UGC NET Study Notes on Emerging Trends in Human Resource Management

By Shalini Tyagi|Updated : September 11th, 2020


Emerging Trends in HRM

  • Human Resource Management includes an organization's policies, plans, actions, and systems that impact workforce behavior and performance. It is a dynamic system as it reacts to a continuously changing business environment.
  • In today’s competitive era, HR managers are facing complex challenges such as recession and technology, which influence human resources. Adapting change is the only way to contribute to the appropriate HR strategy. Following are some trends organisations are witnessing:

1- Impact of technology

  • In the present competitive era, technological advancement has become an essential element to win against rivals in the race of achieving competitive advantage. Technological advancements have brought a drastic change in management and operations areas in organisations; also a change in trends in human resource management, described below:
    • Changes in Job specification: With upgradation of technology, the need for upgraded employee skills, knowledge and aptitude have become necessary. Employees are required to continue upgrading and modernizing their skill set and qualification to survive in the organisation. It has also brought a challenge for recruitment and training departments.
    • Attrition and downsizing: Technology has forced organisations to replace automatic machines with a low level of labours, which has resulted in regular attrition and downsizing. Organisations also eliminate managerial levels in hierarchy as mergers and acquisition are carried out by firms to control costs.
    • Work from home: Telecommunication and internet facilities have let employees migrate from office to home. Employees do their work from home and coordinate via phones, emails, messages and video conferencing.
    • Online HRM: Through good internet and intranet, managers are carrying out various human resource management activities online such as recruitment via telephonic interview, selection via submission of online assignment, induction and orientation via video conferencing, collecting employee information online and performance management.

2- Workforce diversity and Cross-cultural management

  • It includes the challenge of managing a workforce which comes from diverse culture and regions. It also includes meeting the needs and preferences of consumers at a global and international level.
  • Organisations seek to analyse the similarities and dissimilarities across the cultures and boundaries in management and organisational behaviour context. Organisations adopting cross-cultural management tend to increase the effectiveness in global management.
  • Workforce diversity is not a less challenging task for managers nowadays, it includes differences in age, gender, qualification etc. of the workforce. Organisations have to manage a bunch of heterogeneous employees along with taking care of their needs and satisfaction.
  • Changing workforce structure in the organisations has brought new policies and rules in various organisations, which includes:
    • Emphasis on individual employee objectives
    • Equal opportunity for participation
    • Trend of equality, diversity and pluralism
    • Improved quality of work-life
    • Justice and equity for employees

3- Augmented reality

  • Virtual reality and augmented reality are the latest trends in human resource management. It is a way of training employees on how to respond to real-life situations.
  • It is also being adopted in the recruitment and selection process to let employees experience the real like work-life situation.
  • Candidates are also given a virtual tour of organisation to understand the organisation culture and work environment.

4- Blurred international borders

  • Most of the big organisations, in order to survive and grow, are moving across global boundaries and expanding their business globally.
  • When businesses enter international boundaries, HR managers come up with challenges to deal with foreign company management and staff, to understand workforce diversity, and they need to grab hold on various languages and cultures.
  • Mergers and acquisitions have become a new way to expand business globally, which brings alteration in organisational culture and hierarchy.

5- Digital recognition

  • Reward and recognition act as a best non-financial motivation to boost employees’ performance in an organisation. The HRM trend has converted this motivator from verbal to digital.
  • Digital and online recognition and praises via social media have led employees to boost their morale to the next level.
  • Peer to peer recognition on social media platforms is raising employee’s performance scale.

6- “Work-life balance” an essential component

  • Stress and anxiety among employees are increasing rapidly because of work pressures, overtime, layoffs, risk of job security, inflation etc. which affect the overall employee performance.
  • Digitalisation and networking have made the line of difference between professional life and personal life of employees quite blurred, as they have to be attentive to emails, report through mobile.
  • It gives extreme awareness that the importance of work-life balance is essential to retain a healthy environment, work culture and sustainable workforce.
  • Organisation takes initiatives to organise workshops and seminars like yoga, career counselling, and other recreational activities.

7- Strengthened employee engagement

  • In the current era, employee engagement has gained importance not just in the field of basic activities but also in decision making, strategic planning and goal setting.
  • With the growing digital scenario, employees are offered lots of wellness and stress relieving consultations to ensure optimum performance and work-life balance.
  • The main focus of organisations, nowadays, is on retaining potential employees rather than acquiring new and investing cost on training and development.

8- Human Resource Outsourcing

  • Outsourcing is the allotment of tasks to outside parties on a recurring basis, rather than getting it done in house by employees of organisations.
  • Human resource outsourcing for HR functions has become a common term in multinational companies.
  • Outsourcing has various advantages like it allows employees to focus more on core competencies and skills; it also offers strategic opportunities for HR professionals to enhance their skills, knowledge and efficiency. It reduces the administrative burdens of organisations and has the advantage of decreased operating costs. It also helps to get diversity in HR practices.

9- Electronic recruitment and orientation

  • Recruitment and orientation processes are shifting to electronic means from paperwork, with easy and time-saving user interface. Onboarding of new hires will no longer be paper-based.
  • Activities done through the electronic Human Resource Onboarding process such as electronic forms, collecting and storing employees data electronically, E-verify and Digital Signatures have made work paperless and quick.

10- Managing with young generation workforce

  • The young generation is flourishing at the workplace because of their qualities such as team-orientation, determination, multitasking, communication skills etc.
  • In spite of such qualities, young generation employees need mentoring, career development counselling, and they are also not easy to tackle. The challenge of HR professionals would be to make existing employees and young employees work together efficiently.

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