There are a lot of articles out there that talk about the bad side of Human Resources. Why they hate it, what’s keeping HR from the “table” and how come they aren’t moving higher, doing better or worse, how they’re blocking their organizations from doing important work like hiring, training and increasing productivity. In many cases, HR is painted as indifferent, apathetic, frustrated, petty and ineffective. Ugh.
But that’s not the whole story. For every cringe-worthy anecdote, there is an HR career pro that has spent his or her life being the opposite. For every frustrated personnel minion, there is someone who believes HR can change the direction of the organization (and works her rear off to do it). Here is what GOOD HR looks like:
1. Good HR understands culture and bakes it into their process.
For the human resources professional, a bad hire hits them where it hurts, and keeps hitting during the employee’s entire tenure. It not only costs them money, it costs time and can create chaos within the work environment. And guess who gets to deal with that chaos? HR. Recruiters can work this into their recruiting processes from the sourcing methods and communications, all the way through their pre-qualification workflow. While corporate recruiters tend to be held more accountable for retention and cultural fit, even agency recruiters can create a better process by keeping cultural fit in mind. In fact, in a recent survey of 55 large organizations, Cubiks Netherlands discovered that 9 in 10 recruiters have rejected candidates due to their lack of cultural fit.
2. Good HR uses data for planning.
Succession planning, turnover, budgeting….all of these are affected by the data that HR pros (and most business execs) have access to. Recruiters can use this to their advantage from an external and internal position by paying attention to the turnover rates of specific clients and companies. Get a year’s worth of data and select appropriate variables (compensation jumps, time at the company, line manager) and start looking for patterns that jump out. Or purchase a solution that aggregates the hiring information and shows you the appropriate data and patterns easily (this goes over well when trying to get increased budget, particularly when you can show how much turnover or lack of succession planning is costing the organization).
3. Good HR knows the business.
Understanding the business and how the company makes its money is not only good sense, it saves jobs because you know which way the wind is blowing. You can read a Profit and Loss statement, you have a clear grasp of the product roadmap and you aren’t the last one to know when your product or service is no longer viable in the market.
4. Good HR is a tightrope walker.
HR is difficult because it can often feel that you are walking a tightrope between the organizational vision and the employees’ personal goals. In the most engaged workplaces (these also happen to be where many people want to work!) these things grow closer together with every hire. Human Resources knows this and works diligently to try and keep those lines moving closer together. Once this happens, it’s much easier for HR to do its job and be able to be an advocate for both parties; instead of feeling like the police office or worse, a doormat.
5. Good HR adapts.
New technology, processes, and people will all enter your realm for as long as your working life lasts. The winds of change must be embraced and the very smartest HR Pros know this. They build on their current skills with new ones and work hard to overcome the “that’s how we’ve always done it” syndrome that can often plague middle to executive management. Never has our workforce been in the state it is today and in the future it will change yet again. Good HR is ready for that.
What would you add to the list? Certifications? Education? A cat calendar? Tell us in the comments.