CEO, Human Resources???

Richard Beatty, a professor of HR at Rutgers University probably raised the hackles of many an HR professional when he criticized the HR community for their failure to provide useful analytics in making workforce planning decisions.  His comments parallel what we’ve all heard – that HR needs to speak the language of business and be able to provide hard data and metrics to support their strategies and initiatives.  This is all about HR needing to learn to think and act like CFOs.

Effective HR professionals that are obtaining those bona fide seats at the executive table are the ones that are also thinking and acting like CEOs – how the organization’s strategies are increasing market share, expanding growth, improving efficiencies, reducing costs, and increasing profits.  What I’m hearing from the C-level executives that I work with are that effective HR executives and professionals take into careful consideration the organization’s day to day, in the trenches, real world operational challenges, and more importantly how it impacts the top and bottom lines.  Those who “get it” have learned how to sell, market and influence those who have the approval to say yay or nay.  Many a solid HR initiative has been kiboshed because it didn’t earn the necessary executive buy-in.  And that’s where selling comes in.

Most HR people hate selling and willingly admit it.  Yet you’ve been doing it all your life and probably aren’t always aware that many of the goals that you’ve achieved involved following a sales process – from landing your job to convincing your significant other to shack up or marry you.  You uncovered a need, asked questions about the criteria involved, presented your idea and convinced the decision-maker to support your case.  At work do the same when dealing with the executive suite, making sure you always link your HR activities to the top and bottom lines.   

-Guest editor:  Jonathan Lowe

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One Response

  1. Interesting.”—-HR needs to speak the language of business and be able to provide hard data and metrics to support their strategies and initiatives”. This is the one critical area where HR fails, I think. HR should not act as a ‘bureaucrat’ instead should get along with the gain and pain in business. How they are conceptualizing processes, procedures, information management, analytics etc are highly critical aspects of HR role, today

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