Human Resource (HR) is one of the most crucial assets of an organization; therefore, it requires strategic management. Largely, organizations with good quality HR can have competitive advantage in the industry. In essence, the crucial role of HR management in creating competitive advantage cannot be ignored (Guerci, Radaelli, Siletti, Cirella, & Shani, 2015). In general, the five functions of human capital management that are critical to the creation of competitive advantage include recruitment and selection, employee orientation, motivation, management of employee relations, and training and development.
Vis-à-vis recruitment and selection, human capital management strives to attract qualified personnel to work for the organization. Consequently, HR personnel have a responsibility of job planning, job evaluation, and work design (Jamali, El Dirani, & Harwood, 2015). HR planning integrates projecting the number of employees available as well as that of qualified workers required in future. Job analysis involves examining the actual job activities, particular behavior needed, the extent of supervision, and working conditions. By conducting job analysis, HR professionals create job description which refers to a written statement explaining the employees duties and tasks. However, job design describes the number, version, and types of tasks which respective employees perform. In the modern digital era, the current version of recruitment and selection involves the use of technology to screen the best candidates. Overall, human capital management has the responsibility to select and recruit individuals based on HR plans, job analysis, and design.
Regarding employee orientation, human capital management focuses on familiarizing the new employees with the working environment of the organization. By orientation, the HR function of the organization equips new employees with the goals and objectives of the organization and how they can contribute to its attainment (Albrecht, Bakker, Gruman, Macey, & Saks, 2015). The current version of orientation is a program which should assist employee to recognize their duties, job role, work description, and the relationship of their job position with other organizational ranks. In general, orientation offers illumination to the worker to take a lively role in the organization.
Concerning motivation, HR management seeks to offer good working conditions to employees to make them like the organizational environment. To be specific, this responsibility involves motivating workers to perform their tasks with minimal interruptions and supervision. Apparently, employees do not completely commit themselves to the attainment of organizational objectives; therefore, they need to be motivated (Albrecht et al., 2015). In present times, the version of motivation is achievement-based, implying that HR professionals reward employees based on their contribution to the achievement of organizational goals. By motivating workers, HR management offers good working conditions to employees, pushing them to improve their output.
The HR management function of the organization involves fostering good worker relations which can influence both work and behavior outputs. As a recommendation, Albrecht et al. (2015) suggested that the management ought to organize activities that can assist in the understanding of workers at both professional and individual levels. In the current era, the management of employee relations is conducted through unions which champion for employees’ rights. Consequently, HR management has been dragged into the political confrontations between unionized employees and employers. By organizing such activities, it is possible to encourage balanced and healthy relations between the employer and employee which is one of the keystones for corporate success.
The fifth function of HR management is training and development, and it integrates improving the present or future capabilities of employee. Traditionally, organizations resorted to educating their workers to improve their skills or knowledge (Guerci et al., 2015). However, the current version of training is coaching which involves using a panel of instructors with vast experience. Through coaching, it is possible for instructors to transfer their knowledge and skills to employees.
From the analysis, HR management is a critical component of an organization since it determines the quality of employees output. By performing its functions, which include training and development, recruitment and selection, motivation, orientation, and maintenance of employee relations, the HR enables the organization to create competitive advantage. However, due to the dynamic organizational environment, these functions are taking new forms. In general, it is important for HR to stay updated with present forms of these functions.