Human Resource Management Faced by Recent Graduates
The human resource department personnel functions have been reorienting its activities in order to tame more strategic and developmental approaches to management of human resources. Human resource policies are therefore developed and committed to decentralize and dissolve the department’s responsibilities. A strategic focus on the concept of devolving human resource responsibilities is vital to enable recent graduates in obtaining work experience in the real world. There are various benefits and challenges derived and faced by recent human resource management graduates seeking to gain experience in the real world (Fleming, 2010). Fleming claims most recent graduates record impeccable academic performances. They however lack practical skills to apply their academic skills in the real world in the human resource field. Fournier and Ineson (2011) believe this is mainly attributed to growth and expansion within the human resource field lead to development of critical needs influencing management practices and expectations. This proposal will therefore examine and discuss issues faced by recent human resource graduates. Consequently, it will determine appropriate and viable solutions that can be applied to resolve the identified issues. The research will rely on secondary resources in reviewing some of the problems recent graduates have been facing as they seek to gain real experience in the human resource management field across.
Recent human resource management graduates assert they pursued the course as they have excellent communication skills. More so, they are able to manage their relations with over diverse heads of departments as a commitment to help people and organizations to improve performance levels. Human resource management also assists the graduates to handle details while focusing on the big picture. Unions and employers rely on human resource departments to determine the wages, salaries, and conditions of the interns and employees. According to Kersley Alpin, Forth, Bryson, Bewley, Dix, and Oxenbridge, (2006), human resource departments also determine strategic changes, plans, developments, and remunerations to be undertaken. This is because they ensure successful growth while attaining a competitive advantage is attained in the organization. There are however various fast-changing global issues and trends that have been influencing conditions of employment. They have been affecting recent graduates seeking to gain experience in the real world due to human resource practitioners implementing legislations adversely affecting their efforts (Blake, & Worsdale, 2009).
In United States, there are more than three hundred higher education institutions offering degrees in human resource management. The process of providing the graduates with skills and qualifications practically and theoretically has been challenging due to changing human resource management legislations. The changes have been challenging the students’ levels of commitment and stress as well as social lives (Molseed, Alsup, & Voyles, 2003).
According to Fournier and Ineson, human resource management graduates should possess diverse skills and behavioral traits that can be applied to attain a competitive advantage in the field. Thus, the graduates cannot be described as fully prepared with better chances of entering the human resource management job market to appreciate long lasting success (Fournier, & Ineson, 2011).
Statement of the Problem
Recent graduates have been seeking opportunities to gain real experience in the human resource management field. They are however facing various problems challenging their skills and efforts to determine their early career plans. Consequently, their job achievement expectations are adversely affected. As a result, some fail to uphold positive perceptions of a professional future in the field. Thus, academically related issues as well as job achievement expectations and the graduates’ preparation and perceptions are attributing towards the problems they are facing in human resource management.
Problems Facing Recent Human Resource Management Graduates
Industrial organizations have always valued academic experiences prompting graduates to strive hard in order to provide impeccable academic reports as they seek real experience. Human resource management managers are required to prove they have solid and practical skills of an industry during the entry level. This enables them to be provided with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the real world through industrial-based experiences. Recent graduates can affirm they have gained internship experiences as they pursued the human resource management degree. Although the internship exposed them to real time experiences, some graduates’ perceptions changed decreasing the likelihood of positively and successfully working in human resource management after graduation. For example, Schoffstall observes that some students excel academically and develop practical skills in human resource management. However, the effects of internship mainly due to increasingly demanding relationship between academic and skill development in the real world lead them to pursue new job opportunities (Schoffstall, 2013).
Conversely, industries have been growing and expanding. This has led to development of critical needs to evaluate current human resource management practices and expectations. For example, recent graduates in the hospitality industry claim the work habits and impressions in the sector have led them to have negative experiences in the real world. This is because some human resource management legislations in the industry have encouraged the customers to be difficult to deal with. Thus, some recent graduates are facing problems in human resource management as the job descriptions, interactions, and expectations are neither in line nor complimenting their academic and practical skills (Fournier, & Ineson, 2011).
