Friday, December 2, 2011

HRM Strategy and E-HRM

HRM strategy
An HRM strategy pertains to the means as to how to implement the specific functions of HRM. An organisation's HR function may possess recruitment and selection policies, disciplinary procedures, reward/recognition policies, an HR plan, or learning and development policies, however all of these functional areas of HRM need to be aligned and correlated, in order to correspond with the overall business strategy. An HRM strategy thus is an overall plan, concerning the implementation of specific HRM functional areas.
An HRM strategy typically consists of the following factors:
• "Best fit" and "best practice" - meaning that there is correlation between the HRM strategy and the overall corporate strategy. As HRM as a field seeks to manage human resources in order to achieve properly organisational goals, an organisation's HRM strategy seeks to accomplish such management by applying a firm's personnel needs with the goals/objectives of the organisation. As an example, a firm selling cars could have a corporate strategy of increasing car sales by 10% over a five year period. Accordingly, the HRM strategy would seek to facilitate how exactly to manage personnel in order to achieve the 10% figure. Specific HRM functions, such as recruitment and selection, reward/recognition, an HR plan, or learning and development policies, would be tailored to achieve the corporate objectives.
• Close co-operation (at least in theory) between HR and the top/senior management, in the development of the corporate strategy. Theoretically, a senior HR representative should be present when an organisation's corporate objectives are devised. This is so, since it is a firm's personnel who actually construct a good, or provide a service. The personnel's proper management is vital in the firm being successful, or even existing as a going concern. Thus, HR can be seen as one of the critical departments within the functional area of an organisation.
• Continual monitoring of the strategy, via employee feedback, surveys, etc.
The implementation of an HR strategy is not always required, and may depend on a number of factors, namely the size of the firm, the organisational culture within the firm or the industry that the firm operates in and also the people in the firm.
An HRM strategy can be divided, in general, into two facets - the people strategy and the HR functional strategy. The people strategy pertains to the point listed in the first paragraph, namely the careful correlation of HRM policies/actions to attain the goals laid down in the corporate strategy. The HR functional strategy relates to the policies employed within the HR functional area itself, regarding the management of persons internal to it, to ensure its own departmental goals are met.

E-HRM is the (planning, implementation and) application of information technology for both networking and supporting at least two individual or collective actors in their shared performing of HR activities.[1]
E-HRM is not the same as HRIS (Human resource information system) which refers to ICT systems used within HR departments.[2] Nor is it the same as V-HRM or Virtual HRM - which is defined by Lepak and Snell as "...a network-based structure built on partnerships and typically mediated by information technologies to help the organization acquire, develop, and deploy intellectual capital."[3]
E-HRM is in essence the devolution of HR functions to management and employees. They access these functions typically via intranet or other web-technology channels. The empowerment of managers and employees to perform certain chosen HR functions relieves the HR department of these tasks, allowing HR staff to focus less on the operational and more on the strategic elements of HR, and allowing organisations to lower HR department staffing levels as the administrative burden is lightened. It is anticipated that, as E-HRM develops and becomes more entrenched in business culture, these changes will become more apparent, but they have yet to be manifested to a significant degree. A 2007 CIPD survey states that "The initial research indicates that much-commented-on development such as shared services, outsourcing and e-HR have had relatively little impact on costs or staff numbers".
E-HRM is seen as offering the potential to improve services to HR department clients (both employees and management), improve efficiency and cost effectiveness within the HR department, and allow HR to become a strategic partner in achieving organisational goals.