Over the last decade, roles within the human resources industry have been changing quickly and universally. During all these changes, HR has consistently battled the stigma of being seen as a cost center rather than a revenue generator for organizations. Even the HR name itself is evolving as departments rebrand themselves as “Human Capital.” HC doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it as HR, but I like the idea. As we all adapt to the many changes that I’m sure are still to come, let’s dive into why the HR function was ready for an overhaul and what it looks like now.
Human resources was founded to be responsible for all things employee related. From employee relations and payroll, to benefits and employee handbooks, HR did it all. In addition to all those tasks, the HR department was called upon to enforce the rules and regulations regarding how to act and perform within a company. Over the years, it’s even gotten a bit of a bad rep around the office. Don’t tell HR I told you that…
HR is in a period of transformation. The practice is moving toward being more business minded, being proactive rather than reactive, and being focused on the voice of the employee. For example, in the past, if a person wasn’t performing their job adequately, HR might be asked to let them go. Now, HR works with hiring managers and creates a talent management plan that helps them build a more efficient team and put the right people in the right seats, which allows employees to thrive and, in turn, do their best for the company.
With a new approach to HR, new recruitment tactics have been on the rise as well. I’ve recently seen HR departments launch large projects in which they use regression analysis to uncover common backgrounds, personalities and skill sets of their very best people, and subsequently incorporate those findings into their recruiting plans. These new technologies try to incorporate the human side of hiring into the numbers side to strike a balance that will be best for both the company and its employees.
The short version of this transformation is that HR is moving away from being simply the personnel department and becoming a business partner that not only affects bottom line results, but also drives top line results.
If you’re considering a role within HR, do it because you love working with people. Do it because you want to help a company discover ways to engage their employees, increase productivity, and build an amazing culture. Do it to help employees understand how they can add value to the company and its mission. And most of all, embrace the change.
Have you seen any other major shifts in the HR model? Tell us about them in the comment section below!
Chris Dardis leads Versique’s human resource executive search and consulting practice with more than 10 years of experience, on both the agency side as well as the corporate side. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.