Human Resources

2540 Words11 Pages
Future Scaping HR

Human Resources can find it roots by looking no further than the purchasing department. From the beginning, hiring and firing people, the traditional core of Human Resources functions, was done by the purchasing agent. The thinking behind this was that purchasing agents procured the land, equipment, materials, and as a extension of this the people to ensure proper functioning of the business. To an extent of this attitude that people where to be purchased, unions arouse to protect the interest of the worker. To negotiate with the unions, companies adapted by having their own representatives, giving rise to the labor relations function within HR.

Other functions followed, the staffing function grew out of the belief that, with testing and assessment, employee could be matched to job and their effectiveness increased. Training grew out of the belief that, with the proper training programs in place employees could do their jobs even more effectively. Compensation grew out of the belief that, if designed well, compensation systems could motivate employees to higher performance.

By the time the 1970’s rolled around there were four major functions of the Human Resources department. These core actives were considered to be staffing, development, appraisal, and rewards. When the 80’s showed themselves upon the doorstep of HR these skills were melded with those of organizational design and communications. With the enormous amount of mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations learning to create new organizational forms around teams and processes became critical for the HR profession.

By the time 1997 was here I was just beginning to get my feet wet in the world of HR by taking part in an internship in a HR office. I had no idea then how much HR was in an evolution of change. I thought how hard could it be to be a HR professional?

I had looked at the 100 best companies to work for and I noticed that many of the companies were the same as companies on the lists in prior years. There seemed to me a formula with HR that if administered correctly would conjure up a wonderful organization of happy employees. The problem with this belief I had was that of change. Change inserted itself to alter that formula and alter it drastically and continuously. Because of this no one can predict the organization of the future. No one ca...

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...e. But here is one of the most important questions at least for me. What does all this mean for my career in HR? Well in doing all this research I can see that even if only a portion of the possible developments discussed come to pass, careers in HR will change dramatically. The traditional career with HR professionals progressed in their careers from apprentice to individual contributor to mentor to strategist is quickly morphing. Maybe a more suitable way to describe the HR career in the future will be that of a cube, not so much as a linear progression. In the future one’s position in the HR hierarchy may become less relevant than what one knows. Career paths become less linear as HR professionals increasingly engage in diverse career activities, forgoing a purposeful career in favor of career opportunism, responding to the opportunities that arise from any number of sources.

Whatever the future brings it is sure to be filled with surprises. Having one eye on the future will help to identify many new challenges and effectively use them for the benefit of our organization. I know that I may want to hold on tight to my ergonomic chair, we may be in for a bumpy ride.

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