roles that they are expected to perform are:
1. Joining Formalities
2. Handling Employee Database (Both in Soft Form and Files Management)
3. Leaves and Attendance Management
4. Handling the payroll
5. Managing advance Salary, Ad Hoc Bonuses, Loans
6. Confirmations, Performance Appraisals, Performance Management
7. Liaison with various government organizations for Employee Provident Funds, ESI and other Retirement Benefits
8. Exit-Interviews
9. Full and Final Settlement
Competencies Required

1) Attention to details is a must have quality
2) Self-Motivated
3) Should have updated and accurate database…on any hour of the day.
4) Should be good in coordination.
5) Should be prompt…and fast enough in his actions.
Employee Relations Team. This team is like a “Spokesperson” of the HR-Team. They are the bridge between HR and Employees. They are the “Policy and Strategy interpreters”. An effective “Employee Relations Team” can actually control the Attrition Rate of the organization. This team is expected to play following roles:

1) Handling all the queries of the employees. Be it related to Salary, Leaves, Attendance, and Transfer etc.
2) They are also expected to explain the various policies, strategies and benefits to employees.
3) They are expected to stop all type of rumours and misleading communications.
4) They should motivate the employees on day-to-day basis.
5) They are also expected to give constructive inputs to Training and Development and OD Team.
6) They play an important role in “Employee Engagement” …winning the trust of the employee and hence can help the organization in controlling the attrition rate.
7) It is for this team to ensure that the employees in the organization should not leave the organization for reasons other than salary.
Competencies Required

1) Highly Matured
2) Level Headed
3) Should be well versed with the business of the organization and its policies.
4) Assertive but not aggressive.
5) Should be empathetic but not emotional.
6) Highly Motivated.
7) Should be highly professional…in the sense, that if this team is active…employees will be sharing all type of doubts…concerns…information with this team…they are not expected to misuse the information. Should not play politics…by sharing their information with others.
8) Should be crisis manager.
Compensation and Benefits Team.This is fairly new role for HR-Professionals. The role of this team…changes, with the growth of the company. His main role is to ensure that the employees of the organizations take maximum salary and befits to their home and lose less to Income Tax. He is the person…who decides how much to pay to the person; what all benefits to entitle him…based on the market rate…keeping the competitive edge in the industry. He is the person…who actually announces the annual increment for an organization. This team is expected to perform following roles:

1. Job Analysis
2. Job Evaluation
3. Grading
4. Competency Mapping
5. Salary Surveys
6. Benefits Survey
7. Benchmarking
Competencies Required

1) Should have excellent Business and Industry knowledge
2) Should be aware of competitors…and their Compensation and Benefit Programs
3) Should be good with labour laws.
4) Should also be good in Income Tax Provisions…related to Salary and benefits and also Economics.
5) Should be excellent in Statistics and Cost Accounting.
Organization Development – Training and Development Team. As a Country is known by its people…an organization is known by its employees and hence it is the responsibility of this team to “Develop the Employees” of the organization. If there is any gap in “Competency Mapping” in terms of knowledge and skills required for a particular position…it is for this team to bridge those gaps.

So, it can be training for soft-skills…other skills…new technology or it is development of Personality…leadership development…or high-education. Hence, the development of the company in particular and that of its employees in general…is responsibility of this team.
If you are good in speaking…does not qualify you for being a trainer. You may be excellent as a Public Speaker and worse in training. Being a good speaker is just one of the “Must Have” traits for trainers but not the only trait required. There is something a trainer is expected to do before the delivery…(Training Need Identification) and there is something he is expected to do after delivery…(Measuring the Training Effectiveness).
Competencies Required

1. A deep and thorough understanding of Human Behaviour
2. Positive in thoughts, approach and personality
3. Should be very good in communication. Should be rich in vocabulary.
4. Should be empathetic.
5. Clarity of thoughts is must.
6. Should be good in linguistics
7. Should have positive body language.
You need to take out Tonnes of Sand to get few Grams of Gold…hence the role of a trainer is to get Gold.
You need to dive into the ocean to get a Shell with a Pearl…hence he is expected to be to that diver.
HR Coach and HR Mentor.This is one of the roles, which is an outcome of New Economy. Though being a “Mentor” is not a full time job…''Coaching'' can be. We can place HR-Coach above HR-Director but below HR-President. Just like a Cricket Coach, whose role is not only to improve the batting or bowling…but also fielding, physical fitness, mental toughness and overall involvement of the each player…the role of HR Coach is to increase the overall productivity of all the above-mentioned sub-functions of HR Department. Hence, he cannot afford to say that I don’t know about Recruitment or Compensation & Benefits etc. He is the centre of the HR-Department and all functions revolve around him. His role is not very sophisticated one but very tactical.
Competencies Required

1) Experience. This is the one role where…prior experience is must.
2) Business and Industry Knowledge is Must.
3) Should be a Hub of Knowledge and should know HR in its totality.
4) Very influencing, inspirational and highly motivated personality.
5) A true leader.
6) Should be accountable, innovative, responsible and at the same time…should not be emotional…should not get tensed up and should not create panic. In Short, a level-headed person.

This is just an attempt to distinguish between various roles that an HR Professional can play in New Economy. There is a lot that a HR Professional can do.

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