Managing Human Resources in the 21st Century

Rajendra Prasad Koirala

Everything, including production procedures, recruitment processes, training approaches, and new tools, has been greatly influenced by advancements in technology. It is now up to HR professionals to collaborate with respective departments in any organization to make things happen. In this article, I attempt to discuss some of the most important concerns and challenges that organizations face today. To address these concerns and obstacles, HR managers will need to create standard structures that allow them to manage a variety of workforce options that enables the organization to maintain its competitive advantage.

Modern businesses cannot perform efficiently unless their human resources are well-versed in the latest technologies and processes. The job of HR managers is to effectively train the workforce and determine the basic needs of employees in order to attain competitive advantages in business in the 21st century.

We’ve seen several debates on this topic have been going on for the last many years, and there is no doubt that humans are an important part of any organization. However, due to rapid changes in the business world, globalization, changes in the behavior of customers and new production techniques, organizations are now facing a variety of problems. To deal with this situation, today’s HR managers are facing a variety of issues and challenges. To face these problems in the future, HR managers and departments will need to be far more intelligent than their predecessors (Byers and Rue, 2006).

Because a single international or multinational organization cannot perform well unless its HR managers are familiar with a variety of techniques for dealing with these issues and how to prepare an unobjectionable force for the organization to face the fast-paced competitive business world and operate in that environment. To maintain a competitive advantage, all firms should prepare their human resource personnel in light of the global environment or marketplace. Human resource managers will need to create or design a framework that allows for flexibility in developing a workforce that will be the workforce of the future. (2008, Andries du Plessis).

What are the future priorities for HR professionals? The answer to this question is difficult because many factors influence HR managers’ functions, and these factors are always changing. The organization’s HR department is always changing as a result of these various scenarios. (2008, Marshal and Paalvast). Several studies have shown that the most significant difficulties facing HR in the twenty-first century include employee retention, multicultural workforce, women’s participation in the workforce, retrenchment of personnel, changes in government demand, technology, globalization, and commencing the change process. The International Federation of People Management Associations (IFPMA) is a global federation of personnel management organizations (WFPMA, 2009). The top 10 HR challenges, according to the survey, are leadership development, organizational effectiveness, change management, and remuneration, Staff retention, as well as health and safety. Learning and development, as well as succession planning, are all important aspects of the job. Recruitment and skilled labor are two aspects of staffing. The most significant difficulties facing HR in business, according to Liz Weber (2009), are layoffs. This is a difficult problem for the majority of business owners and managers. This layoff could be caused by a number of factors, including economic uncertainty, job insecurity among employees, and HR inefficiency.

The most important challenges in human resources management, according to Decenzo and Robins (2001) and Gary Dessler (2000), are technology, e-commerce, workforce diversity, and globalization, as well as ethical considerations of the organization, which may directly or indirectly affect the organization’s competitive advantages. Especially with technological advancement, the impact on recruitment, training and development, and job performance can be studied to a large extent. Furthermore, post-Covid human resource management is another big challenge the world is suffering from.

Globalization is the most significant challenge for human resources management. The flow of commodities, services, capital, ideas, information, and people is referred to as “globalization” at present. It refers to the transportation of these items without the use of human labor. Markets have evolved into battlegrounds in today’s commercial world, with domestic and international competitors vying for the largest market share.

Human resources management has difficulty as a result of globalization. However, they are worthless without human resources, because a workforce is knowledgeable and talented, allowing a firm to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors and enabling it to compete in overseas markets and make investments not only in the home market but also in other markets. As a result, all HR managers devise a variety of tactics to create and retain such human resources, because human resources are the resource that allows a company to succeed in the global marketplace.

Another issue in human resources management is technology. Technology refers to how people live and work. Modern technology has altered these methods and ways of doing things. Everything has altered as a result of information technology. It deals with information and concepts that are critical to the economy. People have a significant amount of capital in the economy. Other assets are physically owned by people. However, human resources are an essential asset that does not have genuine ownership. The only way to develop and keep such human resources is to establish an environment that encourages them to stay in the company, which is a major HRM problem.

