Human Resources Challenges

Doing business in a globalized economy presents some unique challenges, and the efficient management of human resources is one of them.  Being able to harness human capital to achieve strategic goals is a big part of business success, in this type of work environment.  Companies must use all the resources at their disposal, to create and maintain a competitive advantage.

One of the foremost human resources challenges facing employers is the proficient management of people, as it relates to the hiring, firing, and retaining of staff.  Globalization has created a more competitive labor force.  As a result, the best talent often find it easy and profitable to move from one company, (or country), to another, without much concern about job loyalty.

The people management issue is also of concern, because during times of recession, many companies are forced to lay off staff.  Reducing the workforce poses several challenges, one of which is the need to retrain remaining staff.

This human resource challenge has created the need for companies to create what has come to be termed ‘people advantage.’  This involves the development of effective people strategies that will engage the workforce, in order to help the business gain a competitive advantage.

Another human resources challenge is the ability to manage change.  This encompasses an appreciation of the new work environment, in which employees are more empowered, and markets are global.

The new work environment has brought with it technological advances like social media platforms.  These have effectively changed the way people do business.  A lot of business is now conducted online.  Therefore, human resources managers are faced with the challenge of ensuring that employees are tech savvy.  They will need to be able to manipulate social media in order to engage customers, and increase competitiveness.  Customers now expect to be able to use sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to communicate with businesses.

In an effort to manage change, and improve their relevance on the business radar, human resources must now measure outcomes.  This is needed in order to identify the value that is created by the efficient use of an organization’s intellectual capital.

Human resources must also implement strategic workforce planning.  This is connected to the managing of talent.  They must be able to identify the key areas that need to be maintained, as against other areas in which job cuts will not harm the company’s bottom line.

The need to improve leadership development is also a key human resource challenge.  In order to achieve success in this area, it is important to reward good leadership.  It is also vital to allow employees the opportunity to gain leadership skills on the job.  In addition, executives must assume the task of providing competent leadership for the business.

The changing face of the labor force is also a human resources challenge.  Countries like the US are faced with the reality of a shrinking pool of labor.  This is particularly the case, because the baby boomers are now on the brink of retiring, and leaving the workforce.  Therefore, businesses will find it increasingly difficult, to find qualified persons with specialized skills, to fill positions.