Another HR Agenda survey is completed and results are revealed. This survey of Global HR Challenges for 2013 is conducted between November 2012 and January 2013. Totally 164 Organizations contributed into the Survey from different parts of the World.

Results are analyzed by each continent where the total number of participants exceeded 20 in order to have a more balanced idea. However, if you would like to take a look at the non-reported regions, you may send an e-mail to

You may see below a short summary table of the findings: 45% of the total participants ranked Retention of Key Talent/High Potential and High Performer as the no.1 priority in their 2013 agenda. Followed by HR Measurement and Transforming HR into Strategic Business Partner with 36% and 34% respectively.
For full details of the Survey report, please take a look at the attached .pdf file.

E.K; 02/2013
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Third report conducted by Boston Consulting Group with the participation of 4288 executives from 102 countries, examines critical trend in people management.

A must read for HR professionals

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"Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding sensory information."

HR plays a key role in today's global business environment where people and performance are the critical drivers of long-term growth and sustainability. In order to fulfill the requirements of this role, HR professionals, systems, processes, applications should be understood by the immediate customers, in short, line managers.

Being a business partner or a strategic partner of executive board depend to a great extent the awareness created within the Organization and to the level of acceptance of HR solutions provided against the business needs.

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In my previous article, I have cited four forces that have critical effect on shaping HR strategies were; (
  1. Globalization
  2. Technological Innovation
  3. Managing Talent
  4. Demographics Management

Today, I would like to discuss about how do these global challenges effecting HR ,and what possible actions can it be taken in order to minimize the distorting effects.

1- Globalization

We are living in a globalized environment, where market place became one. Labor market has no exception. International HR Management gained importance and has significant impact on sustainable competitiveness of the Organizations.

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by John Sullivan

Functions that do not have a clearly visible impact on profits are doomed to battle for funding or may face elimination. I's either "show me the money" or you will be "shown the door."

The days of being satisfied with achieving "business partner" status are over. The rapid flattening of the business world presents nearly every business function with an opportunity to dramatically affect results and renders overhead functions that are merely efficient invisible. 

To keep that seat at the table and remain a viable part of the executive committee, HR leaders must shift their approach from maintaining the status quo with only incremental gains in efficiency to a new model that I call "business impact HR." Failure to abandon the satisfaction that comes from past successes and embrace new realities will result in the decline of the HR function's scope or a total outsourcing of the function.

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Measurement is a vital part of an effective HR System that links HR activities with organizational performance. It is essential to determine success and sustainability of performance.

There is an ongoing debate on the topic of relationship between HR Management and firm performance. The question is: "Do HR practices/systems/applications make a difference in business results?" and "How do they effect?"

These critical two questions were profoundly researched by academics and results are obvious: Yes, HR Management and systems have significant impact in business results and add value to the overall business objectives if properly executed. My intent on this article is to show evidence from different research and from published materials.

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Global environment is evolutionary changing at a revolutionary speed. In every aspect of our lives dramatic transformations continue. World continues to deal with the most profound changes that anyone can imagine.

Business conditions have no exception. In today's world where adapting to change is a must, the rules of the game have been re-written. Constant change is the only constant in business. Business competition now comes in many different forms and from a great variety of competitors and the challenges are increasing.

Successfully positioning the enterprise, properly deciding on the correct allocation, attrition and retention of resources (both human and nonhuman) and deciding what an acceptable level of performance might be in such a competitive environment are key tasks of senior management.

In short, gaining an advantage over competitors is harder than ever. Global business environment is getting smaller, resources are shrinking. Organizations must carefully analyze their capabilities, assess their resources and execute the best they can. To be specialized on what is done rather than diversified is important.

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According to a latest research by Kenexa, there is a huge gap between the employees' and employers' perceptions from HR issues perspectives. Below some key points are presented; full report and infographic can be found in the attached files.

  • 69 percent of employers believe employees are engaged, while only 34 percent of employees claim to be 
  • 81 percent of HR professionals think employees would recommend the organization to a friend. Only 38 percent actually would 
  • 71 percent of HR professionals think the organization has fair benefits while only 48 percent of employees agree with this statement. 
  • 53 percent of HR professionals think they provide fair compensation compared to only 30 percent of employees. 
  • 83 percent of HR professionals think their employees plan to stay for the next year. 41 percent of employees agree with this statement 
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In today's rapidly changing globalized business environment, people are considered to be strategic assets that ensure competitive advantage for an Organization. Senior management rely on intangibles as the key profit lever and primary source for long-term advantage over the firm's competitors. In most of the Organizations, people are not considered as an overhead cost to be cut but rather profitable investment as long as motivated, developed and rewarded via value added, responsive and aligned HR practices. That modern theory of business management puts management of people in the first place as importance and addresses as an imperative, challenging issue in this competitive environment.

The above mentioned and generally accepted view requires a new perspective on what is meant by HR function in the Organization, and a new understanding of how HR creates value in the Organization. This also requires an evolutionary change. Can HR respond on that change? Didn't HR arrive there yet? What should be done ?

These questions and many others are asked frequently and answers are trying to be uncovered within scholars of Human Resources Management (HRM). In this essay, my intent is not to give so detailed theoretical explanations neither on HRM history nor on Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM). But rather providing some facts based on survey reports, on reputable authors' implications and on my personal synthesis about how to achieve this new vision for HRM.

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We all know that famous saying stated in almost every Organization's annual reports or in most of the top manager's speeches; "Human Capital is the most valuable and important asset held by an organization today". Another fact is that when you google on the net, Human Capital returns with more than 160 millions of hits. Well, what is that? What makes it that much popular? Do we really know what is meant by Human Capital or is it just used for having an airy, attractive statements? The following essay will try to clarify the concept of Human Capital and its origin in order to better undertand its essence and its importance for today's business environment.

Defining Human Capital

It is easy to find thousands of definition related to Human Capital; in literature, on the net or in any other resources. Here are some most notable examples of description:

  • SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) defines it as the collective knowledge, skills and abilities of an organization's employees,
  • Investopedia describes Human Capital as a measure of the economic value of an employee's skill set. The education, experience and abilities of an employee have an economic value for employers and for the economy as a whole,
  • Wikipedia says that Human Capital refers to stock of productive skills and technical knowledge embodied in labor,
  • SHRM Content Expert Leslie Weatherly gives a more comprehensive definition as the collective sum of the attributes, life experience, knowledge, inventiveness,energy and enthusiasm that its people choose to invest in their work.
All of these definitions and many others you can find resemble to each other and come to a common point which is Human Capital is a cluster, a combination of people's attributes. We'll come back on that description issue, let's look more closely to the origin of the concept...

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