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Companies will need to look at regional and national differences, and draw on the similarities between countries to enhance their competitive advantages (Powell, 2005). It is clear that as company, like WTI grows globally, they will benefit from a multicultural workforce. They must put managerial, educational, and cultural proactiveness in place, which will not only improve their opportunities for greater worldwide competition, but by bringing establishing a multicultural workforce, they also improve the interrelationships between their employees. Employees who do this, learn to communicate and other points-of-view and opinions. By doing this WTI, and other large companies, poise themselves to become successful in the emerging globalize culture of the 21st century.
Using Innovative Human Resource Techniques to Manage Diversity - Human resource management, whether specifically titles or not, has been a part of any organization's management since groups banded together for specific tasks. Ancient armies, projects, and even educational and religious institutions all had concerns about their ability to bring in the appropriate person for the positions at hand. Formally, Human Resource Management in the contemporary world is both the tactical and strategic manner in which an organization manages the human portion of its resources, both collectively and individually, and how management of those individual resources contribute to the overall positive objects of the business (Armstrong, 2006). Over the past few decades, though, and with the advent of increasingly sophisticated technology, Human Resource management has changed from using people to employ people, develop people, and track the utilization and compensation of their services. Instead, a newer system has evolved using computers, database management, and data mining to provide more optimal ways in with the Human Resources department can move to more of a Personnel Department, playing a major role in staffing, training, and helping to manage people within the organization in order to strategically recruit, train, and retain the best people who will work towards the company's strategic goals. This new form of management is titled eHRM, or Electronic Human Resource Management (Boudreau, 2007).
However, eHRM is not simply using computers to recruit and assist in the hiring of staff. It is the planning, implementation and application of the full use of appropriate information technology for both networking and supporting a specific group of people in their shared performance of Human Resource activities (Strohmeier, 2007). In effect, it is taking a technological premise and deconstructing that Human Resource portion to individual managers and employees. These actions are typically allowable through the Internet or a company's own servers, and are not the same as simply the electronic tools used to manage people systems (Lepak, 1998). By greater empowerment of managers and employees to perform certain functions that are more appropriate for their own department or area, HR staff is allowed to focus less on the operational and more on the strategic functions of their job. So, too, the expertise in specific areas is more appropriate to vet certain candidates based on a specific body of knowledge -- one that a traditional HR representative may have little or know working knowledge (Cullen, 2001).
Generally speaking, there are at least three levels or eHRM: Operational, Relational and Transformational. Operational eHRM focuses on administrative functions such as payroll and personal data. Relational eHRM supports business processes by training, proper recruitment, performance management, and even task oriented structure and management. Transformational eHRM is more strategic, and concerns itself with knowledge management, the strategic orientation of the company, long-term inward personnel planning, and even direct of hiring practices over time (Ruel, 2004). Different companies, of course, utilize different aspects of these systems: large, Fortune 500 companies almost always have a sophisticated web site in which candidates can search for specific jobs, apply online, answer some brief questions, and prior to the HR representative even looking at the scores or a paper copy, this candidate is ranked as a possibility for the open position.
Naturally, however, this brings up several layers of controversy. Because of the sheer volume of applicants for many specific positions, it would literally be impossible for one-person to read all the resumes and do the appropriate vetting prior to a manager getting involved. However, as with any computer-based application, it is the programming and the quality of the data input that allows an appropriate decision to be made. If someone has 20 years experience by no MBA, the programming should take this into account (Torres, 2008).
EHRM also supports globalization and multinational companies and is a bit more structured in design but flexible in output than standard HR methods. The techniques used in eHRM allow a greater compilation of data and knowledge, but moreso the way to make said knowledge more useful and transparent to the end user. Often the fear of eHRM is the hyperbole surrounding the use of data mining within the structure, as well as the fear that the use of eHRM will somehow diminish an organization's ability to recruit, hire, and train only the best people for the position. One way for us to follow the implementation of an eHRM system and look at the reasons it has, or has not, proven successful is to utilize a specific company and their use of eHRM and data minimizing, and then examine what this did to their cooperate culture, veracity of data, overall employee moral and even the efficiency of the company's ability to profitably use its own data. (Torres, 2008).
Thus, the idea of an eHRM system can be visually represented as a set of Human Resource Tasks on a continuum (See Figure 2).
Figure 2 -- Simple life cycle utilizing eHRM for employee (Armstron, 2006; Boudreau).
Thus, this simple figure shows that starting with the potential employee's entry of their resume into the electronic system, how the data begins to manage itself and becomes available to those who need it most. Employees and managers all have access to the data, and the employee can update the resume when new skills are acquired, apply for internal jobs by simply sending a note to the manager, manage their payroll, sick-leave, vacation, and retirement data, and work with their own professionals to plan and execute their career.
For managers, the system focuses on skill management and the ability for individual managers to do skill-based strategic planning and what if scenarios without the need to access hundreds of man-hours of time from another department. The manager can quickly see both who within the organization, and on resumes on file, might have a particular desire or skill set which the company is in need of. For the employee[continue]
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