HR managers can be functional at various levels in an organization. Their portfolios are such that they can manage multiple roles or even multitask if it is required out of them. Lawler (1995), a distinguished business professor at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of business, chalked out the roles below:
The Three Roles Of HR
In the dynamic landscape of the job environment, an HR employee / management personnel can assume three roles:
- HR Management Role – It is one of the most familiar roles of HR personnel in the organization. HR Management is involved in the hiring of employees and some semi-administrative roles in the organization. In these roles, they have to ensure that the employee conglomeration is in total sync, and nobody is out of line. Disbursing salaries, handling releases and all sorts of employee-related issues and grievances are handled in HR management roles. Normally, an HR manager starts at the junior associate HR level and rises up to the role of the Senior HR Manager. At the initial level, they perform the tasks mentioned above. In the senior levels, they just supervise.
- Business Partner – This is the role in a business organization where HR has a decision making power. They are mainly involved in hiring the workforce. They check out the required core competencies in them. This helps an organization to stay ahead. HR also has a say in some of the business decisions. Normally, when HR becomes business partners, then such organizations have something to do with recruiting and staffing. HR business partners develop systems and practices. All the HR management roles that are mentioned above are performed in a rigorous way, where there is no scope for any sort of errors. That is why they hold such a prominent role in an organization.
- Strategic Contributor – Most of the time, the HR business partners fail in achieving the major objectives of an organization. That is when a strategic contributor jumps in. Strategic contributors have more or less of the same roles of HR Management, but their duties are more accentuated and their roles are less subservient. As the name suggests, they develop hard-core strategies to handle the most important asset / force in the company that is the human resource. The strategic contributors can be dependent or independent partners. But they have a big say in all the decisions. Normally, strategic contributors are found in organizations with a considerable workforce, which is > 10,000. Not only that, strategic contributors have to handle cross-border / global workforce as well. The strategic contributors should possess knowledge of both HR and organizational behavioral practices.
We are trying to underline here how critical the role of HR is in an organization. They function on almost all levels and it is extremely difficult to run operations without having a functional and capable HR department by your side. HR develops and facilitates organizational capabilities and change. The HR body in question should not only be capable of spotting and nurturing talent, but they should also have immense prowess in creating and streamlining the work design and implementation of labor.