Special offer 

Jumpstart your hiring with a £100 credit to sponsor your first job.*

Sponsored Jobs deliver 85% more applicants on average than non-sponsored jobs.**
  • Attract the talent you’re looking for
  • Get more visibility in search results
  • Appear to more candidates longer

Strategic Human Resources Management: Getting Started

As the business world has evolved and developed, shaped by social change, the digital landscape and altering trends, strategic HR has grown into a business essential. Human resources is no longer only about recruitment and training, so new HR strategies have had to be developed to keep businesses ahead of their competition. Strategic HR was first developed in the 1990s, but what is it?

Post a Job

What is strategic HRM?

‘People Strategy’ supports the long-term goals of businesses by setting out a structured framework for the recruitment of employees, as well as their management and development. Strategic HRM goes a step further than the old style of recruitment by taking into consideration the behaviour and culture that a company wants to foster in order to achieve its aims.

This means that the HR strategies put in place will take into consideration longer-term factors and issues such as competition, market fluctuations and the growth of the business. The strategy will factor in which resources will be needed to tackle issues or progress and grow. Another factor in the decisions and strategy could be the culture that the business is aiming for in order to grow, employee satisfaction or the values the company wishes to practise.

In their highly rated book, Boxall and Purcell outline strategic HRM as a practice that influences an organisation’s performance. Boxall and Purcell also note the fact that strategy is not the same as strategic planning, as the latter already exists in all companies defining behaviour, whereas the former is a process that informs long-term decisions.

The areas that strategic HRM encompasses

Strategic human resource management is a blend of traditional HR and leadership, combining organisational goals and strategy with a finely tuned recruitment process. This is supplemented by a clear strategy for employee management, benefits and training. Whereas HR roles used to be fairly administrative and designed to help keep the company running, strategic HR has a far more hands-on part to play. Business goals and strategies are developed with input from HR leaders, which in turn helps to inform the wider HR strategy, including who to recruit and when. Both Cisco and Nissan are fine examples of strategic HR, identifying their workforce as their key strength and building their strategies around them. This involves rewarding employees well and encouraging them to improve and develop in their roles, advancing their skill sets. At Nissan, employees are hired based on their talent, and then encouraged to improve and develop their skills whilst competing to develop new innovations. This is a classic example of the recruitment process being driven by the future, and employees remaining at the heart of the strategy.

This is similar to the strategy at Cisco, where the leadership team has developed an internal CRM system that tracks the skills and experiences of their employees. This allows the business leaders to plan their strategy based on the employees’ experience and skills, as well as allowing the workforce to take their personal development into their own hands and align their skill set to the organisational goals set out by the leadership team.

Benefits of strategic HRM

One of the key benefits of strategic HRM is the overall goal of the strategy, which is to improve organisational performance by developing a business strategy that involves the employees’ culture, values and skill sets. By aligning the efforts of the labour force, strategic HRM can provide the following benefits:

HR-related benefits: If a company’s employees are clear about what its strategy and objectives are, it will lead to higher staff retention, reduced absence, increased job satisfaction and more willingness to contribute to the wider organisational strategy. For example, companies seen as desirable places to work will attract a better quality of applicant for roles.

Organisational outcomes: With synchronised efforts, an organisation can move towards their goals with pace and clarity. This means that there is less time spent deliberating over decisions or assigning staff to the right areas, as this has been planned in advance as part of the HR strategy. By using strategic HRM to predict demand for resources at specific times, the use of time is far more efficient, meaning financial and wastage figures are healthier and in control.

Financial effects: With a more motivated workforce, higher staff retention, a myriad of organisational benefits and streamlined HR strategies comes the impact on financial outcomes. This includes higher profits and sales, reduced waste, higher productivity and return on investment.

Overall and market benefits: With the above benefits combined, there is a subsequent impact on market share, stock price and company growth. With a better HR strategy and the company working towards common goals, the reputation of the business will grow, which has an effect on the financial standing of the organisation.

Streamlined processes: With strategic HR enabling human resources teams to play a bigger part in the overall business direction, HR strategies can be streamlined and, in some cases, outsourced. This allows the department to become agile and increase satisfaction throughout the company. An agile department can respond to issues quickly and efficiently, and can react to changes in the market or a competitor’s action. A further benefit of streamlined processes is having the right staff, in the right place, at the right time. This allows for targeted resource spending rather than estimations and guesses, saving money and time.

How to start implementing it at your company

Before diving straight in with an attempt at implementing strategic human resources in your company, it’s important to take basic steps first. Strategic HRM requires planning and thought ahead of working on the implementation itself, and this includes some of the following steps.

Evaluate business goals: As strategic HR aligns organisational goals with the performance and workload of the workforce, you need to be able to understand your business goals and where you want to get to. That could be a certain percentage of growth in a set period of time, breaking into a new market or improving overall profitability. Once you have understood your business goals, you can start to formulate HR strategies and align the business aims.

Evaluate your senior team: Understanding your business goals leads on to understanding your leadership team, their strengths and capabilities, and the roles they play within your business. By doing so, you can understand how their attributes contribute to the business goals already outlined. The senior figures within the company help to shape the strategy and organisational goals, so they should be evaluated fully to ensure that the right people are in the right roles.

Understand current HR performance: Before rolling out new HR strategies, you must first understand and evaluate the current performance and capabilities of your current HR department. This involves looking at the role they already play, how it can be improved and what needs to be added or removed to turn it into a strong strategic HR department.

Understand the current departments: Following the analysis of your current HR team and senior figures, you can look to analyse the rest of the departments in your business and the work needed to bring them in line with the organisational goals. Once this has been undertaken, you can set your new strategic HR team to work on rolling out the strategy and goals to the other departments.

The recruitment process: With business goals in mind, your team understood, and an analysis of current performance all completed, you may find that there are gaps in your team that need to be filled to meet the new organisational goals. Your new strategic HR department can help recruit accordingly.

Post a Job

Ready to get started?

Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your recruiting or legal advisor, we are not responsible for the content of your job descriptions, and none of the information provided herein guarantees performance.