With the technological progress and economic development, human resources management is becoming more and more scientific and perfect, and plays more important roles in the businesses. Moreover, for the international firms, they more need the excellent talents of human resources management to work for them to make good cultural fusion. So it has a bright prospect to work in the human resources department and strive for being a director of human resources. The director of human resources is the chief officer of human resources management ( Fitz-enz & Davison, 2002). He is one of the top managers in a modern company who are most important and valuable. As is known, in practice, the most valuable resources in the world are the talented persons. An international director of human resources can create more value for the company, provide the staff with more welfare and development space (Lin, 2007). Meanwhile, by communicating and collaborating with all kinds of people from many different countries, the field of vision and capability of director of human resources would also be evaluated constantly day by day.The article first introduces my ideal profession, that is, being a director of human resources in an international firm; it then makes a brief job description of director of human resources by a case of Motorola; after that, it identifies ten key roles and responsibilities of the director of human resources, and describes them systematically and academically, and then analyzes why the ten roles and responsibilities are more important than others; at last, it analyzes the key competences and skills that the director of human resources need to have to play the roles and assume the responsibilities well.
A case study of Motorola company on the internet describes the main work of its director of human resources Jerry Cline in the Asia-Pacific region. As a director of human resources, he establishes the efficient strategic management system of human resources, selects the talented people successfully, makes out a scientific assessment and excitation mechanism for human resources, stimulates the potential of staff, builds up excellent teams, forges brilliant enterprise culture which is appropriate both in the home country and in its host countries, and promotes the organizational reform and innovation, so as to realize the sustained development for the international firm. For an international firm, Jerry Cline devotes himself to building up good working atmosphere for staff and providing equal opportunity for them. He said, in Motorola, every employee is placed great expectation on; everyone with different knowledge and skill is assigned to appropriate post, in order to bring their wisdom and potential into full play. The Mushroom growth for Motorola is due to its brilliant far-sight for human resources management to a large extent. It is worth mentioning that education and training are regarded as strategic investment for employees according to their demands in different phases. Moreover, cultural fusion is a key challenge for international firms. To blend into the culture of its host countries well, Cline attaches much importance to localize the employees. For instance, one of the strategic guidance in China for Motorola is to accelerate the localization of its technicians and managers. At present, in Motorola (China) Electronics Co., Ltd, Chinese account for 51% among the leadership. So from the case of Motorola, it's known that the director of human resources plays the essential roles in a company, and also assumes a great weight of responsibility for a company.
The Roles and Responsibilities
To discuss the key roles and responsibilities of a director of human resources, we should first make out clearly the difference between role and responsibility. A role is a comprehensive pattern of behaviour that is socially recognized, providing a means of identifying and placing an individual in a society (Lin, 2007). A role is a more general statement of what the person should be doing, while a responsibility is a more concrete, detailed statement.
In an international firm, the main roles for the director of human resources are the strategic partner for company's operation division; the leader of pioneers for organizational reform; the practitioner and consultant for personnel strategies; authority and consultant for human resources management; the gatherer of human resources information; the prolocutor for employees' welfare; the creator for the organizational value; and the peacemaker for mediating contradiction in the company (Fitz-enz & Davison, 2002; Lin, 2007). And in my opinion, the key four roles for the director of human resources are shown as follows. First, he is the strategic partner for company's operation division, since he should fully understand the company's operation goals and mission, enterprise culture and history and development direction. He should also understand the demand for every department, the present situation and development trend for products, production and sales, and understand the problem, challenge and opportunity the company are faced with in time. The director of human resources should consider problems under the background of enterprise operation goals, and makes out the strategies for human resources management according to the company's total strategy. Besides, the director of human resources should grasp the management skills. He should be good at granting authorization to his subordinates for the routine tasks, and he should put more energy into research, forecasting, analysis, communicating and making plan. Second, he is the leader of pioneers for organizational reform (Heathfield, 2010). For any management reform in the company, the human resources department is always in the advancing front of reform. Because the director of human resources should be good at discovering the company development trend, and then lead the reform. With regard to this, the director of human resources should first "change brain" for the enterprise, that is, establish the new value and enterprise culture among the personnel in the appropriate way (Heathfield, 2010). Then he would employ the innovation talents with much potential in response to the reform and discharge the employees who can't adapt to the reform. Third, he is the prolocutor for employees' welfare, because as a director of human resources, he should pay close attention to the demand and growth of every employee with the humanistic, sincere and respectful feeling. He should put up the harmonious atmosphere and make persistency of excitation of employee's creative enthusiasm (Heathfield, 2010). He should establish an incentive compatibility mechanism which is beneficial to realize the win-win for both the enterprise's total development and employee's individual success. Fourth, he is also the creator for the organizational value. In a sense, the human resources department is also the operation department. Because for the operation and management of "human", it has high input, high risk and may also bring high benefit. So the director of human resources should be responsible for the company's operation results. He should do his best to select, attract, retain and develop talented people. The core value of the director of human resources is embodied in his constant effort to provide the motion for organization and personnel to promote their performance and conduct the reforms.
