The traditional role of H.R. was to ensure that policies were being adhered to and that payments were made to to Vendors on time. Add to this the principal role of recruiting and you had the complete H.R. Manager.
Companies have definitely evolved considerably, and as a result, the principal roles of an H.R. Manager today are that of a Recruitment Specialist, a Compensation Manager, a Performance Appraiser and a Training and Development Manager. Added to this are the roles of a Counsellor and a Conflict handler. That is quite a complex and demanding set of roles for the H.R. Manager of today.
However, there are major winds of change blowing in the business environment today and in the near future, primary among them being technology and globalization. As a result of this, H.R. too needs to think in a Strategic manner and align its functions towards business goals. This is evident in the creation of the Balance Score Card for Performance Appraisal and the evolution of the C.H.R.O.(Chief Human Resource Officer) or H.R.B.P. (Human Resources Business Partner) who is called to Board meetings and advises top Management on H.R. matters aligned to the company’s business. This has already started happening in most Multi Nationals across the world and the others too need to catch up quickly or get left behind.
The bottom line, therefore is that in order to make its presence felt and contribute effectively, H.R. has to move beyond its conventional roles and think, talk and do business