The image and role of human resources has definitely changed over the years. Decades ago HR was referred to as “Personnel” with many of these people being seen as a high-end Administrator, yet making many decisions, which greatly impacted the organization. Selecting employees for most positions would radically influence the business.
Later “personnel managers” were gradually given the title of Human Resources Manager. So why make that change? Many employers saw this as a way to delegate this particular area of responsibility to those with a keen sense of employee management and expecting them to take the responsibility seriously, carefully hiring people with a good education and a solid business sense with the ability to perform in a professional manner. Note the word “expecting”, as employers needed a dependable person to consciously “manage” the workforce, taking a huge load off the employer’s shoulders.
Over time more and more employee issues and legal requirements have developed, which required legal training/educating to keep companies out of court. This added a huge responsibility on Human Resources Professionals. Many companies do not require their HR Professionals to attend the local “Legal Updates”, though it is very much encouraged by their HR Professional organization (SHRM). As a professional, this person should take this course, as it is highly recommended.
There is a discussion that has been expressed about the “mixed signals” that the HR professionals receive from their employers. Some employers do not see or value their HR Manager as a “professional”, nor do those employers want to pay for an HR professional. And yet, if trouble with employees develop, these employers “expect and want” their Human Resources Managers to correct any problems or resolve employees’ concerns.
So what DO employers expect from their Human Resources leader? Do employers “value” this particular individual? Does an employer grasp the true value of an HR Professional? Are employers willing to be supportive of their HR Professional?
All employers need to take a hard look at all the responsibilities their HR Managers handle. Their HR Managers should also be well prepared by their involvement in their local SHRM organization. This is vital. Employers, if you want to build a strong and highly recognized company, you NEED to support and invest in your HR Professional.