Without the productive efforts of its workers, the material resources would be of no use. Furthermore, if the people who are in charge of these resources are not sufficiently qualified, then the utilization of these resources would not be optimal. Human resource management (HRM) involves the management function through which managers recruit, select, train and develop organization members. While most large organizations have a separate personnel department with a personnel manager who is responsible for the company’s personnel related activities, all managers, in the organization are, in a sense, personnel managers since they all get involved in such personnel activities as recruiting, interviewing, selecting and training.
The human resource management function has become increasingly important in today’s fast changing world. Several trends, such as global competition, technological dynamics, increasingly knowledgeable and sophisticated customers and more educated work force, are all forcing companies to organize more responsively. Some of the factors that have impact on personnel decision and some of the environmental changes that affect personnel policies are described as follows. i. The social and legal pressure is high to increase the proportion of minority workers. This may sometimes result in less than optimal compatibility of job and the worker. ii.
The workers are shifting their idea of success. Where success always meant a job with good pay, now it is more and more measured by the degree of challenge at the job, new opportunities, job enrichment and job fulfillment. iii. The number of people who prefer to work only part time is increasing. Even the full time workers are trying to get fewer work week hours so that they can have more leisore time. iv.
Education level of the total work force is rising. This also applies to blue collar workers due to compulsory education to a certain age as well as social awareness about the benefits of a good education. v. There is a shift towards more skilled jobs. Due to advent of mechanization, specialization and technological innovations, the number of unskilled jobs has been steadly decreasing resulting in more skilled jobs requiring training and adaptation. vi.
Labour unions are becoming stronger and highly protective of the work force. The objectives of the unions are to protect their workers from discriminatory treatment, increase their pay and fringe benefits, improve their working conditions and help all employees in general. vii. There are continuous social and technological changes. The social values are constantly changing due to amalgamation of many cultures and ideologies and emphasis on rationalization and analytical thinking rather than adherence to traditional social values. Similarly, automation and computerization of industries have changed the requirements of jobs and employees requiring continuous monitoring of job descriptions and personnel requirements.