The main responsibilities for the directors of human resources are as follows. First, as a senior manager, he should assist the decision-making level to draw up the company's development strategies (Bohlander & Snell, 2007). He is responsible to formulate the short-term and long-term decisions and strategies for the company in the human resources domain, which would produce an important effect on the company's medium-term and long-term goals. Second, he is responsible for planning in entirety the development and strategic management human resources, contriving schemes for human resources planning, and supervising the implementation of every plan. Third, he is responsible for establishing and perfecting the management system and institution of human resources, researching and designing the management model for human resources, which is the comprehensive construction of hiring, training, performance, salary and personnel development (Bohlander & Snell, 2007). Fourth, he should make advice about human resources and organization for the decision-making level, and dedicate himself to improve the integrate management level of the whole company, and succeed in controlling the human resources costs. Fifth, the director of human resources has the responsibility to deal with the vital issues of human resources, and guide the staff to make occupational planning. Sixth, he is responsible for the construction of business culture. It is known that there are many differences and conflicts among all different regional culture (Huselid et al., 1997). An international firm should not only expand its international market, but also blend into the local culture well. The director of human resources should fully understand the divergences of different regional culture, and build up the comfortable, equal and respectful environment for employees from different areas to communicate and collaborate with each other well. Seventh, he is responsible for the inner organizational management (Bohlander & Snell, 2007). He is in charge of breaking down the department plan to the individuals, and supervising how the employees accomplish the plan and then estimating and assessing the performance of the subordinates. Among the above seven main responsibilities, the first six ones are the key responsibilities for the director of human resources. Because for a director of human resources, his main tasks are to formulate the macro strategic plans for the human resources, do research on how to improve the management skills so as to raise their working efficiency and increase the organizational value for the company. So the seventh responsibility which focuses on his micro work is less important then the other six, and can be done by his human resources managers and his subordinates.
To play the above four roles and assume the above six responsibilities well, the director of human resources should acquire many skills. If people want to be a director of human resources, they should identify what are the key competences for this position, and build up their capacity on purpose in the future's study and work. First, to play the role of strategic partner for company's operation division well, the director of human resources should have strategic and tactful thought (Lin, 2007). Second, to play the role of leader of pioneers for organizational reform well, he should have the ability to deal with the complex problems, and have strong implementation capacity to carry out every plan and reform decidedly and thoroughly to achieve or surpass the expected goals (Foote & Robinson, 1999). Third, to play the role of prolocutor for employees' welfare well, he should have the strong interpersonal understanding facility to understand the demand and interest of staff, and should have strong communication and coordination ability to coordinate well the welfare conflict between the company and the employees (Lin, 2007). In addition, he should also have strong power of influence to the decision-making levels and the employees, that is to say, he can make consensus to the superiors and have strong charm characteristics and well professional ethics to get trust from the employees (Foote & Robinson, 1999). Fourth, to play the role of creator for the organizational value well, the director of human resources should have strong capacity of planning and implementation, and he can build up and integrate different working teams to optimize the organizational efficiency (Huselid et al., 1997). He should also have the strong communication and coordination skills. Fifth, to well assume the first above responsibility, the director of human resources should have the strategic and tactful mind to plan for the company's total development, and have the power of influence to the superiors. Sixth, to well assume the second responsibility, he should have strong planning and implementation ability. Besides, he should have the keen insight to discover the demand from employees and adjust the human resources programme correspondingly. Seventh, to well assume the third responsibility, he should be quite sensitive to people (Liu & Xiong, 2009). He can judge the quality of people with intuition and use them accurately. And he should be good at resolving the comprehensive problems decidedly and taking the bull by the horns (Liu & Xiong, 2009). Eighth, to assume the fourth responsibility well, he should have the good communication and expression skills; he should also have the strong competence for handling money so as to save the costs for company. Ninth, to assume the fifth responsibility well, he should be good at dealing with complex problems; he should have excitation power to impel the employees to work hard and make innovation (Liu & Xiong, 2009). What is more, he should have the strong infectivity power to the staff so as to guide them to make career programme well. Tenth, to assume the sixth responsibility well, the director of human resources should have the ability to understand the cultural differences between different areas and integrate the different cultures well. He should also grasp the knowledge of psychology to well understand the workers' demands.