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The Role of Human Resources: Managing Your Projects

~ By Grady Winston

Business team brainstorming using coloured labels on a table in an office

The human resources office was once viewed as the place to go to get an application or have your time card edited. Today, with technology and social networking permeating daily business activities, human resource managers have to come to the table with a more diverse set of skills. According to a Wall Street Journal article written by blogger Joseph Walker, they must also have skills to track and analyse employee performance, educational backgrounds, and the effects of flexible scheduling options for key employees. In fact, human resource managers are an integral part of successfully managing every project.

Hiring skilled talent is a primary function of every human resource manager. Understanding how to form a team of workers that can meld their talents to bring a large project to a close successfully requires experience, training and ingenuity. Whether you're depending on in-house HR personnel or consulting with headhunters and outside HR management systems, look for candidates that possess the minimum skill set below.

Areas of expertise:

  • Ability to identify and engage employees with a variety of skill levels
  • Ability to convert data into usable information
  • Ability to construct a team that supports and complements each other
  • Ability to resolve employee complaints and complaints against employees
  • Ability to analyse work history and educational background
  • Ability to co-ordinate and delegate job duties

In order to understand the diversity of knowledge human resource managers must possess, consider a project to add a multi-media room to an existing home. The project manager would need to form a team of professionals that include electronics experts, interior designers, carpenters and legal experts to oversee code enforcement-just to name a few. And within each of the segments are sub-skills to consider. For example, finding adequate electronics team members might include one or more experts in acoustics, wiring and computer-aided technology.

While finding appropriate workers for the team, the project manager must consider financial aspects for budgeting, current trends in salary and compensation, insurance requirements and personality types. According to Jan Goldfield, an eHow contributor, even a small home media theatre can cost $50,000. It's easy to see why finding an HR project manager with financial skills is necessary.

Negotiating Employee Contracts

A November 2011 article in the New York Times highlights just how far south a project can go without an HR management team that follows through with every detail. The article details the circumstances that contributed to a multi-million dollar media suite idly waiting to be placed into service. The New York City Ballet built this modern marvel in 2009 with a generous donation from billionaire David H. Koch. Unfortunately, negotiations for staffing the suite failed to produce a plan to allow the theatre to put the new technology into use. Considering what comes after the project completion is another key component of managing employee responses. This might involve communication with other HR departments.

Whether you're getting ready to launch a project for a small expansion or you're anticipating relocating your manufacturing firm to another state, hiring the best human resource manager you can find is paramount to a successful project outcome.

Top personnel managers can take your project plans and put together a team that is efficient, skilled, focused and professional. No project should be attempted without a project manager to ensure it starts with a thoughtful, well-developed plan and vision, progresses smoothly and concludes with the vision transformed into reality. And it all hinges on the leadership of a highly qualified human resource project manager.


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