HR - do we need it? 5 things to show why we do
In today’s world talent is a precious commodity where demand far exceeds supply. The economy is moving from a manufacturing to a knowledge economy. In that context companies are increasingly finding it difficult to discover and retain talent In addition to that a new generation has entered the work force - Gen Y who are extremely ambitious, demanding and connected. Managers are finding it difficult to meet the expectations of this group of talent. In the current context organisations have to seriously think & rethink about the talent pool they have in their organisation. They should also think how they will cultivate talent within to ensure that a steady talent pipeline is available. It becomes all the more important to retain and nurture talent.
For that to happen HR has to be seen as a strategic function than a supporting function. So HR has to up its game and earn respect. A study by Mercer clearly states that HR managers want to move up the value chain but feel that they are not equipped to handle the responsibility because of lack of exposure / experience. For HR managers to move upstream they should objectively analyse the current situation of HR in their organisation and what needs to be done to move away from traditional processing mentality to a strategic approach.
Many HR managers want this yet studies show there is still a gap in thinking at the top. To alter thinking HR has to become a board room agenda and HR managers must demonstrate the reasons why it should be a top priority amongst leaders. So how can this happen?
Due Diligence of HR.
Managers need to objectively analyse the value their function or department adds/ creates/ protects. The objective deliverable at the end of this introspection should result in HR Managers gain an insight on what could be outsourced, centralised, and what is really strategic.
Role of recruitment
Recruitment is an important function where HR Managers can add immense value. However, it is very rarely viewed with respect or taken seriously. The inability of HR Managers to quantify the value of their recruitment initiatives creates a major setback when it comes to creating a case study for the number driven leadership.
Strategy drives Talent Management
Talent Management is an area that would help HR Managers become more strategic.
By understanding the business vision, Mission and the strategies to get there, HR managers could evaluate their existing talent pool and identify Stars, Angels, Guardians and Foot soldiers. Organisations lose a lot of revenue due to business disruption caused by talent shortage. If HR managers can quantify the damage occurring due to this and then demonstrate how their talent management strategy has ensured no shortfall, they will naturally earn respect.
Create Relevant Benchmarks
By creating benchmarks and milestones that are relevant to the strategic objectives HR managers can transfer recruitment initiatives from Process focus to Strategic focus.. HR managers for example evaluate fit from a role or cultural perspective and how that has resulted in fuelling a positive culture resulting in effectiveness.
Last but not least many HR initiatives fail because HR managers are not able to quantify the value of the training interventions. Many HR managers are qualitative and not quantitative. If HR managers can start adding value by talking the number language their opinions would start carrying more weight.. By shifting the focus to number crunching and by focusing on using that insights to any HR interventions HR will become more strategic.