Initially, the HR practitioner was responsible for hiring and maintain the pool of the employees (Ulrich, Brockbank & Johnson 2009). Thus, nowadays, the HR leader is a critical participant in designing a mission statement and being a strategic architect (Ulrich, Brockbank & Johnson 2009). HRM is a vital component of the company. Today, HRM professionals can ensure the alignment of their practices with the mission statement and increase added values of the existing services.
These changes in the HR practitioner’s duties help enhance the efficiency and productivity of the firm by supporting the corporate strategy with his/her actions. It could be said that HR, as a strategic partner, covers a wide variety of spheres while playing the role of a mediator between top management, mission statement, and employees.
To understand the core of the strategic involvement of the HR practitioner, one has to assess other duties of the leader acquired from past professional experience. According to my observations and literature review, the basic duties of HR leaders include providing employees with favorable working conditions, assuring meeting the safety standards, and establishing sufficient reward and punishment system (Armstrong 2007). Simultaneously, the paramount importance of hiring and training cannot be underestimated.
However, without an understanding of the company’s needs, the HR practitioner cannot make his/her actions effective. Emphasizing the role of HRM practitioner as a strategic leader assists the firm in achieving consistency within the organizational architecture. The modern duties of HR leaders imply identifying potential business trends, ensuring the alignment of the mission statement with corporate culture, redesigning organizational framework, planning, scheduling, and contributing to decision making (Buller & McEvoy 2012; Lawler & Boudreau 2009).
Thus, the management can clearly identify when the leader is taking a strategic role. One of the definers is the fact that the HR practitioner actively participates in the discussions and highlights that the management of the firm has to pay vehement attention to HR when establishing strategic goals (Armstrong 2007). Simultaneously, the HR leader focuses on proposing various options to enhance the organizational architecture and tactical initiatives (Khan 2014). A combination of these factors underlines that the HRM department’s higher involvement in the strategic decision-making will identify its transformation into the strategic partner. In this case, it could be said that the management of the firm has to take advantage of it and optimize the overall strategy and HR practices simultaneously.
Concurrently, it is critical to discuss skills that a strategic HR leader should have to be successful in his/her duties. In this case, the major competences include being able to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the workforce, performing a continuous position analysis, provisioning the potential changes in HR and market, and applying suitable theoretical knowledge into practice (Buller & McEvoy 2012; Dainty 2011).
In turn, the modern HR practitioner has to be long-term orientated and ensure that his/her actions have a beneficial impact on the overall functioning of the organization (Dainty 2011). It could be said that the skills of the strategic HR professional highlighted above clearly differentiate his/her duties from the basic HRM functions. These findings underline the fact HRM continues to evolve and becomes more complex and dependent on other departments.
Armstrong, M 2007, A handbook of human resource management practice, Logan Page Limited, London.
Buller, P & McEvoy, G 2012, ‘Strategy, human resource management and performance: sharpening light of sight’, Human Resource Management Review, vol. 22, pp. 43-56.
Dainty, P 2011, ‘The strategic HR role: do Australian HR professionals have the required skills?’, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 55-70.
Khan, D 2014, ‘HR as a strategic partner: a critical review’, International Journal of Human Resource Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-8.
Lawler, E & Boudreau, J 2009, ‘What makes HR a strategic partner?’, People & Strategy, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 15-22.
Ulrich, D, Brockbank V & Johnson D 2009, ‘The role of strategy architect in the strategic HR organization’, People & Strategy, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 2-31.