strategic human resource management – Value Added Human Resource Case Study

The Human resource (HR) department has gone a transformation in recent years in an attempt to play a strategic role in the organisation. In Australia, a common trend has been the replacement of HR professionals with generalist managers in an aim to have the HRM strategy conform to the organisation’s strategy.  Such a strategy has however lacked the strategic approach required, focusing mainly on the business outcomes and neglecting the human aspect for strategic alignment. Organisations that intend to eliminate this disconnect are thus resulting to inviting their HR professionals to decision-making levels of the entity that would help them align the human resource management (HRM) strategy to the business strategy.

This paper aims to assess the current HR practices in Australia, thus evaluate competencies that would help the HR managers in the country play a strategic role in their organisations. Due to the factors such as the ageing population of the country’s workforce, its diverse cultural diversity, and the de-regulation of industrial relations and wage determination in the 1980s in Australia, the country is a good case study for evaluating strategic HRM issues (Allan, Brosnan & Walsh 1999). The paper uses a case study about value added HR in the country to assess the current practices and their deficiencies. From the identified deficiencies recommendations that would better align the HRM strategy to the organisational strategy are considered.

Analysis of the HRM practices identifies various aspects that require attention for the HR clamour for a strategic position in the organisation to be realised. Such aspects include the acquisition of generalist management skills that ensure HR representatives participate actively in decision making arenas and establishment of sound cultural diversity management practices with respect to recruitment and talent management. To better its integration in strategic business decision, the department needs to adopt IT in its administrative and supportive functions, which will free HR professionals for more active engagement in strategic matters. When effectively implemented, linking HRM strategy to the business strategy helps organisations achieve a competitive advantage that prove difficult for competitors to imitate, thus serve as a value-adding function of the business. Go to part 2 here.

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