Sep 7, 2006

Skills for HR people in India

On a HR egroup I made the following points when someone said , HR people need to have an education in HR !

I don't agree that a HR diploma is crucial to being a great HR person.

I remember that in 1997 I heard Dr. Udai Pareek (ex-prof IIMA andfounder of ISABS) adressing the first National Conference in HR at XLRI and he made a point which disturbed me then.

He said :"HR departments would truly succeed when they have successfully madethemselves redundant"

I realised what he meant when I started working in 1999 in HR. Essentially what Dr. Pareek was trying to say was that the REAL Human Resources managers were the line managers, we as HR people are only responsible for drafting policies and people strategies, and educating and guiding them.

The onus of making these successful are squarely in the hands of the ops/line managers. Our focus should be to enable them with the skills of managing people, motivating and developing them, and act as a facilitator. Eventually, there would come an ideal day, when all line managers would know and act as better people managers than HR people.

1. An HR person needs a minimum amount of skills to be an effectiveHR person !
2. HR is not "easy" unless you are merely printing offer letters or churning out reports. HR is not just "common sense"
3. The way out is not to put filters at the entry level into HR, but to work in setting up professional bodies to help HR people to develop their skills, like the ASTD and SHRM do in the US.
4. I think the most skills HR people need are rarely ever taught in B-Schools.
They are:
  • a. Facilitation skills
  • b. Diagnosis skills
  • c. Influencing skills
  • d. Consulting skills
These are the basis for expertise in different HR disciplines...and we do need them to be taught as skills for professional growth in India. Maybe, teaching them to line managers would be a good idea too!