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This paper serves the purpose of drawing up the major challenges being faced today by many Human Resources

(HR) departments. This essay will focus on themes such as globalization, controlling your brand, keeping up communication, finding and retaining talent, ensuring employee fit, ensuring employee competence, adopting a bottom-line oriented approach, managing diversity, and managing change. Controlling your hr brand Controlling your hr brand which is essentially managing a company's image has become ever more challenging and important in the age of the Internet. This has been enabled by the fact that job candidates can easily use the organisations website to check out a company's financials, culture or even the boss before deciding to take a job, and they are exponentially doing so. Keeping up communication Keeping up communication has become a major challenge for the 21st century HR practitioner. Ideally to better connect with younger workers, many companies are increasing their presence on social-media platforms. In addition to using sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with potential recruits, HR departments are increasingly using social networking sites as both recruiting platforms and platforms to gain more information about the candidates. Finding and Retaining Talent The primary challenge facing human resource is to have the right people ready at the right time at the right place. The spread of technology and globalization has ensured a level playing field for firms in terms of technology, information, and availability of finance. The human resources of an enterprise, hitherto considered as just another resource such as land or capital, are now the key differentiator among firms, and as such the most critical source of competitive advantage. Although the availability of labour usually exceeds the availability of vacant positions, talent that makes a difference has always remained scarce. The increased competitiveness among firms ensures that finding new ways to increase the level of talent in the organization remains the key challenge facing human resources. The very existence of many knowledge-centric

firms in fact depends on the ability of the human resources department to hire and retain the right talent. Retaining existing talent is easier than hiring new employees, and as competition increases among firms, human resources looks at various ways on how to retain talent. Possible interventions include custom-made compensation packages and fringe benefits, job enrichment, autonomy, better working conditions, and more Ensuring Employee Fit The traditional human resources management approach entailed either hiring people with the required skills or training employees to develop the skill sets required for the organization. The challenge for human resources in the new order is to ensure an employee-employer fit. Ensuring Employee Competence Another major challenge facing human resources is to integrate its functional activities with the companys strategic goals. This entails taking a bottom-line oriented approach while making decisions or framing policy. While such a stance does not pose problems for most functional areas such as quality control or finance, the interests of the employees very often run at cross-purposes with the interests of the organization in terms of profitability. Human resources departments face the difficult task of walking a tightrope trying to affect trade-offs between genuine employee concerns and the commercial imperatives of the organization. For instance, while employees remain accustomed to pay for performance, the new reality is to compensate employees to the extent of value they add to the organization in terms of profitability, regardless of their level of performance. Similarly, while that latest trend is towards contract or performance based tenures, employees prefer a more stable plan and are accustomed to time-based tenure with many benefits. Adopting a Bottom-Line Oriented Approach Another major challenge facing human resources is to integrate its functional activities with the companys strategic goals. This entails taking a bottom-line oriented approach while making decisions or framing policy. While such a stance does not pose problems for most functional areas such as quality control or finance, the interests of the employees very often run at cross-purposes with the interests of the organization in terms of profitability.

Human resources departments face the difficult task of walking a tightrope trying to affect trade-offs between genuine employee concerns and the commercial imperatives of the organization. For instance, while employees remain accustomed to pay for performance, the new reality is to compensate employees to the extent of value they add to the organization in terms of profitability, regardless of their level of performance. Similarly, while that latest trend is towards contract or performance based tenures, employees prefer a more stable plan and are accustomed to time-based tenure with many benefits. Managing Diversity Managing diversity ranks among the most underestimated challenges confronting human resource. The increasing thrust towards globalization has resulted in internationalization of the workforce, and the increased demand for talent has resulted in groups of people hitherto out of the workforce entering the workforce. The dimensions of workplace diversity include age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, religious beliefs, parental status, and experience. Ideally, a key challenge facing human resources is to manage and retain such diverse talent. Managing Change Change is the only constant in todays business environment, forcing organizations to keep pace with such changes constantly and rapidly to exploit new opportunities. Change takes the shape of organizational restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, right sizing, implementing outsourcing, providing telecommuting opportunities for employees, and the like. Focused change intervention increases productivity, improves organizational communications, improves process efficiency, improve quality, and raises employee morale. The challenges related to change for human resource management include: helping employees overcome resistance to change by convincing them about the bigger picture, provide leadership for the change processes, ensuring stability of systems and processes during the change process and equipping employees to deal with the changed realities. Other challenges faced by the 21st century hr practitioner include developing high performing teams, succession planning, managing talent through change, finding/sourcing talent externally, developing high potential, managing performance, engaging people,

assessing best talent to join organisation, identifying high potential among other inexhaustible factors. Globalization Globalization has elevated the importance of HR development in organization. These changes have led to the notion of the HR system as a strategic asset. Many of the arguments about processes of globalization within the HR function rest on the assumption that there has and continues to be longitudinal change in the conduct of HR. in the intervening seven years a wide range of contextual changes have led to significant globalization of activity, including: the transfer of work abroad, either to outsourced providers or on a global in-sourcing basis; the e-enablement of many HR process; greater sophistication in the HR information technology, new structures for international HR functions; greater competition for talented staff at all levels of organization; more protracted and strategic talent pipelines. In particular, there has been a very strong marketing, corporate communication and IT influence on the HR function. The HR function is realigning itself in response to this process of cross-function globalization (building new alliances with these functions) creating new activity streams and new roles and skills required of the HR function HR managers must therefore be familiar with and understand other cultural norms to promote organization diversity. An organization that recognizes and promotes cultural diversity will benefit because it will be employing the market that it serves. With increasing globalization and competition within the market, a diverse workforce is conducive to attracting and retaining a strong client base. While competing in an international market, employees from diverse national backgrounds provide language skills and understanding of other cultures. HR professionals will also be responsible for providing cultural sensitivity training for the organizations employees and for managers throughout the entire organization In order to effectively deal with all the changes, HR professionals must develop competencies that will allow them to carry out their roles, competences like:flexibility,team work,communication,decisiveness,leadership,strategic planning, network building, client service orientation, organizational awareness, self-confidence, sharing of expertise, global and cultural understanding and multiple language competencies.