Before the onset of the era of globalization, liberalization and privatization (LPG), the Human Resources Department (HRD) used to function in a customary and traditional manner. The role of the HR was simply restricted to job postings, screening of candidates, sending them letter of intent and finally, the recruitment of the candidates. However, after the 1990s, the world witnessed the surge of entry of private companies and MNCs in the Indian market, and consequently, the role of HR also underwent a drastic change with the changing environment.
The arrival of foreign companies in the market brought in new technologies which required specialised manpower possessing specific skills for specific roles. This is what led to the diversification of the role of the HR. The HR now had to search and recruit candidates with specialised skills and proficient in the knowledge of new technologies such as MS Office, Excel and so forth.
Gradually, the role of the HR has diversified to include more essential aspects of the organization such as employee engagement and employee retention along with talent management and recruitment. The onset of the 21st century has brought with it new changes in terms of the ever evolving technology that has impacted the organizational culture as well. Not only this, the concept of working couples has enhanced the number of working ladies which has led the HR to devise work from home policy especially for ladies. In addition, the HR in some organizations has also devised flexible working hours policy which is extremely beneficial for the working ladies.
Moreover, the onset of the global recession near 2009 and the years following that have compelled the HR of the organization to become an active decision-maker in the decisions of the organization. The HR now frames policies and procedures after engaging and taking the opinion of the employees before implementing and framing the policies. Surveys are conducted within the organization and after taking the poll, the HR decides on a particular policy or procedure to be implemented with the consent of the senior management.
Moreover, these days, the HR is conducting numerous workshops and training sessions to upgrade the skills of the employees as per the changing times. The HR nowadays, not just promotes cultural activities in the organization but also recognises the employee of the month – as a kind of employee recognition and employee motivation strategy.
Let us take the case of the present scenario—Covid-19. When suddenly lockdown was imposed in India in the month of March and the offices had to be shut down unexpectly due to outbreak of the Corona pandemic. It was the HR which played an extremely pivotal role in coordinating with the various departments of the organization. The HR prepared the list of the company’s personnel who would be working from home and the proper procedure of initiating the work from home concept. In addition, the HR has been conducting meetings, recruitment and other essential aspects online via videoconferencing. Indeed, the HR has come a long way from simply playing a conservative role in the company to being a decisive player in the introduction and implementation of policies in the company.
Therefore, to conclude, one can say that the HR has become extremely flexible, dynamic and instrumental in the current scenario. It has been tackling several challenges in the present scenario and as a result, it has come to assume an even powerful role than ever before.