Consequently, the stress levels among the recent graduates have been on the rise with some feeling incompetent in human resource management despite recording impeccable academic reports at entry level. More so, some graduates have been experiencing academic alienation and developmental challenges as human resource management legislations are not providing them with a chance to participate and showcase their skills and qualifications (Blake, & Worsdale, 2009). Most organizations with a human resource department often develop practices implemented for the firm to run smoothly and record growth. New graduates undergo intense academic training to provide them with skills they can utilize to devise new practices that can improve current human resource management policies.
The organizations however hire the new graduates to train them to familiarize with the present human resource management practices and policies. Thus, they deny them the opportunity to either propose or implement new human resource management practices and policies as the recent graduates are regarded as inexperienced. This has adversely impacted the graduates’ morale levels. Some have been recording rising stress levels as they feel the work environment does not allow them to grow and develop personally and professionally. As a result, graduates have either been quitting or seeking employment in other departments as they feel the human resource department is neither flexible nor accommodating (Fleming, 2010).
Lack of motivation, commitment and morale can lead employees to fail embracing teamwork. Teamwork spirit is enhanced when the human resource manager encourages personnel to adapt, communicate, and assist in problem solving for an organization to grow. Recent graduates however are often provided with simple tasks that neither require nor encourage teamwork. More so, some tasks do not relate with human resource management. For example, some recent human resource management graduates are tasked with filing. This neither enhances their physical, mental, and academic skills as persons striving to record career growth in human resource management. This either discourages them or encourages them to commence using coping strategies at the work place as they are keen to earn a living. Ultimately, they do not gain experience in the real in the real world as they cannot assist, resist, or actively offer support in enhancing human resource practices, approaches, policies, strategies, and legislations (Fleming, 2010).
Recent graduates enter the job market with the hope of applying their acquired and learned skills in the real world while gaining experience. They also strive to improve the job market by implementing new and enhanced practices ensuring organizations record growth and success. They however ought to be ready to learn the existing human resource management practices in order to determine the changes that ought to be implemented. For example, they should learn human resource management practices that are applied in the hospitality industry in order to determine how they can be improved. They should therefore be patient and humble especially as they undergo industrial training in a particular sector (Henderson, 2011).
Human resource managers on the other hand should avoid dismissing ideas proposed by recent graduates. Some industrial sectors especially in finance often have implemented human resource management practices that have been in use for decades in line with accounting standards. This however should not discourage the sector from identifying improved changes that can be adopted to improve the success and growth rates being recorded. As a result, the new human resource management graduates should be provided with an opportunity to present their ideas and opinions on ways to improve the firms (Fleming, 2010).
Consequently, graduates linked to finance and accounting can collaborate with those linked to human resource management to determine appropriate practices complimenting the set standards of managing the organization. This is bound to enhance teamwork. More so, the graduates’ levels of motivation will enhance prompting them to be committed in proving that their recent academic qualifications can be applied in the real world. This will reduce stress levels among the employees and employers as each party will feel useful and appreciated in ensuring the organization and industry continues to grow and expand. Consequently, turnover rates will decrease saving the resources utilized in hiring and training new employees (Fleming, 2010).
These measures however require the recent graduates to be provided with consistent support. For example, the human resource manager in each organization can determine the graduates’ academic programs. This will help in determining the type of support the graduates require. More so, it can determine the supervisors and instructors to be tasked in assisting and guiding the new graduates seeking to gain experience in the real world. This will ensure that the graduates are not expected to work with, report, and assist a supervisor neither cooperating nor supporting their ideas and opinions mainly aimed at enhancing the organization (Kersley, Alpin, Forth, Bryson, Bewley, Dix, & Oxenbridge, 2006).
According to Armstrong, the following critical issues ought to be addressed in order for recent graduates to record progress in human resource management. Foremost, they ought to be assisted in developing integrated approaches to the existing human resource management practices. Consequently, they should professionalize the approaches before they can devolve and decentralize human resource management functions and issues respectively. However, the graduates should have the will, capability, and commitment to adapt to their new roles (Armstrong, 2009).
