The people factor
Businesses now consider their HR departments as strategic partners, reports Razvin Namdarianeducation Updated: Aug 06, 2009 11:00 IST
Businesses are oriented towards cutting costs and maximising profits; often employees have to bear the brunt of the company’s cost-cutting measures... This brings the role of a human resources manager to the fore.
He or she not only plays mediator between management and employees but also ensures that company objectives are met, by channelling the employees’ work in a positive direction.
Seema Arora Nambiar, Director - People Resources, McDonald’s India (South & West), does all this and much more. As HR director, she also works on internal communication in partnership with the organisation’s public relations team; is a custodian of administration of internal operations – communication and process audits across restaurants.
A psychology graduate from Mumbai University, Arora went on to study hotel management at a Dadar college. Her first job was as a trainee chef at the Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai. From there on, the 10 years at McDonald’s have meant three different profiles. She got functional exposure by working in the operations team, followed by working on the overall strategy and planning for the organisation which helped her gain international perspective and financial knowledge of the business.
HR offers various opportunities. “As businesses evolve and we become a global economy, my belief is that the only differentiator to emerge will be the intellectual capital/ people you have. The role of the HR director then will continue to scale and grow,” says Nambiar.
Points out N S Rajan, President, National HRD Network, and Partner and National Head - Human Capital, Ernst & Young, “From the earlier days of industrial relations, it (HR) has evolved into being a strategic partner of the business. The HR function today has the opportunity to touch and shape careers and lives of individuals.” At some b-schools, the pay packages for fresh MBAs are at par with those for sales and marketing and finance, especially in leading conglomerates, MNCs and consulting majors, he adds.
s Read the full interview with NS Rajan at www. hthorizons.comWith inputs from Rahat Bano
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
An HR manager has to handle all aspects pertaining to human resources in the company. These include recruiting, training, team building, performance updates, employee policy, salary, benefits and increments, employee health and safety as well as staff amenities. The manager is also responsible for mobilising the workforce towards the company’s accomplishment plans and objectives, by creating a work environment in which people will be motivated,
contributing, and happy. His/her role varies as per the organisation. In a small company, s/he is required to handle all human resources issues, while in a large organisation with an HR department, the manager is allocated only certain responsibilities
9am-10am: Plan the daily calendar with special focus on priority tasks
10am-11am: Attend to priority tasks / crisis if any
11am-12 noon: Focus on process setting/ systems
12pm-1pm: Meeting with consultants, vendors and agencies
2pm-4pm: Progress meeting with the team
4pm-6.30pm: Closing on executional / operational plans
6.30pm-7pm: Closing on updates and daily task list
8 pm: Head for home
Starting salary for a management trainee in HR with a PG diploma: Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.3 lakh a year
With three years' experience as HR manager: Rs 9 lakh a year At the director level, the salary can be in the range of Rs. 1 lakh and above. With around 10 years’ experience at the
director level: As high as Rs 27 lakh, managing a team of 6 - 10 people
n Ability to understand human relations
n Leadership skills
n Negotiation skills
n Ability to mould your style of operation as per staff needs
n Strategic planning through people development
n Understanding of different cultures
n Excellent communication skills
n Ability to take a hard call, to create a win-win situation for the organisation and staff
How do i get there?
One can obtain a Bachelor’s degree in human resources administration and management. You could opt for other disciplines as well, such as psychology. Follow this up with a Masters or MBA programme in human resources. A summer internship in a company’s HR department will stand you in good stead. Education and experience both count equally in succeeding in this profession
Institutes & urls
n XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur
n Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
n Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
n Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Pune
n International Management Institute, Delhi
n Loyola Institute of Business Admistration, Chennai
Pros & Cons
n Being part of recruitment, it gives great satisfaction providing employment to the right candidate
n Nurturing and watching people develop in the organisation
n Playing the mediator between the management and employees can be stressful
n Sometimes one needs to put personal feelings aside and make hard decisions based on facts
How do I find an HR job?
I am a stenographer with five years’ work experience. I recently completed my PGD programme in business management (human resource development) through correspondence. But due to my experience and correspondence diploma, I am unable to find an HR job. Should I enrol for other correspondence courses? If yes, which one? Or should I hunt for a job with my existing qualification?
– Golden Tomar
While it is true that employers tend to give more weightage to full-time courses, much also depends on the institute you are from and on your work experience in the field of your study. Correspondence courses are the best option for working people, and particularly valuable for those working in the field of their study. As your work experience is not in any corporate field, nor related to HR, it may be difficult to switch to this line. With your degree, you can get into any area of work that interests you and for which you have good ability and skills. After identifying these and the broad environment you see yourself working in, you should be able to choose the best study route. With your experience, you could look at working with call centres or business process outsourcing companies, in office management or the travel and tourism sector. There are short-term courses in all these which can help you get a good placement. If you are good at accounts and interested in business areas, you could get into banking, or take up a course in sales and marketing, cost accountancy or company secretaryship which can be done through postal tuition