What is Strategic Human Resource Management?

In Human Resource (HR) and management circles today, there is a lot of talk about Strategic Human Resource Management, and many expensive books can be seen in the shelves of bookshops. But what exactly is SHRM (Strategic Human Resource Development), what are its key features and how does it differ from traditional human resource management?

SHRM or strategic human resource management is a branch of Human resource management or HRM. It is a fairly new field that has come out of the parenting discipline of human resource management. Much of the early or so-called traditional HRM literature dealt with the notion of strategy superficially rather as a purely operational issue whose results cascade down the entire organization. There was a kind of unspoken division of territory between human-centered values ​​of HR and harsher business values, where business strategies really belonged. HR practitioners felt uncomfortable in the war cabinet as an atmosphere in which business strategies were formulated.

Definition of SHRM

Human resource strategic management can be defined as linking human resources with strategic goals and objectives to improve business performance and develop organizational culture that fosters innovation, flexibility and competitive advantage. In an organization, SHRM means accepting and involving the HR function as a strategic partner in formulating and implementing the company’s strategies through HR activities such as recruiting, selecting, training and rewarding staff.

How SHRM differs from HRM

In the last two decades, there has been a growing awareness that HR functions were like an island unto themselves with softer human-centered values ​​far away from the real world’s harsh world. To justify its own existence, HR functions had to be seen as more intimately connected with the strategy and day-to-day operations of the business side of the business. Many writers in the late 1980s began to fight for a more strategic approach to people management than standard practices of traditional management of people or labor relations. Strategic human resource management focuses on human resource programs with long-term goals. Instead of focusing on internal human resource issues, the focus is on addressing and resolving issues affecting human management programs in the long run and often globally. Therefore, the primary goal of strategic human resources is to increase employee productivity by focusing on business barriers that arise outside of human resources. The primary actions of a strategic human resources manager are to identify key HR areas where strategies can be implemented over the long term to improve overall employee motivation and productivity. Communication between HR and senior management in the company is important, as without active participation no collaboration is possible.

Key features of strategic management of human resources

The main features of SHRM are

  • There is an explicit link between HR policy and practice and overall organizational strategic goals and the organizational environment
  • There are some organizing schemes linking individual HR interventions so that they are mutually supportive
  • Much of the responsibility for managing human resources is returned to the line

Trends in strategic management of human resources

Human Resource Management professionals are increasingly facing the issues of employee participation, human resource flow, performance management, reward systems and work systems with a high commitment to the context of globalization. Older solutions and recipes that worked in a local context do not work in an international context. Cross-cultural issues play an important role here. These are some of the biggest issues facing HR professionals and top management involved in SHRM in the first decade of the 21st century:

  • Internationalization of market integration.
  • Increased competition, which may not be local or even national through free market ideology
  • Rapid technological change.
  • New concepts of line and general management.
  • Constant change of ownership and resultant business climate.
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • The economic gravity shifting from ‘developed’ to ‘developing countries’

SHRM also reflects some of the key modern challenges that Human Resource Management faces: Aligning HR with core business strategy, demographic trends for employment and the labor market, integrating soft skills into HRD and finally Knowledge Management.


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