The Strategic Managing of Human Resources by Leopold, J., Harris, L., and Watson is a book that guides using complex Human Resource strategies. It presents Human Resource Management strategies that have been devised and presented by academicians, practitioners, and consultants and exhibits how these can be applied in the actual context and in line with the objectives of an organization to produce positive and productive change. Strategic HRM is a complex process that is continuously evolving and changing. Its meaning and associations with other aspects of business management and strategy are unlimited and opinions vary from different practitioners to writers and academicians (Leopold, Harris & Watson, 2009).
The concept of strategic HRM combines traditional HRM practices with the company’s overall business strategies and policies. This concept combines human resources with resources such as finances, technology, and physical resources in the process of setting objectives and solving complicated problems in the organization (Boxall & Purcell, 2003). It also concentrates on the realization of the set objectives and activities that will pool together the skills, abilities, and expertise of the employees that are suitable to the company’s line of business. Therefore a wide variety and absolute solutions to various organizational problems are provided for through strategic human resource management.
The concept of strategic HRM employs several strategies. One of them is the people strategy which focuses on the numbers, attitudes, behaviors, and commitment of the employees about the standards of HRM. Such strategies are often a problem during the implementation. The competence of the company is the total of the competence of the workforce (Boxall & Purcell, 2003). Therefore, HRM should not follow but drive the company’s business strategies by ensuring that the employees are competent. This is achieved through reward, selection, assessment, and development of the employees. The change strategy used in Strategic HRM involves a change or a transformation of management. The strategy of change is becoming a common practice as companies fight to achieve their goals in an increasingly competitive environment. This involves the use of change programs like the organizational restructuring process to re-engineer the structure of the company. These programs follow fashion trends and they rapidly become outdated and immediately replaced by the next heavily advocated for fashion (Wright & Mcmahan, 1992). There are several difficulties associated with the aspect of the change strategy. These come especially when the change involved in the merging of companies or acquisitions where a disastrous situation is too late for a solution. Other aspects of change include behavioral transformation where there are efforts to change the cooperate culture of the organization.
Another strategy employed in Strategic Human Resource Management is the resourcing strategy. This is a form of employee hiring that is larger than recruitment and selection. This strategy is used in association with the business strategies used to determine external or internal employment sources. A wide variety of resourcing strategies are used together with this strategy and they include workforce planning, induction, training and orientation, skills, qualification, expertise and experience, and individual personality and abilities (Wright & Mcmahan, 1992). All these are considered during employee resourcing to ensure a workforce that would be easily managed and maintained to achieve company goals. The information collected from the resourcing process is often used in HRM and HR planning. Other issues considered in employee resourcing are staff turnover, retention, and wastage in terms of evaluation, actions, and forecasting (Schuler, 1992). Personnel specifications and the limitations of job description pose several difficulties to this strategy.
A good strategy of HRM is aimed at employing people, improving their resources, exploiting, advancing, and compensating their services in line with the work and requirements of the business (Armstrong, M, and Baron, 2002).
- Armstrong, M and Baron, A 2002, Strategic HRM: the key to improved business performance, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London.
- Boxall, P and Purcell, J 2003, Strategy and human resource management, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
- Dyer, L and Holder, G 1998, “Strategic human resource management and planning”. In: DYER, L(Ed), Human resource management: evolving roles and responsibilities, Bureau of National, Affairs Washington DC.
- Leopold, J, Harris, L and Watson, T 2009, The Strategic Managing of Human Resources. Prentice Hall, London.
- Schuler, RS 1992, ‘Strategic human resource management: linking people with the needs of the business’, Organizational Dynamics. Vol 21, No 1. Pp. 18-32.
- Wright, PM and Mcmahan, GC 1992, ‘Theoretical perspectives for SHRM’, Journal of Management. Pp. 215-247.