When HR is About the Biz and Embraced by It: #TChat Recap

When HR is truly about the business, embraced by the business, then they should manage all of people management, from beginning to end.

And it’s getting there for many HR executives. Yet still for others, not so much. No matter the title you give Human Resources, those “business partners” I know in the space are the ones who manage the internal talent economy.

That doesn’t mean that the HR executive does the day to day tactical of recruiting, training, reviewing and all the minutia of compliance and administrative tasks. However, to all my recruiter friends out there, no need to throw rocks; I’m not discounting recruiting to basic tactical work. But I am saying that whether you call it VP of HR, VP of Talent, Chief Human Resource Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Chief People Officer, you name it, and you work for a company of any significant size, usually over 2,500 employees, you more than likely have a specialized team working for you.

Again, when HR is truly about the business, embraced by the business, then they should manage all of people management, from beginning to end.

But as I’ve written before, if someone says “seat at the table” one more time, I’m gonna blow (and many others along with me). I’ve talked with many HR practitioners of late who are part of their company’s executive business strategy, but unfortunately the dissing “buzz” of disservice continues. The good news is that smart CEOs who want growth have strong talent management, which means they have smart people management who understand the business, what drives growth and how to keep the workforce in order to get there.

And what better way to check on the business of HR than to take the shuttle bus at SHRM 2011. On one such ride I struck up a conversation with the nice woman next to me and find out she’s VP of personnel and talent acquisition at a large company in the Midwest back from the brink of death (and yes, she used the word personnel — add that to the VP list above).

So I start asking her questions, and she tells me things like:

  • We have no mainstream HR or talent management software deployed. Our systems are home grown, tedious and temperamental. But, we have no plans to dump them any time soon because we’re just getting our life back. (But that will be on the priority list soon…)
  • We still had net employee losses last year, but this year we plan on hiring a few thousand before the end of 2011.
  • We’re in the midst of developing a broader scope succession plan that includes not only upper management but middle management and line managers as well.
  • We’re going to be cross-training management across lines of business, including those of us in personnel and HR.
  • We’re in the midst of developing a social media strategy that includes establishing employee guidelines (meaning loose ones — we want folks to participate now), employment branding, recruiting, marketing, you name it. That’s a far cry from the traditionally conservative world we’ve been living in for a long time.
  • In fact, when I came across Glassdoor.com for the first time recently I was horrified of what I saw written about us and other companies. It’s time to participate in the conversation and rebuild our brand.

Human resources and workforce management is maturing and businesses along with it. The above example is just one of many stories I’ve heard recently. Remember, we may still be on the front end of “the business of HR” mainstream, but the next 5-10 years I believe will be amazing.

You can read the #TChat preview here and here are the questions from this the big #SHRM11 #TChat:

  • Q1: What does HR do? Is that different from what they’re supposed to do?
  • Q2: Why should HR be responsible for all talent management and recruiting? Why not?
  • Q3: What are the common misperceptions other departments have about HR and why?
  • Q4: What’s HR getting right in today’s world of work and business?
  • Q5: HR pros: What can employees do differently to better partner with HR?
  • Q6: What does the future of HR look like? Does it have one?

A very special thank you @mattcharney @Monster_WORKS and @MonsterWW for all you did at #SHRM11 for #TChat. We do appreciate it!

Happy 4th of July everyone! We’ll be back on July 12 with an all new #TChat — Employer branding, Talent Acquisition and Company Culture.

And don’t forget — #TChat Radio starts on July 26! Details soon…

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