The National Bureau of Economic Research cites "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months" as the hallmark of a recession (Foxx, 2009, p.50). A recession could results in a slowdown in industrial production, manufacturing, a loss of jobs, a loss of income and a slump in consumer spending (Foxx, 2009, p.89). For example, in 2007 the unemployment rate was 4.4 per cent in Ireland. However, by 2009 it had increased to 12.5 per cent. Then it rise up to 13.6 per cent. In 2009, approximately 450 construction companies and 280 services companies claimed insolvency (Roche, Teague, Coughlan & Fahy, 2011, p.59).
Some managers said, in times of economic recession, companies should emphasis on profits. Companies need to use all resources to maximize profit in order to stand on a good position. However, human resources management plays a more important role in today. Human resource is “The process of systematically reviewing human resource requirements to ensure that the required number of employees with the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities are available when needed” (Stone, 2011, p.104). In general, it is a function within an organization which focuses on hiring, compensation, development, culture, safety, communication, training and employee motivation etc. A good human resource management could encourage employees to contribute productively and effectively to the overall company’s goals. Using only one word to define human resource is about – people. People is the most important and valuable assets of companies. The Lincoln Electric Company is a large manufacture which founded over 100 years ago. It always consider that employees are its most valuable assets. Good piecework rates, annual multi-million dollar bonus program, and a guaranteed employment policy are a few of the reasons it can boast of superb quality products, and a healthy pool of job applicants (Renckly & Renckly, 2004, p.20).
One of the main roles of human resource management is managing current employees. Which involves employees’ benefits, such as pension plans, paid leave for illnesses, insurance plans etc. it also deal with concerns such as pay, policy, training and conflicts between employees or between employees and their managers. Human resource management also involves the acquisition of new employees, to ensure that company has a reasonable continuously supply of talented persons in order to improving operating of the company and the diversity of the company’s workforce (Galic & Plecas, 2012, p.34).
During recession, companies are in a brutal competition, rather than struggling in profit, optimizing the internal human resource structure seems a modern way to help companies survive. There are many human resource management practices in a recession, which include efficiency and cost control, communication and information disclosure, fairness and trust,...