Human resources are the set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector or an economy. "Human capital" is sometimes used synonymously with human resources, although human capital typically refers to a more narrow view; i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and can contribute to an organization. Likewise, other terms sometimes used include "manpower", "talent", "labor", and simply "people". The professional discipline and business function that oversees an organization's human resources is called human resource management (HRM, or simply HR). In the corporate vision, employees are viewed as assets to the enterprise, whose value is enhanced by development. Hence, companies will engage in a barrage of human resource management practices to capitalize on those assets.
In governing human resources, three major trends are typically considered:
In regard to how individuals respond to the changes in a labor market, the following must be understood:
- Demographics: the characteristics of a population/workforce, for example, age, gender or social class. This type of trend may have an effect in relation to pension offerings, insurance packages etc.
- Diversity: the variation within the population/workplace. Changes in society now mean that a larger proportion of organizations are made up of "baby-boomers" or older employees in comparison to thirty years ago. Advocates of "workplace diversity" advocate an employee base that is a mirror reflection of the make-up of society insofar as race, gender, sexual orientation etc.
- Skills and qualifications: as industries move from manual to more managerial professions so does the need for more highly skilled graduates. If the market is "tight" (i.e. not enough staff for the jobs), employers must compete for employees by offering financial rewards, community investment, etc.
- Geographical spread: how far is the job from the individual? The distance to travel to work should be in line with the pay offered, and the transportation and infrastructure of the area also influence who applies for a post.
- Occupational structure: the norms and values of the different careers within an organization. Mahoney 1989 developed 3 different types of occupational structure, namely, craft (loyalty to the profession), organization career (promotion through the firm) and unstructured (lower/unskilled workers who work when needed).
- Generational difference: different age categories of employees have certain characteristics, for example, their behavior and their expectations of the organization.
One major concern about considering people as assets or resources is that they will be commoditized and abused. Modern analysis emphasizes that human beings are not "commodities" or "resources", but are creative and social beings in a productive enterprise. The 2000 revision of ISO 9001, in contrast, requires identifying the processes, their sequence and interaction, and to define and communicate responsibilities and authorities. In general, heavily unionized nations such as France and Germany have adopted and encouraged such approaches. Also, in 2001, the International Labor Organization decided to revisit and revise its 1975 Recommendation 150 on Human Resources Development. One view of these trends is that a strong social consensus on political economy and a good social welfare system facilitates labor mobility and tends to make the entire economy more productive, as labor can develop skills and experience in various ways, and move from one enterprise to another with little controversy or difficulty in adapting.
Another important controversy regards labor mobility and the broader philosophical issue with usage of the phrase "human resources". Governments of developing nations often regard developed nations that encourage immigration or "guest workers" as appropriating human capital that is more rightfully part of the developing nation and required to further its economic growth. Over time, the United Nations have come to more generally support the developing nations' point of view, and have requested significant offsetting "foreign aid" contributions so that a developing nation losing human capital does not lose the capacity to continue to train new people in trades, professions, and the arts.
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- Badr Alsamaa Group of Hospitals – Muscat.
- Shifa Jeddah Poly Clinic – Saudi Arabia.
- Al Hilal Hospital – Bahrain.
- Washco – Saudi Arabia.
- Al Bak – Saudi Arabia.
- Birla Public School – Qatar.
- Golden Bricks Contracting and Trading Company – Qatar.
- Dolphin Constructions – Qatar.
- Bloom Constructions – Qatar
- Naveen Gaskets – Dubai