Dec 14, 2008

Re-imagining HR

Laurie first blogged about Blowing Up HR , and now Frank at the KnowHR blog has posted 10 tenets of the New HR.

I totally agree with both of them and here's what I think HR should be doing to doing its job better.

1. Recognise that the administrative, boring, non-value added part of the job won't go away. Get specialists, within the organization or from outside to do that. Or automate it.If you are a small business, maybe you can join other SMEs and find one large contractor to handle that piece. Yes, that would mean letting go of customised reports etc. But if it's non value added, then why have it at all?

2. Get a business guy/girl to lead HR. Ideally someone who's in line to be the CEO. Not just some loser whose career is headed for the dead end. Should have been a great people manager. She/He'll add business perspective to HR. Focus on the activities that will add dollar (and rupee) value to the business. And you in HR, you should move to a business function. Try marketing and sales. Understand how difficult it is to bring in money into the organization. Or try operations. That'll make you understand how difficult it is to produce and deliver whatever you produce or provide. You'll be a better HR professional for that.

3. Get your head around to the core competitive value of your business. What makes it better than your competitors? And how is this core competitive value going to evolve in the near and long term? Then get your HR processes to support both these all the way. For example, if your company's competitive value is creative product/services and will remain the competitive differentiator then as a HR organization you should know how to attract, retain, develop the most creative talent than your competitors. Also look at behaviors/processes that hinder creativity and kill them (the processes, not creativity!)

4. Get a strong team. You can't make a difference to the business by putting a weak scaffolding. HR needs to have a strong structure and support the business fundamentals. That won't happen by putting one junior HR generalist for 500 employees and giving an IT HR infrastructure. That'll mean giving senior HR resources to support business units.

Are you ready to re-imagine HR?


  1. Great suggestions here, Gautam! I felt compelled to share them with my readers in my weekly Rainmaker 'Fab Five' blog picks of the week which can be found here:

    Be well!

  2. Hi Gautam,

    I loved points 2 and 3. You can't draw the best out of people if you do not have a real grasp on the key results people are supposed to be producing and the daily realities they face.

    HR is not about people per se, but rather about achieving business results through your people.

  3. Don't you mean a strong team? Or is 'String Team' the latest piece of management jargon that I still haven't caught up with? ;-)

    Good list Gautam. People need to be reminded about 1 - the admin won't just disappear when you get a new HRIS.

    On point 3, I'd go further. What is it about your organisations people, their capabilities, their relationships, the way they behave and the way they are led, that actually gives you a competitive advantage?

    Truly strategic HR should not just be about supporting the business, it should be about how people can be the source of that business advantage.

  4. Ooops Rick, that was a typo. :)

    And absolutely agree with your statement "Truly strategic HR should not just be about supporting the business, it should be about how people can be the source of that business advantage."

  5. I also give wish to HR.India is developing country and need more employeement