Strategic Human Resources Management

In organizations, the role of human resources management (HRM) is increasingly becoming more strategic rather than administrative. Therefore, it is important to understand how to adapt or change longstanding human resources management (HRM) responsibilities to those that support the business strategy and enhance the core capabilities of the organization (which, in turn, should positively impact the organization’s profitability).

The following are three of the most common responsibilities of human resources management (HRM) and brief descriptions of how they have traditionally been conducted. Note that they are all generic in nature as they are not tailored to the organization’s business strategy.

  • Recruiting and Selection: Positions with simple job descriptions are advertised on large job boards, résumés are reviewed, candidates are interviewed by a manager, and the best candidate is offered the position.
  • Training and Development: The training and development department develops and delivers a set of core training programs (e.g., effective communication, conflict resolution, and leading without authority) similar to those of many other companies.
  • Performance Management: Human resources management (HRM) creates and administers a standard performance appraisal form annually, covering the following categories: communication, attendance, attitude, quality of work, and initiative.

For each of these, describe how and explain why it should be modified for the following organization and scenario to be strategically focused.

Horizon Enterprises is a company of fifteen hundred people, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It designs and manufactures small pieces of (countertop) cutting-edge medical laboratory equipment. Its core competency is innovation, which it also considers to be its competitive advantage.

Its business strategy is to work closely with hospitals and laboratories to develop products that will increase the speed and reduce the cost of medical tests. It competes against much larger technology companies, like General Electric, that focus on mammoth, multi-million-dollar devices (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging machines and positron emission tomography?computed tomography [PET/CT] scanners), although it has the capability to design smaller equipment.

One of Horizon Enterprises’ selling points is its ability to bring the products to market more quickly than its larger competitors, whose attention is on the higher-priced and higher-margin equipment and whose processes are more lumbering.

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