Individual Assignment: Is it Time to Split Up HR?
Mind the Talent Management Gap: HR-A and HR-LO
Human Resources has gone through ever-evolving changes over the years. They have been transitioning from transactional to becoming a strategic business partner with the high level executives of businesses. They are moving towards becoming the corporate centers of excellence by developing the right metric and analytics, the right talent and understanding how much human capital impacts successful business results. This paper analyzes the trends, contributions, skills and challenges that HR professionals have been and are going through to become the effective Strategic Partner.
Ram Charan says that most HR employees are process-oriented generalists and are not able to relate HR to real-world business needs. CEOs would like to use their CHROs and CFOs as sounding boards and trusted partners. (Charan 2014) By splitting HR into talent strategy and administration and looking at those experiences as developmental steps, those high potential line managers will be able to better their judgment to make well-informed decisions that produce desired outcomes. Those employees will rotate through management and will become more informed about the business, business environment and area of responsibility. When managers are able to develop better decision making skills by broadening their experience, they can help the business gain a competitive advantage and provide an opportunity to influence.
With the positive, there are many cons of splitting HR as recommended in Charan’s article. When researching supporting articles and journals, I noticed that there has been a lot of push back on this idea and most do not agree with Charan in splitting HR into two. The job of HR is to be the “architect” of the people strategy and be a supportive resource to the line managers and staff. HR should think of their function as ‘talent consultants’ instead of ‘service deliverers’ and focus on leadership skills, management practices and hiring and developing great people. The responsibilities that would fall under HR-A should be viewed as strategic and part of the talent culture of the organization. “Administrative” tasks like how and what people are paid, performance management and incentives are business-critical issues in employee lives. (Bersin, 2014). Charan focuses on the talent where the top 20% – according to the 20-60-20 rule – focuses on three things: talent, leadership, capabilities and their attributes. (Ulrich, 2014) Charan’s advocacy for talent limits the scope of what HR is able to deliver. Human resource professionals are better at delivering insights about talent, leadership and capabilities than line managers.
Trends Forcing Human Resources to Strategically Evolve
Human Resource management has evolved to be informed by predictable trends and has transformed as necessary to result in organization competitive advantage and functional viability. In the 1980s, ‘personnel administration’ used to consist of benefit plan enrollment, paycheck processing and distribution, hiring, suspending and firing employees. It was mostly administrative. (Mayhew, n.a.) The HR function used to be challenged with creative recruitment, retention and strategic compensation. The challenge during thriving times, the functions ranged from creative restructuring, downsizing, outplacement and mergers and acquisitions. During these times, HR priorities became more about survival and cost-cutting efficiencies. Because of society’s global economy and e-enabled technologies, HR now focuses is on talent, capability, culture and is ever-evolving....