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The Role of Human Resource Management in South Africa 

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Human resources management in South Africa role is gradually changing in today’s organizations and this requires professionals to get well equipped with the challenging role in a complex environment. The complex environment is characterized with uncertainty in the world markets, as organizations today are affected with globalization. The HR role in the past was administrative, but today in South Africa organizations have realized that in order a company to gain a competitive advantage, an employee’s uniqueness should be considered, with reference to what the company intends to achieve.

The past decade has also seen dramatic increases in the understanding of the relationship of Human Resources Management practices and firm performance. Consequently, Human Resource Management in South Africa is now seen as a major competitive advantage that cannot be copied readily by one’s competition. To win competitive advantage, companies invest in HR activities hoping to get better results from the overall performance of the business. In his way, companies would have to find ways to measure the contribution of Human Resources.

Senior executives once considered HR a “soft,” unavoidable cost of doing business, responsible for compensation, employee transactions, company functions, workforce problems, and legal issues. Three factors changed this perception: the significant impact of high-performance Human resources management, the implications of poorly performing HR, and soaring HR operating expenses. These factors have led to an increased demand and focus on HR metrics.

Urich (1997) asserts that the role of the Human Resource Practitioners has shifted to that of a strategic partner, a change agent and an employee champion.

7 Responses to The Role of Human Resource Management in South Africa

  1. njabulo mtimkulu

    hi
    im a student and im researching about the challangies in South African Human Resources for both public and private sector
    If u cn please forward me Links of the above mentioned Statement.
    Yours Sincerlly
    njabulo

     
  2. John Herbert

    It seems to be a universal theme, the need for HR are to build the capability for the organisation to succeed in to-day’s fast changing, unpredictable world. Does South Africa have a particular perspective on this and on the future of HR? Are there lessons from Africa to inform the global debate? Who should I talk to to gain a perspective – is it possible to generalise or see trends?

    Many thanks, John Herbert, Executive Director, the European HR Forum

     
    • Admin

      Hi John, thanks for your comment. I think that South Africa is starting to realise the importance that people can give to the success of an organisation. Therefore the future of HR is of extreme importance to the sustainability of this country. There are a lot of skills lacking in the country, and I think it is up to HR to align the goals of the organisation to what skills, training and other solutions that are required. Gone are the days where HR people should be thought about sitting in a back office doing nothing all day (only putting out fires when necessary). The future should see HR getting involved in all aspects of the business and actually being proactive in their response to the problems that exist in organisations today.

       
  3. G Man Gumede

    hi, i can’t say much but that i am g man gumede and i love 2 be an HR but the problem i don’t know much about the job. I would love to know more cause i going to university and i got to make sure i am picking the right job for me. i would be highly greatful if you could advice me on what i must do. thank you

     
  4. Mokwena MV

    hi,first of all you need to know what kind of job you want to be in.As am saying these to you i was like you,but now am at varsity doing HR and i love it.All i can say is that follow your heart,never give up find more information then you will be fine if not you can change the career asap.

     
  5. HR

    I believe that HR Professionals are still in many industries facing the reality that HR is still only seen as an administrative function; dealing with employee complaints.
    Those organizations should realize that they are refusing interest in a function that should be seen as one of the greatest assets the company has. In my opinion it starts
    with Top Management that needs to change their view in becoming more familiar with what HR is all about, make a study of its various functions and realize how it can add value to the organization.
    Surely one needs to understand a Department and its value before creating such a department. Although administration and employee issues are a big part of HR, other areas have extremely
    important value. These include conceptualizing the recruitment process in finding the right people with the right skills, experience and qualifications and employing them in line with the organizations
    future goals combined with providing a healthy induction session. Taking your workforce and analyzing performance of individual staff members that should be measured against specific requirements, identifying individual
    needs and attending to those needs, providing training both internally and externally and focus on having mentors in departments that will provide guidance. It entails allowing staff to receive feedback on performance
    and to provide rewards for great achievers, brining key staff in line with business decisions to create a sense of belonging and to allow for creativity to flow with suggestions, concerns and ideas. The functions should focus
    on benchmarking to ensure that market related salaries are paid and that benefits are available to all, as this provides job security and satisfaction, which in return increases performance levels. It focuses on career advancement
    and therefore succession planning which in return help employees to grow into more responsible positions that will expand the skills and knowledge of the workforce to better service the business and what it ultimately focuses
    on achieving. The function has a lot more value than what has been mentioned; and I would personally like organizations to start investing in HR by understanding the function and its ultimate value.

     
  6. Mondli Mzulwini

    well am a student at Durban university of technology (D.U.T).WELL according the statutory guidelines that are placed for the public administrator in south African should be flying high in terms of service delivery and the attitude of the public servants. well i say it with sadness that we are not even half way to attaining what all these act are trying to drive us to…..

     

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