Strategic Human Resource Management

Although human resource management can be taken as a very basic function of an organization because it entails hiring people and it involves technically everything related to human resources but there is a more advanced term which is in vogue these days and it is called strategic human resource management. When say strategic human resource management what exactly do, we mean? It obviously cannot be as simple as just joining the word strategy with human resource management. Of course Not! We are going to investigate what exactly strategic human resource management means.

What is strategy?

Strategy means that you have a full-blown plan with key indicators in place, it means that you are targeting a specific objective or target and you have a set plan and tactic to reach these targets and goals using quantifiable and qualitative goals. Strategy always entails a result, if you fail that means your strategy needs a revision, if you succeed that means your strategy was fool proof. Through this analysis we can see how it works with human resources management. This simply means that when you say strategic human resource management, you mean that you apply this term where you move away from day to day operational management of human resources and focus more on planning for the achievement of long term goals of human resource department.

How does strategic human resource management look like when hiring?

Although this seems a very odd question, but strategic human resource management is the key when you are hiring and it should be a part of your larger recruitment strategy because people are what run your business and hiring the best possible people or the most relevant people can be captured in your job descriptions but you need a strategic plan to first define what kind of objectives as a business you need to accomplish and this would answer the question of what kind of human resources you need? At the same time strategy will also play a part when you will be looking to hire the kind of people you need, you would need a strategic approach to hire those specific people you need, and when you do actually have a talent pool, you would again need strategic human resource management to attract and retain these very same people.

Hence you can see how strategic human resource management plays a very important role in the core human resources function of hiring.

How does strategic human resource management play a role in policy making?

At the heart of policy making lies planning, when you plan on how your human resources will operate and achieve targets in the long run, what you basically are doing is called planning and when you structure that planning with roadmaps, milestones, objectives and Key performance indicators then it becomes a strategic plan. However strategic planning in human resources also requires that you evaluate your current position and when you do sketch a roadmap with deadlines then you should have evaluation metrics at each phase or step in your plan, which would indicate that you are heading the correct and desired direction. Strategic Human resources is more than ever about direction.

However, having said this companies with small setups do not always necessarily require strategic human resources planning and management. Let’s say there is a small company with a headcount of 10 people, in such a company strategy is not needed, this kind of a setup would require operational human resources functionality and basic functions such as occasional recruitment, benefits administration and performance management would be required. However, if the same company wants to scale the business that is when strategic human resource management would come into play. As the expert on HR strategy would chalk out the entire plan of how human resources is linked with the business expansion and how this would run parallel to the business strategy.

When companies shift toward strategic human resources management, they require people with the select skill set, normally human resources professionals acquire MBA or Masters degree in human resources however for them to operate and function as a strategic member of the human resources team they need to have specialized skills in Human Resources. Specialized skills in the human resources industry require that either a person should have more than a decade experience in the human resources field and has worked in all the major domain of human resources such as recruitment, training, policy making, processes, benefits, performance and appraisal, employee engagement and exit management or the person has relevant knowledge in the field of HR which is acquired through specialized HR certifications programs. A person who has experience in human resources including a master’s degree plus HR certification would be an ideal person to lead the affairs on strategic human resource management of your company.

Another key aspect of strategic human resource management is the buy of the higher management, strategy always flows from top down, so in most cases it is the CEO of the company who would realize that strategic human resources is needed in the business and she would be the person who would want to place a strategic resource in the human resource department. It is important that all stakeholders root for this person to be hired or placed in the business because it is a universal truth that people make an organization. And if you do not have a set plan of how to mobilize and lead your people, then how can you expect that without people’s management you would be able to achieve your business goals?

In conclusion, strategic human resource management lies at the core of business because you need to have a set plan of how you will rally the troops, it is pervasive in the sense that it makes sure that your people stay motivated in their roles to achieve the goals which they are set out to achieve. Strategy will play a key part from on-boarding the resources till the time they either retire or leave the business at their own behest. You will find that strategic human resource management is pervasive across the organization.