Human Resources Leadership in Difficult Economic Times
Posted: 10/06/2008 5:00:00 PM EDT | 0
- An increasing need to get the people part of the business right
- Concern over the ability of traditional human resources leaders to understand the company and deliver business-oriented solutions
- “Human Resources Transformation” initiatives that are too slow to deliver results
- An inability of human resources to get costs under control
- A lack of robust people analytics
This trend has been enabled by a number of changes in the vendor marketplace, including the evolution of both the human resources outsourcing and human resources systems markets. Companies have more and more options for getting core human resources services and technology delivered and can find others to do many of the transactional activities. This allows these operational leaders to leverage their external relationships while focusing on the most strategic human resources priorities for the business. In addition, having the right staff with the appropriate expertise is critical to making these leaders successful.
That is not to say that this trend is universal. In many organizations, human resources leaders from traditional backgrounds have forged strong partnerships with the business and are seen as key to delivering results and driving business transformation. These leaders understand the business and are able to deliver results. They are vital parts of the leadership team, and many organizations wouldn’t think of making significant business decisions without their involvement.
As markets and the economy become more unstable, the question is whether this trend should continue and whether a particular background is better for leading the human resources function through these challenging times. Usually, it is much more about the skills of the individual rather than a particular background. During these turbulent times, human resources leaders must have:
- A depth of business expertise and the ability to understand at a deep level the operational impacts of human resources decisions
- The ability to implement human resources strategies that deliver business results
- A proven track record of driving transformation and change
- An understanding of metrics and how to measure effectiveness in business terms
- The knowledge of how to drive cost reduction and efficient delivery models
Organizations must choose leaders who bring all of the critical perspectives to address these challenges. Finding the right person who can deliver true business knowledge and an operator’s viewpoint, along with the right human resources solutions, is critical to success.
Originally published on Human Resources IQ.
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