This is a billion dollar questions and a very legitimate one. Historically, Human Resources dealt with administrative and compliance issues. Unless you’ve spent some time working in an Human Resources office, it may be hard to relate. I have an MBA in Human Resources Managment and have worked in Human Resource offices in large organizations as an Human Resources Management intern, Generalist, LR/ER Specialist, Human Resources Turnaround Coordinator, Supervisor, Change Leader, and Talent Acquisition Specialist for the past 15 years. There are about 41 Federal employment laws and a number of state employment laws that require routine daily tracking. Such as administering FMLA. Most onlookers believe these are task just being performed, but have no idea each one of these task including the interview process, is governed and enforced by “Big Brother.” The selection and hiring of candidates includes assessment techniques, interviewing techniques and a selection process that are enforced by the EEO laws. The Department of Labor has responsibility for addressing how employees are classfied and compensated. There are also Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Labor Relations Board, Health and Human Service and others who have full-time staff to assure that organizations are adhering to employment laws. You can visit: http://Thrive.BLR.com
As long as we have Federal and State employment laws, these task will have to be accomplished. So, what can companies do about their HR offices?
What is in the Human Resources’s name?
First, I think the name “Human Resources” over the years has taken a hit due to the massive layoffs, and M&A activity. Some CEOs cringe at the mention of the word “H.R.” Most people who have experienced layoffs and downsizing equate the total experience to the H.R. office. HR handles the termination letters, the COBRA notices, the EAP process etc. Employees who were impacted by any of the above situations have grave experiences. Most often people forget the decision was made by board and the team of executives. HR only processes the paperwork. If you get rid of the HR office you will get rid of this buffer. If you disband your office, you can’t blame it on HR anymore. Instead of getting rid of the office others are trying to rebrand. Companies are starting to rebrand their name to Talent Engagement. Talent engagement is about building relationships and getting personal with your organizations’s talent. Large organizations get a benefit from maximizing the various talents of each new employee. We can no longer hire candidates to fill vacancies, but need to engage the entire person by creating communities of employees who share the same interest on and off the work site. See article at:https://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/rework/whats-name-5-n
Human Resources policies are outdated
As Human Resource professionals, we have to be creative in how we manage and engage our talent. I believe by not updating company policies with current trends and failing to come up with creative and innovate ways to otherwise standard processesing, we have not shown our added value to support the cost of maintaining the offices. As an HR professional, our first competing threat is technology and the second one is Professional Employer Organizations. A PEO can come in and partner with the companies to handle their H.R. needs. They are vendors. The contract can be renewed monthly, yearly or are as needed. The weight of the HR division has been outsourced for the vendor to carry the expenses of wages, salaries and keeping up with policies and various employment laws. The executive team can spend more time engaging the customers.
The Business of Human Resources
The future challenge for HR offices is to use technology and PEOs to support the administrative task of benefits, payroll, and employee orientation and spend some time on developing business acumen. If I were doing an executive search for a CHRO, I would be asking the following questions:
Have you ever owned a business?
Do you have a business currently?
Do you have an undergraduate or graduate degree in Business?
This is one of the reason I never abandoned my business background and entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve always been a business consultant working in large organizations. My area of expertise is as an H.R. generalist, H.R. Labor Relations Specialist, Change leader, and H.R. Supervisor. At the drop of a hat, I could advise on my company’s market share, market position, our compensation strategies and the latest trends in software. I kept abreast with my skills in Microsoft Office Suite: Excel, Access, Word and PowerPoint. I learned how to design, manage and create web pages. I know how to calculate and use H.R.data analytics to recommend profitable solutions. I know a lot of CHRO, but most of them are not hands-on with these skills because executive leadership is perceived as using a different leadership skill set.
The new CHRO needs to share some business strategies on how to attract top talent, and how the talent can be used to generate profits and ideas for the company. More than ever it’s time to use H.R. talent differently. If I were looking for any type of executive talent. I would be asking, “How can we use your business expertise and acumen to make the organization more effective? I’m looking for “Talent Engagement Thought LLeaders.” “I’m looking for individuals who want to think and act outside the H.R.box.” It’s time for H.R. to step their game up.