In the past Human Resources (HR) used to be seen as a “fluffy” department dealing with payroll, employment statistics and performing recruitment and exit interviews. Its value was constantly questioned and the staff working there had a tendency of being described as “boring”. Fortunately, things have changed. HR is now becoming more of a strategic pillar ensuring the long term prosperity of the company. This change means that the old aspects of HR are now only a small subset of World Class HR department while the new aspects are redefining businesses.

The Shift from Administration to a Proactive Development

Modern Human Resources can trace its roots all the way to the 1920s. It was born from the industrial relations and labour unions growth of the time. Until 1960s its primary role was to negotiate with labour unions, structure policies and deal with payroll. As the white collar employment started to grow rapidly over the next two decades, HR started taking on new roles. The focus has now shifted towards recruitment management, retention and compensation. However, this was still done through an administrative approach rather than a proactive one. More and more administration became necessary as the legislation started to enforce it. This continued until 1980 when globalisation forced a rethink of the function and created the first elements of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRC). This new function was to create a competitive advantage through a strategic management of personnel using cultural, structural and personnel techniques. This was further enhanced in the 1990s by tasking HR to create flexible organisation more suited to deal with the changing environment. This included organisational capability and technological innovation. Towards the end of the 1990s and early 2000s the concept of talent management became more widespread as an HR function. This meant that HR was now also responsible for educating and investing in the future of the organisation. Around 2005 social media started making an impact on society as well as on corporations worldwide. As the impact of the new technology has become more widely understood it became vital to harness its potential, this again has refocused HR.

The New HR in a Nutshell

Human Resources is now something more than it has ever been before. However rather than one concept, it is now a collection of different aspects that jointly make HR v2.0:

  • HR Strategy
    HR Strategy is the links between human resource function with the strategic objectives of the organization in order to improve long term performance. It covers the definition and goal setting for various areas of human resources functions such as recruitment, compensation, performance management, reward and recognition, employee relations, cultural and social aspects, and training from a long term corporate strategy perspective.
  • Organisational Modelling and Development
    Organizational Modelling and Development is the formalisation of a shared mental model of an organization and further ongoing and systematic process of redeveloping and improving it to better serve organisational strategy.
  • Talent Management
    Talent management is the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention and deployment of those individuals who are of particular value to an organisation, either in view of their ‘high potential’ for the future or because they are fulfilling business/operation-critical roles.
  • Organisational Culture Design
    Organisational Culture is a learned set of behaviours that is common knowledge to all the members within an organisation. These behaviours are based on a shared system of meanings which guide the perceptions, understanding of events, and also focuses on what exactly the employees pay attention to and their social behaviour. Organisational Culture Design deals with shaping of these to accommodate a specific target organisational culture.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
    Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. It is usually managed by HR departments.
  • Web 2.0 for HR
    Web 2.0 for HR department is a collection of social media and interactive services, delivered through the Web, which allow employees to take greater ownership of their own experiences within the organization. It has a substantial impact on all aspects of employee-service delivery, including recruitment, candidate screening, training and performance management.
  • Employer Branding
    Employer branding refers to the conscious positioning of a company as a top-class employer. The main purpose of employer branding is to manage the perception as an employer, with the aim of attracting the “right” employees to the company
  • Recruitment
    The process of finding and hiring the best-qualified candidate (from within or outside of an organization) for a job opening, in a timely and cost effective manner. The recruitment process includes analyzing the requirements of a job, attracting employees to that job, screening and selecting applicants, hiring, and integrating the new employee to the organization.
  • Organisational Pulse Check
    Organisational Pulse Check takes into consideration a better understanding of the thoughts and feelings of an organisation. This is later used to shape HR and corporate strategy as well as communication.
  • Employee Development and Motivation Strategy
    Employee Development Strategy is about encouraging employees to acquire new or advanced skills, knowledge, and view points, by providing learning and training facilities, and avenues where such new ideas can be applied. Motivation Strategy is about creating different ways that motivate employees to become more effective, and happy with the work they are performing
  • Organisational Communication
    An integrated approach to all communication produced by the organisation and directed by all relevant groups within the organisation. Each of the communication items must convey corporate identity.


The Benefits of HR 2.0

There are several key advantages of HR 2.0 including selective hiring, encouraging optimal employee performance, promoting a constructive and collaborative work environment, and drive the organisation towards operational excellence. The practice enables organisations to bring their overall objectives into better alignment with the actions of their employees. However, the most important aspect of HR 2.0 is gaining competitive advantage. Interestingly, until recently, this was an aspect frequently overlooked and not recognized by the decision makers. This meant that few companies were conceptualizing and implementing HR 2.0 as a strategy to gain a competitive advantage. As a result, many companies passed on the opportunity to seize competitive advantage through human resource practice initiatives. The situation is now slowly changing but rather than giving a competitive edge it will soon become a competitive necessity.

Is HR 2.0 the Same as Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)?

In our definition HR 2.0 contains aspects of SHRM as it is a part of HR 2.0 but it is not the same as SHRM. Strategic management consists of the strategic use of resources to meet specific objectives whereas HR 2.0 is looking more long term at Operational Excellence (OE) and competitive advantage of an organisation. HR 2.0 is the next evolutionary step of SHRM the same way that SHRM is an evolution of the original HR.

Excelr8 can help develop HR 2.0 capabilities

Our specialists can design and help implement a program aiming to develop and implement HR 2.0 within your organisation. Please contact us for a no fee and no obligation discussion.