The Concept and Role of Strategic Human Resource Management


Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a system of methods and approaches that creates a structure for personnel management that meets the company’s long-term business goals. The main feature of SHRM is the focus on the organization’s long-term development in the context of its goals (Greer, 2021). Human Resource Management (HRM) is generally responsible for recruiting approaches, managing their development, ensuring collaboration, creating a working climate, maintaining performance targets, etc. (Greer, 2021). HRM deals with people’s short and long-term issues related to their culture, values, motivations, commitments, and circumstances (Greer, 2021). Each organization finds its unique approach and strategy to personnel management. Moreover, HRM technologies are constantly being developed, discussed, and adjusted to the scope and trends of the new generation.

A business development strategy exists in all organizations, even if it is not formalized and written down. It is dictated by the interests and goals of the business and its field of activity and determines its behavior and ways of solving problems. Therefore, modern HRM is strategic in nature, unlike earlier, traditional methods of personnel management. In traditional HRM, professionals acted reactively, solving problems as they came up (Greer, 2021). SHRM is focused on understanding the nature of the business process, taking into account long-term business goals. Strategic managers work proactively and are interested in how the staff will feel and develop over the long term.

SHRM as a Strategic Process

Previously, HR specialists performed mainly administrative functions; that is, they provided documentation for employees, the process of hiring and firing, and resolved promotion and work conflicts issues. Their goal was not to ensure business development or increase the efficiency of their work. This situation was dictated by the peculiarities of the development of society and the labor force. Workers often performed more specific functions and were quickly able to enter the work process after completing their job (Boon et al., 2018). Currently, businesses mainly require highly skilled workers who are flexible, self-reliant, and capable of performing creative tasks (Boon et al., 2018).

Higher education institutions cannot fully prepare such workers for a wide variety of areas and types of positions (Boon et al., 2018). Thus, businesses have to spend resources and time on training each new employee so that he begins to bring benefits and profit (Boon et al., 2018). If HR hires an incapable person or fails to retain staff who do a good job, the business can incur huge costs and slow growth.

Modern SHRM practices include not only functional tasks but also personnel development planning. Employees are constantly educated and prepared for promotions so that the most competent human resources bring the most value to the organization without being left in unsuitable positions (Greer, 2021). In addition, the company, having a development strategy, understands what kind of personnel it will need in the near future and can prepare personnel in advance (Greer, 2021). This does not mean only hiring staff from scratch but also training employees. In SHRM, an essential component is the training and training programs specially designed for this company since each company has its work specifics. The faster an employee gets used to corporate norms and rules, the fewer barriers there will be in his work (Nickels et al., 2022). All this helps to reduce employee turnover and ensure business processes without delays and periods of stagnation.

Its focus on long-term business goals distinguishes strategic HRM. It helps people communicate without barriers by adapting to a single organizational environment. The Human Resources department highlights the company’s most valuable human assets and links them to strategic directions (Greer, 2021). This creates a competitive advantage over businesses where employees do not work well together, and there are gaps in communication between different departments. In addition, SHRM engages, motivates, and develops employees in order to retain the most valuable talent for as long as possible.

Employees’ Role in the Business Success

Employees play a huge role in the success and development of modern businesses. When employees are motivated and satisfied, they tend to take on more responsibility, project corporate values and culture, and become involved in securing the future of the organization (Rodrigues da Costa & Maria Correia Loureiro, 2019). The quality of a company’s human capital determines its internal culture and environment, so every HR specialist’s main strategic task is to recruit staff and keep them motivated (Testa, 2021). Research shows that improved working conditions, team building, and clear career paths improve corporate culture and employee KPIs (Testa, 2021). Therefore, implementing SHRM approaches is beneficial both for employees and businesses.

HR management strategy should create the basis for developing the company’s internal and interpersonal relationships. The more an employee is involved in the work and various processes of the company, planning, and changing working conditions, the more they will be satisfied and motivated (Bar-Isaac & Lévy, 2022). People should know each other by sight, communicate, and build horizontal and vertical connections. Thus, workers feel part of the same social group and include group goals as part of personal ones. Making informal personal connections within the company helps the business to get more motivated workers.

It is beneficial for businesses to retain skilled workers for as long as possible, reducing the cost of hiring and training new people. Promotion is only one possible way to make a person visible and inspired (Nickels et al., 2022). The novelty factor plays an influential role in human psychology; all people get used to the old stimulation and are predisposed to constantly looking for a new one. Employees who perform the same monotonous and routine tasks are more likely to leave the company and go to another, even if they will be doing the same functions there (Nickels et al., 2022). HR practices should aim to provide new, varied experiences for workers. It can be new assignments or projects, internships, schedule changes, work environment changes, new approaches to project management, etc. However, innovations must be balanced not to create a sense of chaos.

A well-developed and attractive HR strategy help businesses not only retain employees but attract more qualified and motivated workers to hire. Companies have to put up with employee turnover in the current workforce market, as people are no longer eager to find one firm and spend their entire professional career in it. Moreover, now people can start a new job from scratch already having decades of experience in another field. Under these conditions, businesses need to create attractive development opportunities, training units, internships, etc., to avoid losing talent.

SHRM in Sports

Sport is very different from the business sphere and has its specifics; it is not for nothing that there is a separate area of sports psychology. However, in the modern world, athletics has become another type of business, as it brings high incomes, and each team strives to become successful in a competitive market. In this sense, HR management in sports is just as important, if not more critical, as sports success is directly correlated with the state of human resources (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022).

