There is no denying technology has revolutionized the human resources (HR) field. From recruitment and hiring to employee engagement and total rewards, the traditional ways of managing people have evolved. With an ever-changing HR landscape, where do you go to stay ahead of the curve? The answer might lie in an MBA with a concentration in Strategic Human Resources. This degree will give you comprehensive training in the current and future state of HR, allowing you to develop the skills necessary to move with the times and ultimately drive successful results for your organization.
This article explores strategic HR, how to apply it in your HR leadership career and why an MBA in strategic HR is worth pursuing.
What Is Strategic Human Resources Management?
Strategic human resource management is a relatively new field that aligns an organization’s human capital with its long-term strategic goals. Professionals and corporate leaders in the field believe that by doing so, they can create a more efficient and effective workforce that will help their organizations achieve their strategic business objectives.
The field of strategic HR management evolved out of organizations’ traditional personnel management or human resources departments. Often, these departments function as cost centers that do not contribute directly to the organization’s bottom line. However, with the increasing focus on organizational strategy and the role of human capital in achieving business goals, HR departments are now asked to play a more strategic role.
Strategic HR management is still changing, and there is no definitive way to practice it. However, some common elements in strategic HR management programs include:
- Identifying the organization’s strategic goals and objectives
- Performing organizational SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses
- Assessing the current workforce and identifying any skills gaps
- Developing plans to attract and retain strategically aligned talent
- Determining where and how to deploy talent in the organization
- Planning for internal leadership development and succession
- Measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of strategic HR management programs and making necessary changes
- Collaborating with executives to communicate the company mission internally and externally
- Creating a company culture that will continue to attract talent that coheres
- Determining how today’s issues, including remote work, outsourcing, diversity and inclusion, factor into strategic HR management programs
Applying Strategic Human Resource Management
Strategic HR Management is the process of aligning an organization’s human capital with its strategic goals and objectives. To do this, HR professionals must first understand the business strategy and then align HR functions with that strategy. This alignment can be challenging, as many organizations have different methods for their business units because strategic HR management requires longer-term planning than HR management alone, and traditional HR objectives still carry the same importance. HR leaders have several concerns, according to Gartner, each of which can impede successful strategic HR management:
- 50% of HR leaders expect greater competition for talent in the next six months.
- 44% of HR leaders believe their organizations lack compelling career paths.
- 36% of HR leaders say their sourcing strategies are insufficient to find needed skills.
However, creating a unified HR strategy that supports the overall business strategy is possible. Once an organization’s HR strategy aligns with its business strategy, it can begin implementing programs and policies to achieve its goals. For example, if an organization wants to increase employee productivity, it should consider implementing training or incentive programs. If an organization seeks to reduce turnover, it should focus on employee retention initiatives. The key is to design and implement programs tailored to the organization’s specific needs.
The Value of a Specialized Human Resources MBA
The future of HR lies in its ability to adapt as the needs of organizations change. By staying abreast of new trends and developments, HR professionals can ensure their organizations are always at the forefront of innovation. Increasingly, one of the most effective ways for HR professionals to do this is by completing an online MBA in Strategic HR. Today’s top employers seek HR leaders with the formal training Avila University offers in areas including workforce planning, risk management, total rewards, HR analytics and data-based strategies. In addition, the curriculum aligns with the standards and core competencies outlined by the Society for Human Resource Management.
An advanced degree in human resources can equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field and earn higher salaries. As businesses increasingly recognize the importance of human resources, they are willing to pay top dollar for talented professionals with up-to-date training in strategic HR management who can help them manage their workforce in alignment with strategic business objectives.
Learn more about Avila University’s online MBA in Strategic HR program.