A 21st Century Approach to Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management in the 21st century has let go of the traditional HR landscape and has moved towards a more strategic and team centric approach. This means that organizations can now start working together as a liaison when it comes to the decision-making process. Now more than ever, most organizations have transitioned into a phase that has increased the pressure on managers and leaders to ensure that the Human Resource Management is effective and matches the demand for change.

The Shift in Human Resource Management

Human Resource in the 21st century has shifted substantially from the time of its inception. The change from Personnel to Human Resources became part of a movement that acknowledged the value of employees as a resource to the organization. It was also an attempt to remove stigma that was associated with bureaucratic personnel departments and not to mention allow them to become a strategic partner with business leaders and contribute to decision making.

Fast forward to the challenges and pressures that HR faces. These pressures stem from globalization, technology advancements, tougher competition, new alliances, new ways of working and more. However, these shifts offer an opportunity for human resource to play a bigger role when organizing and navigating the workplace through different transitions or phases.

HRM Challenges in the 21st Century

Some of the challenges that HR faces today are as follows:

1. Selecting Appropriate Candidates

Finding suitable talent can be an obstacle in this day and age. With the possibility of bias on the table, a human resource manager’s decision will be influenced based on political, personal, and social beliefs. Therefore, the decisions that need to be made for the 21st century HR process will reflect on their candidate selection while keeping the competition and talent pool in mind

2. Promoting Organizational Culture

There are positives that a diverse workspace can pursue, although it brings new innovative ideas to the table from various mindsets, managing the culture and cultural values can be a challenge for the organization moving forward. Keeping in mind that cultural, religious, and overall beliefs are too be managed authentically, the globalization phase can set some organizations back in terms of managing the differences and recreating the culture in the workplace.

3. Career Development & Growth

This is where initiatives and activities are undertaken by the employers and employees to upscale and elevate their expertise and knowledge surrounding recent developments. By addressing the challenges that globalization has forwarded onto the workplace, the main key to keep business growing is innovation and opportunities.

Essentially, it is up to the employers to train and develop the skills of an employee so that they’re able to keep up with the latest changes and developments. For overall development, the focus ideally should be on the overall growth and structure rather than training on a specific skill or area.

4. Conflict Management & Resolution

There are two forms of conflict, constructive and destructive. HR managers today have to be knowledgeable and trained to be able to deal with both kinds of conflict. With longer working hours, pressure to hold onto targets and high level of competition in the 21st century, employees in the workplace cannot cope with the stress and will have to subsequently deal with the conflicts that come with it. 

HR managers will need to find a new reinforcement to manage the situation at hand. In addition to this, they are required to be skilled in communication as this plays a vital role in conflict resolution. There are ways to handle conflict, either through code of conduct training or the HR manager can act as a liaison between employees to help resolve the conflict between parties.

5. Business Ethics & Values

The HR manager needs to be paying attention to the business ethics and values within an organization. With structure and organizational changes, it’s important to keep values and ethics in place in order to remain sustainable in the market for a long period. There are many negative situations that ethics face in the workplace and HR managers need to be prepared for as this could lead to the damage of the organization’s reputation and its long-term financial stability.

The Role of Human Resource Management

The role of human resource management sets fundamental goals within the workplace by placing employees in open positions, encouraging legal and impartial treatment of all workers, and ensuring that the organization meets the standard requirements of labor laws.

Most human resource teams identify HR function elements and implements strategies that work with each objective.  

  • Recruiting and hiring
  • Employee benefits
  • Recognition and reward
  • Training and development
  • Legal compliance


The emergence of Human Resource Management in the 21st century has highlighted how globalization has had many implications on organizations. Now more than ever, organizations need to put effort into their HR processes and ensure that they are aligned efficiently to meet the changing demands and stay competitive on a wide scale. With advancements and adoption of newer technology, HR managers have been known to embrace the changes that come with it in order to keep up with the latest developments. 

As organizations grow by mergers and acquisitions, they can create multiple HR groups. One approach is that the various HR groups can start developing their competencies in a specific domain and are able to meet the demands that are required within that domain.

It is time to make that progressive leap in the field of Human Resource Management. HR managers can start implementing methods that can meet the organizations changes. They can also find new ways to measure the value of their organization and will be able to do far more research related to HR and their performance in future organizations.  

REGENT offers the following programmes in Human Resource Management:


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