3 human resources functions you need to succeed

The three key functions of HR management

The nature of employment is changing rapidly. A McKinsey Global Institute report suggests that 14 per cent of the global workforce will experience career shifts by 2030, due to the evolution of the workforce as we know it.

With continued improvements in technology and the ongoing shift towards automation, some roles will become obsolete while others will expand their responsibilities. One of the latter is human resources.

Often, the only time human resources crosses the mind of most employees is when they have a dispute that needs resolving (i.e. related to labour laws). However, the industry is much more rich and complex than that. Dr Alan Montague from RMIT University has recognised this and identified the three ‘R’s crucial to human resource management process and success in the coming decades.


A core aspect of a human resource manager’s role is the recruitment of staff to the business. However, it takes an innate skill to correctly assess and determine the individuals best suited to the role at hand.

Communication is key on both sides of the interview desk. On your part, you must have the refined language skills to be able to clearly and succinctly describe the functions of the business, to highlight how potential new employees can contribute. Additionally, focused and direct questioning empowers successful HR managers to collect the required information on candidates quickly and efficiently.

However, success in HR also requires the ability to identify these developed communication skills in others. This ensures that you attract talent that can work with the existing staff – an attribute that is essential for increasingly connected workplaces.

Dr Alan Montague on the three key functions of HR Manager.

Dr Alan Montague, Human Resources Management Program Director at RMIT (see the RMIT HR degree), also notes that those HR teams that stand head and shoulders above the rest recognise a more profound and increasingly essential skill in potential employees. Montague labels this ‘a more obscure skill – the willingness to keep on learning’. As businesses respond to changes in the technology landscape, those who can adapt and continue learning will become a valuable asset to the business – as will those HR managers who can recruit these employees.


Building on from this adaptability comes the importance of retraining. Imbibing staff with new and dynamic skills is one of the most crucial human resources functions that will only grow in prominence as the corporate sector continues to innovate. The McKinsey Report has also noted that “62 per cent of executives believe they will need to retrain or replace more than a quarter of their workforce between now and 2023”. Increasingly, this is becoming the responsibility of the private sector.

The task will thus largely fall to HR, as an expanded function of the human resource management process. Successful HR managers will need to cultivate their instructional capabilities, and develop new ways of engaging with staff, to ensure that the delivery of programs designed to upskill employees are implemented as effectively as possible. The ability to excel in staff retraining has the potential to make HR an even more invaluable asset in a company’s arsenal, as they take on increasingly innovative and competitive global markets.


Compared to the other two Rs, research in the human resource management process often gets overlooked, yet it is equally as important. As a HR manager, it is essential that you keep up-to-date on innovations in learning and technology that could be utilised in your workplace.

The three key human resource functions

As companies realise the importance of retraining staff early, to meet their future needs, there comes a surge in programs and technology available to them. As such, it is essential to consider any changes HR wish to implement carefully. It cannot be just the development that is currently in vogue. The key skill here is cultivating knowledge about the numerous options available to businesses and then determining the best fit for your company.

Montague highlights the importance of aligning research to the business’ goals, urging HR managers to consider this key question: ‘what does the corporation envisage the future is going to hold?’. The delivery of well-researched new systems and ideas that match the projected path for the business will have a considerable impact on the success of the company in the long term. As such, the ability to identify and analyse recent innovations for their applicability is becoming an increasingly sought-after skill in human resources.

Do you have a yearning to make a difference in your company? Are you keen to connect with a variety of individuals every day? If so, a Master in Human Resources Management may be the next step towards an exciting career move. Get in touch with our enrolment team today to discover how you can expand your skills across all three Rs and become an asset to your company.