Importance of Human Resources Function in an Organization

The increasingly dynamic business environment has reinforced the importance of human resource department in an organization. For instance, the resource-based perspective argues for alignment of human resource practices to an entity’s strategy to create a competitive advantage that will prove hard for competitors to imitate (Kim & Gray 2005). Such a perspective extends the users of HR services within an organization from the functions dealing with operational aspects to those focused on business strategy. The internal users of HR services would thus include managers, line executives, and professional employees which this paper focuses on to exemplify the importance of HR department to an entity.

HR services are important at different levels of the organization. For instance, the needs of professional non-managerial employees with regard to human resource services are mainly of a short-term operational nature mainly involving administrative routine activities such as processing benefit claims (Tsui 1987). However, such employees have other needs (e.g. the need for an equitable working environment) that involve HR activities that are not routine in nature. These latter activities include establishing, communicating and implementing policies that improve employee relations at the workplace (Tsui 1987).  Employees’ needs thus mainly involve administrative roles of the HR department as opposed to strategic activities.

A second user group of the HR services is the management such as the human resource managers. At the management levels, the users’ needs include advice on such matters as legal implications and strategy with regard to employee relations (Tsui 1987). Additionally, such users would need HR department’s input on establishing recruitment and retention policies that ensure the entity is able to attract and retain appropriate talent (Tsui 1987). Accordingly, at such levels, the uses of HR services are inclined towards strategic integration of the HR Department as opposed to administrative functions.

Line executives form another group of users of HR services. For operating line executives, productivity of the workforce in the short-term is their principal concern. Accordingly, such executives’ need the HR department to conduct administrative functions (e.g. processing employees’ compensation) effectively to ensure that the staff needed for operational efficiency is availed (Tsui 1987). Additionally, such executives would be interested in the HR department ensuring legal compliance to avoid cases where workforce is distracted from performing their duties (Tsui 1987). Further, such executives would be concerned with practices that allow them to dispose and replace poor performers in their units in a short period (Crow et al. 1995).  Such needs of line executives are thus inclined towards the administrative roles of human resource department. Go to challenges.

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