As a result, line department levels should highlight the graduates’ profiles, roles, and capabilities. This will enable them to identify the extent to which each graduate can achieve significant growth and career development while adding value to human resource management. The human resource sector should also equip the graduates with appropriate skills, attitudes, and knowledge before they can commence obtaining and developing specialism in the line departments. The line managers, supervisors or instructors should therefore determine factors critically determining the devolution process in order for graduates to gain real world experience. They should have managerial competencies, skills, and behaviors for effective development and management of the graduates (Fleming, 2010).
It is clear graduates are often provided with an opportunity to gain real experience in human resource management. They however lack a supportive and effective development and management system that can guide and pay attention to their ideas and opinions. The system should also be flexible as the graduates often provide ideas changing and enhancing existing human resource practices. According to Henderson, the flexibility should not allow the graduates to determine critical factors influencing industrial growth and success as this requires experience. As a result, more strategic and focused approaches allied to management of people in an organization should be developed. They should be unique with increasing evidence to affirm that a shift from traditional practices to highly radical reforms is needed. For example, human resource reforms are undertaken in order to deliver better results in an organization or industry (Henderson, 2011).
As a result, graduates should be supervised as they strive to re-orient organizational activities for more developmental and strategic approaches to devolve employees’ responsibilities and human resource matters to line managers. According to Blake and Worsdale (2009), the graduates should acknowledge that changes in human resource management should be take place in a tandem with concerted and sustained incremental processes devolving authority. Thus, they should acknowledge the human resource department is linked to diverse business strategies requiring similar changes or reforms to be undertaken. Although they should neither feel overwhelmed nor defeated in efforts to make their presence felt in the human resource management department, they should be keen, patient and observant. This will enable them to learn the current human resource practices. Consequently, they can determine the appropriate changes and reforms that ought to be implemented (Henderson, 2011).
According to Armstrong, there are hard and soft human resource management approaches that are applied by organizations. For example, when a firm focuses on controlling its resources and achievement strategies, this approach can be defined as hard. This is because the human resource manager is keen in ensuring employees are appreciated as resources that ought to be managed like other factors of production. This involves the critical task of managing and aligning formal structures with human resource systems of the firm in order to drive strategic objectives of the corporation. The hard approaches however often ignore potential resistance from workers as well as factors that should not be dismissed for business strategies to succeed (Armstrong, 2009).
Conversely, soft approaches to human resource management involve regarding employees as valuable assets whose committed can help achieve organizational growth and success. They often integrate human resource policies with strategic planning procedures in order to gain employees’ will and commitment. They therefore avoid rigid bureaucratic practices and structures hindering employees to improve quality of the organization. Organizations maintain different cultures seeking to improve performance levels and employees’ commitment levels. This culture should also acknowledge that fresh graduates are also keen to record impeccable performance levels as they gain real experience. Top management should therefore bring coherence, direction and form a cluster of existing human resource management practices, approaches, and legislations. This can assist the graduates to identify those perceived as obsolete or ill-fitted to the new human resource management environmental demands. Consequently, the senior management level should identify strategic use of the graduates’ human resource skills as key factors to foster organizational success (Henderson, 2011).
Thus, the graduates should be involved in the development and integration of enhanced human resource management practices. They should play reactive and proactive roles of shaping the human resource management and business strategies with practical guidance from top and senior management levels. Organizations should therefore develop a culture encouraging communication and interactions between management and the graduates. Consequently, they graduates’ confidence and self esteem levels are bound to grow as stress levels decline. This promptly encourages the graduates to gain experience on decision making, decentralization, and devolution of human resource responsibilities (Kilcrease, 2011).
Ultimately, new graduates should be identified as employees with zeal, will, motivation, and commitment to apply their skills and knowledge to achieve positive changes and reforms in the organization. They should therefore be supported and encouraged as they have the ability to improve the human resource management practices. Consequently, they can attain their job achievement expectations. More so, the graduates can change how they perceive and prepare to face some of the problems they are likely to face in human resource management. This process should not adversely influence their self confidence and esteem as well as morale, motivation, and commitment to change, reform, and improve the human resource management sector (Henderson, 2011).
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