Human Resources Leadership in Difficult Economic Times
Human Resources IQ has written an article claiming that the current economic situation is creating difficulties for human resources leaders.
The economic challenges that we are facing are creating a difficult environment for human resources leaders. Many companies are simultaneously experiencing surplus and scarcity of talent and are struggling to find the right human resources delivery models, the right labor and organizational structure and solutions for attracting and retaining key talent. In recent years, a distinct trend has emerged. More companies are selecting human resources leaders who do not come from traditional human resources backgrounds. An unscientific look at recent changes in human resources leadership shows that nearly two in five human resources leaders have come from outside the human resources function in the past five years versus pervious trends of one in 10. Reasons cited by corporations are many, including:
- 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
- â€œHuman Resources Transformationâ€ initiatives that are too slow to deliver results
- An inability of human resources to get costs under control
- A lack of robust people analytics
The emerging model is to place a strong operations leader in the top human resources spot and surround him or her with the appropriate experts who have deep functional knowledge. Operations leaders tend to have demonstrated strong people management skills in their roles and are seen as strong people managers. The expectation is that these leaders can model the behaviors of good managers and better balance business needs with more traditional human resources concerns. In addition, there is a strong focus on operational leaders who have led business transformation efforts and have a strong grasp of metrics and cost-cutting. Their mandate is often to simultaneously make human resources more efficient and effective with a strong focus on improving business results.
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.