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Human Capital Management Challenges Has Now Increased

Jun 19, 2008
In the last decade or so there has been a significant shift in the way that human resources (HR) and staffing for various work positions is handled. Much of that shift has been to "go global" in order to reduce overhead and cut staffing costs. The impact of the growth of technology and the easy access that people in all parts of the world have to the internet has dramatically changed the landscape of human capital management.

With the growth of technology solution tools and the resulting access to workers from around the globe, leaders in virtually all industries have been changing the way they recruit and train their employees. Human resources, often referred to as "human capital," have expanded in terms of where employees are physically located, as well as the type of training that is required to adequately prepare them for their roles. In this sense, the HR responsibilities have been challenged and are in a constant state of change in order to meet the new standards and demands of global asset management, which includes a global workforce.

Today, human capital management is often much more about nurturing the workforce and empowering them with the technology tools of the trade, as opposed to simply sending them off to work in setting such as cubicles, factory lines or agricultural fields. With the ever-changing technology that more and more workers rely on, there is a much greater demand to be sure that they have the ongoing training needed, as well as support from a technology advisor, to continue to perform their tasks efficiently and effectively.

In addition to the challenges related to simply trying to keep employees trained and up to speed on the most current and important technology, another aspect that can make HR management taxing and stressful is the global factor. There are now many human resource managers who have employees located in all corners of the world. This brings up issues of language, cultural differences, both in communication and also in terms of expectations, and coordination of "virtual meetings," given the fact that members of a work team can be located in many different time zones.

Another factor is simply hands-on management. When employees are located in a workgroup in a common facility, it is quite simple to know and be aware of how productive employees are. However, when people are spread across the globe in settings which are often independent to each and every worker, it can be more difficult to quickly asses who is pulling their weight and where there are problems. As a result, managing employees often includes relying on "electronic metrics" which can report precise activities of each employee.

With the right software to oversee a workforce that is working "virtually" via internet connections from their homes or remote offices, those responsible for HR management actually have access to detailed reports that provide information about remote employee activity. Such software gives human resources personnel the management knowledge of productivity, as well as allowing them to see how well individuals are performing and where attention needs to be given for additional training or correction.

There are many obvious benefits as well to having employees in place in various parts of the world. One of the biggest and most important benefits to many companies is being able to get away with paying less for the same work. At the same time, there are also additional costs that stem from the challenges of adequate human capital management that eats into some of those savings because of the challenges that must be overcome when a workforce is spread out in many parts of the world.
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