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Human Resource Issues and Trends

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/22/2010

What trends are occurring in the human resource field and what are the biggest human resource issues and concerns? When the economy is challenged, human resource managers must pay attention to current trends to be effective in human resource management.

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    History of Human Resource Issues

    Foundations of Human Resource Development by CarolynSmithTown HR managers, in the past, faced many challenges with equal opportunities for all, the Family Medical Leave Act, exempt versus non-exempt employees, and determining if “comp” time was legal.

    When the economy changes, so do human resource issues, and currently, HR managers may be facing some of the toughest issues of all time in human resource management.

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    Human Resource Issues and New Trends

    The challenge of any HR department head in a bad economy includes layoffs, benefit reductions, salary decreases, and hiring freezes. When unemployment claims rise, so do employer’s experience mod history causing unforeseen expenses in total HR operating costs. The battle for human resource software is always on the forefront of designers and the managers must meet the needs of baby boomers, the X generation and the new echo generation or Y generation. Beyond these obstacles, in a down economy trends in human resource management are larger than ever.

    • Skimming Out the Weak – HR managers are often charged with skimming out the weak. This will include goal-driven performance, employee motivation, and strategic planning. The weak that lack worth ethics or miss set targets will identify who stays and who goes to streamline an organization’s work force.
    • Job Losses and Internet Services – Government human resource divisions will face employee cut back with more citizen services being offered via the Internet. Motor vehicle departments, state recording offices, and other government offices will find ways to decrease the amount of actual employees needed based on what people can do online on their own.
    • Picky Hiring – Certain fields including the finance and the auto industry, whose unemployment losses are at all time highs, will also require HR managers to be picky about who gets the job. Job recruitment fairs will still exist but actual jobs produced will be based more on knowledge rather than a desire to excel in a certain field. The job demand overseas will increase in alignment with a new global economy.
    • Out With the Old – More baby boomers will be retiring and job fights between Gen X and Gen Y will be fierce. The downside for the human resource department? Finding talented and experienced workers from Gen X and Y to fill baby boomer jobs. Gen Y and X may demand higher salaries but a total salary/benefit package is what they will achieve.
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    New Workforces and Strategies

    To succeed, HR managers must focus on a new workforce, an inexperienced workforce, and strategies that will improve streamlining.

    • Web 2.0 – Sharing information via software solutions and the Internet may become the new recruitment tool. Any human resource department that doesn’t jump on board the interactive software solution wagon will be left in the dust.
    • Consultants – The job field will include more non-employees or consultants, even project managers and facilitators. Not only will this save money on benefits, workman’s compensation, and payroll taxes, it will offer a wider opportunity for those who excel in many fields to combine consulting services into a viable entrepreneurial business.
    • In-House Training – More companies will seek out new members of the workforce with a willingness to train them in-house. The days of weeklong seminars and off-site training will lessen the expense of overhead in the HR department.
    • Software Opportunities – With the streamlining of the workforce, more software designers will dig deep to offer HR managers what they need and want. Because the demand for all sorts of HR software will be high and many designers will excel, price levels of HR software will decrease or become more module based depending upon a company’s need.
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    Summing Up Human Resource Issues

    HR consultants have longed warned HR managers about the changing work force and changes in lifestyles and attitude. Gen Y and X are more interested in fitting their lifestyles around their work patterns where baby boomers lifestyles fit around their work schedules.

    Many company heads, managers, and supervisors may need a little training to understand the new workforce, their demands, and expectations. HR managers will emerge as the most knowledgeable regarding all of these human resource issues in both economic downturns and the ever-changing world of enterprise.