Furthermore, HRs are talking not only about the athletes but also about the coaching and support staff (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Peak performance is a skill and a consequence of a disciplined managerial system (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). All concepts and approaches of HRM apply to a certain extent to personnel management in athletics, as athletes also need motivation, confidence, stress management, and team building.

At HRM in sports comes practices such as evaluation and recruitment, which are done in conjunction with the coach and director. To do this, the HR manager must have contacts with small sports organizations, schools, and colleges (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Keep an eye on local competitions and events to look for young athletes with development potential (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). The HR manager ensures that the team and support staff work together effectively so that no one’s rights and needs are infringed upon. Sports organizations are built on the unique talents of athletes and coaches, but many other employees support their operations. An HR manager in sports must strike a balance between finding talent, retaining and developing it, and finding staff for the team.

Strategic personnel planning in sports has its specifics since the significant emphasis is placed on the training and retention of service personnel. Athletes are essential to a team but have short athletic careers (Cuskelly et al., 2020). On the other hand, a good team of managers, PR technologists, doctors, organizers, and coordinators keeps the team running for decades, while team stars can change (Cuskelly et al., 2020). These people influence the team’s functioning, movement, performance, condition of the athletes, and other factors (Cuskelly et al., 2020). Therefore, studies in the field of sports HRM have shown that replacing team volunteers with full-time paid managers brings more benefits and improves team performance.

In modern sports management, there are problems that HR specialists should be aware of. First, researchers note the difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff in a sports environment (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Support staff work in athletics is complex and involves constant stress and travel, so there is a high staff turnover (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Salaried workers tend to want to earn a large sum of money quickly, leaving the team to not burden their families with constant absences (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022).

However, for the effective functioning of a sports team, it is extremely important to have permanent staff, as they know the specifics of the work and the specific athletes, their needs, psychological characteristics, and needs (Cuskelly et al., 2020). SHRM practices in sports can even include hiring employees from the same family to increase their motivation to stay with the team for as long as possible (Cuskelly et al., 2020). This reduces their anxiety and increases productivity, reliability, and loyalty.

A modern sports HR specialist must possess a range of skills and abilities to perform their job successfully. The first is knowledge of basic HRM for working with employees and knowledge of sports psychology for working with athletes and coaches (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Secondly, it is necessary to be well-versed in the sport that the team plays, not only at the level of general knowledge but also to follow local events (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Third, sporting events are not complete without volunteers and work with fans, in order to successfully attract volunteers, HR managers establish and maintain links with the team’s fan base (Cuskelly et al., 2020). Fourth, for strategic planning, knowing sports analytics and following trends and patterns in world sports is necessary. Fifth, in sports, HR specialists always look to the future, and the younger generations since the search for sports personnel and new stars are always an urgent task for athletics.

Personal Career Benefits of Studying SHRM

The world of sports is highly complex and diverse and includes much more than working with athletes and stars. A successful HR specialist in this field must offer the organization a wealth of talent and expertise, which includes knowledge of analytics and expertise in the sports field (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Customer-focused managers create connections with a fan base that generates revenue for the team. SHRM involves planning for the management of personnel for the team and keeping them in difficult and uncomfortable working conditions. Today’s trends dictate the need for proactive talent scouting.

The study of SHRM in sports is extremely important for developing and future professionals to understand this work’s complexity. The sports environment has many subtleties, specialized knowledge, and skills (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Becoming an HR manager in athletics is impossible if a person does not meet all modern requirements (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). Combining and successfully coordinating sports and administrative work is necessary since these factors are equally important in the multi-billion dollar sports industry.

If earlier HRM functions were performed simply by the director or coach of the team, now it is impossible to imagine such a situation. The SHRM department for a sports team includes a number of managers who deal with specific areas – recruiting, human resource management, personnel management, ensuring equality and inclusiveness, working with volunteers, working with service personnel, etc. Some roles are closely related to sports knowledge, while others are more related to management and public relations (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). However, all of them are necessary to cover the diverse needs of the team.


SHRM is modern personnel and human resource management approach that meets a business’s long-term goals. In the modern world, human resources are one of the most important values that provide a competitive advantage over other organizations. Companies that neglect their employees’ welfare risk getting staff turnover and the most low-skilled and the least motivated workers in the labor market. That is why it is extremely important for HR professionals to study and put into practice approaches to recruiting, retaining, and developing personnel aligned with the strategic goals of the corporation (Boon et al., 2018).

In this sense, nowadays, sport is a huge business and a large cash flow. Managing a team’s sports and administrative staff is a complex job involving many factors. A sports HR specialist should understand both sports and psychology and management (Chelladurai & Kim, 2022). If a person plans an HR career in sports, they should start studying the scope of his activity and its nuances as early as possible. It is worth getting acquainted with different aspects of work and choosing a direction for yourself, since at the moment there are many areas of HR career in sports.


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Chelladurai, P., & Kim, A. C. H. (2022). Human resource management in sport and recreation. Human Kinetics.

Cuskelly, G., Fredline, L., Kim, E., Barry, S., & Kappelides, P. (2020). Sport Management Review.

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Nickels, W. G., McHugh, J. M., McHugh, S. M. (2022). Understanding Business. 12th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education.

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Testa, D. S. (2021). The Influence of Employees on Retailer Success Under Conditions of Strategic Change (Doctoral dissertation, Iowa State University).

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