HR Policies in Developing Economies

Rajendra Prasad Koirala

Over the last two decades, human resources management (HRM) has become an increasingly important area in academia and organizational practices. As a result, a great deal of literature has been published about HRM. In addition, new research areas have opened up including international human resource management and strategic human resource management.

As a result of globalization, rapid development in international commerce and the growing importance of emerging markets, the success of managers in the 21st century will be determined by their ability to comprehend the dynamics of managing human resources. There is vast a wealth of knowledge about the management of human resources in industrialized countries. However, information on the dynamics of HRM in poor nations is scarce. There is a consensus among the global HR community that HRM tactics differ greatly from country to country and the solutions in one nation can be rendered useless or irrelevant in another. With the growing importance of developing countries in the global economy (as suppliers of low-cost resources, buyers, competitors, capital users, and the home of the majority of MNCs’ foreign direct investment), academicians and practitioners alike must understand how human resources are managed in these countries.

HRM in developing countries presents a complicated and demanding set of difficulties. By giving important information to policymakers and researchers, academics can play a crucial role in this area. It is also critical for business students to obtain an awareness of the various difficulties connected to the management of human resources in developing countries, as they will be future business leaders. Employee relations practices within firms, especially internal labor market (ILM) structures, are currently influenced by social and cultural values, religious views, caste/ethnic-based stratification, political allegiance, and economic power in most developing nations. Organizational performance suffers as a result of such ILMs that promote corruption and bureaucratic red-tapism. In light of the changes occurring in most developing nations in terms of privatization and structural adjustment programs, HRM systems in these countries must now be congruent with rationalized, objective, and systematic employment systems.

It should be taken into consideration quite seriously that by contributing to productivity, human resources play an important role in a country’s economy. Because of the human resource’s input, the other resource becomes useful. Education, training, and healthcare are all ways to invest in human capital and give a return. Human resource development can boost a country’s per capita income through increasing human capital formation. Knowledge transfer can boost worker productivity and, as a result, raise per capita income.
HR policies play a critical role in implementing an organization’s HR strategy realistically and successfully. They also help to improve the psychological contract and promote a positive organizational culture by providing consistency and openness for employees and managers.

According to Dunning (2006), international business research focuses primarily on organizations’ and nations’ physical assets, ignoring the human environment of businesses and nations. Knowledge, according to research, is “the most crucial motivator for economic advancement” and is derived from the human environment. The “human assets (i.e. creativity leading to innovation; experience, skills, and knowledge of employees) and the skills and abilities those assets hold inside a given place” are defined as the “human environment” (Zhu, 2011,). As a result, how a company, including the government, manages its human resources (HR), which are derived from the human context in which it operates, has a substantial impact on its success or failure (Barney, 2001; Kong & Thomson, 2009). It is argued that while much study has been done on HRM as a competitive advantage for businesses, less has been done on HRM practices in government and their impact on a country’s competitive edge.

Human resources are a valuable asset for every organization. Effective resource management contributes to competitive advantages, resulting in the organization’s success in its objectives. Different researches have shown that implementing a variety of interrelated HRM practices leads to success rather than just one. These are referred to as high-performance work systems (HPWS). Recruitment, selection, training, performance management, and pay are just a few of the HRM methods included. HPWS, in the broadest sense, are HRM strategies that improve overall organizational performance by increasing employee commitment and involvement in the organization’s goals. According to Huang, Ahlstrom, Lee, Chen, and Hsieh, “HPWS produces better results than typical HR strategies. Instead of treating HR and other business units of an organization as separate entities, HPWS strives to develop unified business processes. Managers and staff are urged to implement work practices that encourage them to collaborate in a mutually advantageous and beneficial way to the organization as a whole under an HPWS.
Employee morale has been demonstrated to improve as a result of HPWS, as well as increased innovation and profitability.

Recruitment is the process through which a business identifies and attracts a pool of people who want to work for them in a given position. One of the most important roles of HRM is recruitment, which is used to attract and choose the best candidates for a position or business.

Because recruitment is not a static process or notion, it is shaped by its surroundings. The techniques an organization can utilize are determined by the size of the available labor pool, as well as the skills and education levels of that labor pool. Other elements, such as religion and cultural differences, can, nevertheless, impact recruitment techniques.

Globalization has expanded demographic diversity, and countries are discovering that their civil service may not represent this increasing diversity. Depending on what the organization wants to achieve in terms of overcoming changes in the environment in which they serve, a firm might use both internal and external recruitment approaches. Because the environment in which an organization functions is not static, recruitment should be updated to best match the business’s continuous demands.

However, it’s vital to remember that what works for one company may not work for another (Lavigna & Hays 2004). As a result of this discovery, companies, especially the public sector, must carefully examine their operating environment and desired end goals when developing and implementing a recruitment strategy.

Recruitment Process in Singapore
Singapore is an example of prosperity largely as a result of its robust public sector. Many have referred to Singapore as a “brain gain nation,” claiming that its ability to recruit, acquire, and retain elite people has given it a competitive advantage over other countries’ public sectors. Diversified recruitment tactics are one of the fundamental elements of Singapore’s capacity to attract top people to the public sector. Singapore recruits local talent in four key ways: open recruitment, pre-service scholarships, green harvest, and scouting and headhunting. This diversity of recruiting methods aids Singapore’s civil service in diversifying its talent pool, resulting in a more talented and robust civil service. The Public Service Commission (PSC) of Singapore, for example, grants scholarships to lure the best and brightest to apply for posts in the public sector.

After graduation, the awardees are obligated to work in the civil service for a set period. The scholarships are unique in that there are no constraints on the subject of study that applicants must be enrolled in order to apply. Getting rid of these restrictions and holding an open competition is a great way to attract a varied group of candidates. This is among several strategies Singapore uses to ensure that top talent is interested in working for the government.

Diverse workforces have been shown to perform better than homogeneous workforces, though this is not universally true (Oliveria & Scherbaum 2015). This is because a homogeneous workforce may suffer from groupthink, in which all team members have an implicit agreement; because everyone is on the same page, innovation, fresh ideas, and improvement may be suppressed (Oliveria & Scherbaum 2015). As a result, having a varied workforce is generally advantageous to businesses. Singapore’s public sector has recognized the need for a diversified workforce and has committed to attracting top international talent in addition to diverse local expertise.

Recruitment is one of the most crucial aspects of the HR process. Many people are familiar with the phrase “GIGO,” which stands for “garbage-in-garbage-out”, which is most typically used in information technology and manufacturing. Indeed, who is drawn to a company and, more significantly, who is awarded a position, impacts everything that happens later. Everything in a company is determined by the individuals who work there, so finding and keeping the proper people is critical. Nothing gets realized without the correct people in place, i.e., the HR appropriate for the jobs, no matter how well-crafted the policies are, how well laid out the strategy is, or how profitable a specific industry is.

The right individuals, on the other hand, may develop the plan, draft and implement policies, and make a successful sector or enter a profitable one as needed. As a result, in order to fulfill the true potential of their HR department, firms must hire acceptable and qualified personnel for open roles.
Recruitment tactics are the bedrock of any successful business. ‘Getting the right people for the job at the right time’ is indeed the mantra of growth and success in today’s world. Successful governments adopt recruitment tactics that attract competent and engaged staff. Government policies and their implementation are what propel a country from economic weakness to economic strength. China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore are all examples in this regard. A strong, thriving civil service is something that all of these countries have in common. In these nations, the right individuals are at the right place not by chance, but because of a recruitment mechanism that brought them into public service.

Koirala is a PhD scholar. He can be reached at

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