The term “electronic commerce (e-commerce)” refers to the practice of conducting business on the internet. The Internet is the bedrock of new business order. Customers’ expectations of convenience speed, pricing, and services have all changed as a result. The knowledgeable employees are the ones that make the online business viable. Such online business has now become a challenge for human resources management, and HR managers have devised a number of techniques to gain control over online business procedures. Such HR Managers strive to employ and develop human resources capable of attracting, motivating, retaining, and serving as many clients as possible.

Workforce diversification is yet another challenge. Diversifying the workforce entails efficiently managing employees from various locations, cultures, races, and genders. Every company entity in the current business world conducts its operations in many countries. Multinational corporations are now employing a variety of techniques to compete in global markets by utilizing people. In order to effectively manage such a broad human resource pool, businesses must adopt policies and practices to the culture and environment.

There are a number of other issues that today’s business organizations are dealing with that are both surprising and uncertain, such as the organization’s environment, ethical and ecological challenges, globalization, economic and political instabilities, employer and employee issues, and technological innovations in which modern business operates. New challenges include worker mobility, political pressure, investment capital flow, electronic information communication, and currency exchange.

To deal with these issues and trends, HR must ensure that the organization has the right people with the knowledge, desire, ability, and skills to develop a culture in the business that positively contributes and enables the organization to adapt. With the progress of technology, the world has grown more globalized in character. Globalization entails the integration of markets, allowing corporations, individuals, and governments to freely travel throughout the globe.

Everything may be accessed without any difficulty. Globalization has forced organizations to become more competitive and advanced than they were previously, and technology has liberated modern organizations from traditional HRM. To be more competitive, the company must put up more effort in order to maintain its position in the global market. According to Wiesner and Millet, the employee-employer relationship is a major challenge for today’s HR. Psychological agreements that are out of sequence can lead to organizational issues such as a lack of trust, rage, and legal action. Modern HR is in charge of assuring employees that they are valued and important to the firm. Giving people less prominence might lead to organizational problems. HR is once again accountable for overcoming any unfavorable feelings that employees may have.

Both the organization and the personnel require stability, a pleasant atmosphere, and core principles. They must have a good understanding of one another and be able to keep their emotional promises to one another. Some internal difficulties may cause unrest in the relationship between the company and the employees, but HR is responsible for monitoring and addressing these concerns.

Ethics in the workplace while doing tasks is also a major concern and challenge for businesses. Organizations can become more adaptive by focusing on ethics. Ethics improves performance and supports and facilitates the organization’s attainment of goals through improving social and psychological conditions. HR strategies such as recruitment, training, development, and organizational communication, can have a significant impact on an organization’s success, and they are still the primary HR trends. Because culture is the brand of an organization that represents it to the outside world, HR may solve these difficulties by building a strong organizational culture. A good culture can only be maintained when the cultural standards are followed.

The HR department’s main priority is to establish a solid organizational structure with strong interpersonal skills for employees, as well as to train employees by introducing them to the concept of globalized human resource management so that they may perform better in a global business. Workforce diversity, leadership development, and other difficulties and challenges can’t be overlooked. HR managers can best manage change management, organizational effectiveness, globalization, e-commerce, succession planning, and compensation when they use HR practices like rigid recruitment and selection policies, job division, empowerment, encouraging diversity in the workplace, training and development of the workforce, fostering innovation, proper assignment of duties and responsibilities, and managing knowledge.

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented HR professionals with challenges they had not anticipated. The economy has been crushed by uncertainty, employees are under stress, and HR experts are doing their best to keep things in perspective and coordinated. Is it, however, as simple as it appears? HR faces new issues as a result of the abrupt transformation in work culture. HR professionals’ top priorities are now crisis response and how to keep employees motivated, as well as providing the appropriate communication channels and tools for remote work.

Koirala is a Ph.D. scholar. He can be reached at

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