I think we all can agree that Human Resources (HR) has become increasingly viewed as an integral component to the success of an organization. The reason is that HR deals with an organizations most important resource: the employees. Organizations do not operate in a vacuum and in this topic area, I would like you to reflect on and then discuss some of the challenges you envision for today’s HR managers. I will suggest a few areas: 1) Economic and technological changes, 2) Workforce availability and quality concerns, 3) Demographic and diversity issues, and 4) Organizational restructuring. I know you can think of others. Please don’t hold back. Let’s begin by discussing the environment you will operate in as HR professionals or other positions in the organization. The field of human resource management has changed dramatically over the past three decades. From your reading, please describe in your words your understanding of how the function of Human Resources has changed over the last decade or so. And if you can, share your thoughts about trends or issues that might arise to challenge the HR function in the future! Third, since I’m sure you are seeing how HR professionals today must be strategic in their initiatives, please take a moment and define for us in your own words – what you understand “strategic” to be? And then discuss why we look at “strategic” Human Resources one of the first topics in this course? When roles change, Competencies to perform the role must also change. When you review the HR Competencies listed on pages 25 and 26 of your text, what do you think? Do you think this list is particular to Human Resources professionals? Is there any other competency you might add? Is there one competency listed you think is more important than any other? Please be sure to explain your answer!
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