Through the years, human resource strategy has continued to upgrade: from manual HR management strategy to the use of high-technology devices and HR software. With the undeniable importance of what is considered as any organization’s most valuable resources, experts and practitioners have continued to develop effective HR strategies and tools to continuously improve the administration of this vital function.
Human resource strategy
Human resource strategy in an organization includes recruitment and hiring, personnel performance management, compensation and benefits, organization development, personnel safety and wellness, personnel motivation, training and development, administration and communication. Numerous technological innovations have been incorporated into these specific areas of concern in HR management, including the use of HR software and new media in devising new HR strategies.
Online vs. Traditional Recruitment
While traditional recruitment—which involves recruitment agencies, posters and flyers, and advertisements in print (newspapers and magazines), tv or radio—are still effective in reaching out to many qualified hiring prospects, online recruitment methods have presented easier, faster and more convenient methods with the use of the Internet’s versatility and world-wide scope and reach. Information and other web features are easily accessible to anyone with Internet connection and a computer, mobile phone or any other Internet-enabled gadget—that is to say, anyone around the world. Thus, online recruitment strategies give access to a bigger and more diverse audience, allowing for better recruitment opportunities especially for organizations working in different countries.
In a national study conducted by the Internet Solution for Kids Inc. in the United States, it was revealed that online recruitment strategies are the “most efficient and cost-effective” methods in recruiting young adults referred to as the “straight-to-work” population. These young adults (aged 18-25) were among those who chose to skip college and immediately join the work force after high school. The study tested both traditional and online recruitment methods and found that the traditional methods were more “time-intensive”, requiring more staff to hand out flyers and post posters. Despite this, the campaign generated less responses compared with what the online campaign yielded even with less effort and time for execution. While this study focused on the “straight-to-work” population, it undeniably shows that online recruitment strategies are easier, faster, more cost-efficient and more effective in gathering possible employees.
Manual vs. Automated Performance Management
Performance management refers to the continuous communication and reinforcement of job responsibilities, performance expectations and priorities to ensure smooth operations and professional relationship between employees and supervisors. Through the years, this has been done manually through paper-based methods. However, with the emergence of new HR software and strategies, this carrying out this process becomes easier, faster and more standardized.
In its paper entitled “Manual vs. Automated Performance Management”, the Performance Management Institute of Australia (PMIA) cited various advantages of automated over manual performance management methods:
- Organizations using manual performance management methods usually set objectives only during assessment time, while those using automated performance management systems via HR software are prompted or required by the system to set objectives prior to the period in which the employees’ performance would be assessed. Thus, employees of the latter are given more specific and defined objectives to aim for, and desired results are more likely to be achieved.
- Because of the intensive and tedious work in preparing for manual performance evaluation, most organizations only manage to conduct them once a year. Automation, on the other hand, allows for more frequent performance evaluation (bi-annual or quarterly) since a huge chunk of the job (such as preparation, documentation and analysis) is left to the HR software.
- HR software also allows for easy recording or inputting of relevant information or occurrences as they come—something that can be inconvenient if done manually.
- Since automation of the process lessens work for HR employees, this saves them from stress, possible mistakes or inaccuracies, the need for re-education on the performance evaluation process, time-wasting, and significantly interrupting work flow and company operations.
Another aspect of HR management that benefits from automation via HR software is absence management. Absence management involves caring for the employees’ well-being by allowing them space for absences in case of sickness or other emergencies, while also protecting the company’s interests and resources from possible abuse of these benefits. Through an HR software, absences can be easily, automatically and securely recorded and tallied to reflect how many absences an employee has had, as well as other significant information such as reasons, authorized leaves, and others.
Aside from using HR software, outsourcing certain aspects of human resource management is also one convenient way to save company time and effort. Tasks such as recruiting highly qualified personnel, designing fair and attractive compensation packages, developing effective employee motivation and morale-boosting strategies, and conducting exit interviews can be left to professional agencies specializing in such tasks.