Human Resources Trends

Human resources professionals face never-ending challenges in the 21st century global economy. Whether hiring and firing employees in the U.S. and China, or comprehending Indian labor regulations, HR employees are now asked to become experts in many different areas. Other business trends, such as corporate diversity recognition, have required human resources workers to appreciate delicate ethical and moral balances. In the following analysis of business trends affecting human resource practices, we will take a look at the influences of globalization, technology, diversity, e-business, and ethics. By focusing upon these factors, perhaps we can get a better glimpse of the complex challenges facing corporate human resources departments.


From Fortune 500 mega-corporations to the third-generation, family delicatessen, companies are no longer limited to doing business in their local community, or even in their home country. In fact, the global economy has saturated all industries, as more and more countries encouraged less restrictive trade policies and as corporate thought-leaders became able to communicate more readily through the use of the internet and email.

Globalization has brought about increasing complexities for the human resources professional, however. HR employees are now becoming global labor experts, able to determine the nuances of foreign labor regulations. For example, for a company expanding operations to India, and planning on staffing 200 call center employees, the corporate HR specialist must determine Indian worker’s compensation requirements, health insurance, benefits programs typical to Indian businesses, and appropriate pay and salary scales. There is no doubt that the global economy is now creating human resources employees that are grasping more complex issues; knowledgeable about communicating across all cultures and ethnicities; and are adept problem solvers, aware that 21st century human resources requires pain-staking attention to detail.


Human resources professionals are constantly affected by changes in technology. For example, several years ago, the payroll processing mega-giant ADP suffered a technology security breach, in which quite a few investors’ personal information was compromised. The 21st century global corporation now stores human resource data across many computer servers that function throughout the company’s world offices. As a result, human resources-specific technology has become a key talking point, as employee information is so incredibly sensitive.

In today’s human resources department, technology is constantly evolving, for several purposes. First, companies are constantly increasing their employees, whether through global expansion or mergers and acquisitions. Having technology that can handle each individual employee’s profile is incredibly valuable. Second, benefits packages have become much more complex than that of the past. Employees are now offered all kinds of different benefits, from employee assistance programs to pet insurance. Having technology capable of measuring, recording, and storing this complex information is absolutely necessary.


As the global economy is now part of all industries, understanding, appreciating, and supporting diversity is now an integral component of a healthy functioning corporation. Human resources professionals are often the first-line support for diversity issues. When communication problems occur between departments, due to their staff coming from very different cultures, the human resources employee is charged with helping managers mediate and promote appreciation for others.

There is no doubt that diversity is challenging. While many companies are now growing facilities in other countries, many companies are now bringing employees to America from other parts of the world. In many cases, companies are making a global melting pot within one office building.

In cases such as this, human resources professionals must be constantly aware of diversity issues as they exist in the organization. From a knowledge standpoint, HR employees must also keep abreast of other companies’ diversity practices, keeping an eye out for benchmarked systems that help a corporation function.


Helping corporations adjust to the challenges involved with a diverse workforce is an integral function that human resources professionals provide. Diversity was not an issue readily recognized even 20 years ago. Now, with the globalization of economies, corporations must be prepared to handle diversity issues with a knowledgeable, self-aware focus. HR employees help companies navigate these waters, and provide support and training for corporate employees struggling with diversity. 


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 Rioux, S.M.; Bernthal, P.R. & Wellins, R.S.(n.d.)”The Globalization of Human Resources Practices”. Retrieved online March 1, 2007 from

 Rodriguez, R. (Aug. 2006). “Diversity Finds Its Place”. HR Magazine Vol.51, No. 8. Society for Human Resource Management Online. Retrieved March 1, 2007 from Society for Human Resource Management Online at

Wikipedia (n.d.). “Human Resource Management Systems”. Retrieved March 1, 2007 from

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