Why So Many Authorities are Picking on HR

Why So Many Authorities are Picking on HR
from the Turning Good People Into Top Talent blog series
By Bob Moore, CMC

blame HR

The July/August 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review has an icon of a ball of dynamite emblazoned on the cover with a provocative headline “It’s Time to BLOW UP HR and Build Something New.”  Just so you know, I attempt to walk a fine line between being the messenger/advocate for turning good people into top talent and a contrarian thought leader who has a strong desire to advocate for a Total Talent Management System.

The articles inside the HBR issue aren’t quite as explosive as the cover suggests. Talent Management columnist, Wharton professor Peter Cappelli, writes that business leaders tend to see HR as a valuable asset during talent crunches but as a mere nuisance when times are better. In order to get out of this rut, HR leaders need to “set the agenda.”  Cappelli urges HR leaders to strongly advocate for excellence in every function that it touches (or should touch), from layoffs to recruiting to performance management, rather than waiting for the CEO to tell them what to do.

Cappelli continues by stating that HR leaders also need to either deepen their own knowledge of analytics or partner with those who are experts in order to “help companies make sense of all their employee data and get the most from their human capital.  HR leaders must help their organization’s leadership ‘take the long view’.”

Exactly how can HR build something new and bring the long view back into their organizations?  Begin by claiming a strategic role and becoming a trusted advisor to senior management.  Provide solutions to the immediate pressures the organization is facing and advocating for projects designed to address longer term initiatives, such as managing the organization’s talent pipeline and strategic succession planning.  Finally, become informed about how to integrate the technology required to track key metrics and provide the analytics senior management needs to make informed decisions.

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Bob Moore, CMC
Managing Principal

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