The silent revolution – the changing face of HR

HR Professionals. We’ve undergone a bit of a transformation in recent years.  I remember the good (bad!) old days when HR was seen as a pen pushing, form filling, bureaucratic nasty. Hordes of women in grey skirts and cardigans asking mandatory questions to tick a box here and there, quite separate from the ‘business’ side of things.

Of course, that was never the reality but I do think we have evolved. The change from ‘Personnel’ to ‘Human Resources’ helped promote people as an organisation’s biggest asset, cemented the importance of the HR function and drove some distance between the sluggish, standard ‘business as usual’ category of yesterday.

These days, people-centric businesses understand the importance of aligning the HR strategy with the business objectives. They understand that HR is an integral part of the leadership, contributing to key decisions, advising on change and grooming the next set of superstars to take a seat at the table.

Recently I finished an assignment working with a London-based client who needed some assistance with their people strategy. The first task was to help the directors recruit an experienced HR Manager who could hold the fort and drive the HR presence forwards. Interestingly, when formulating the job specification with the business owner, they remarked that they didn’t want “one of the usual HR types”.  It sounds strange, but I completely understood. As somebody who veers away from the traditional HR model, I appreciate the value that a people-professional can bring to an organisation, especially when they are prepared to think outside the box.

In real terms, a fully integrated HR business presence can add significant value to the bottom line.  They provide essential insight and data that enables a company to streamline its recruitment process and maximise its human capital. They understand and are committed to advancing the company culture and help to build a team of staff that will enable the business to achieve its goals.

Additionally, as we leave recession and the marketplace returns to a competitive battleground for talent, plugging a skills gap is a real issue for many businesses. HR professionals that are fully integrated within a business are able to identify where the skills shortages will occur and can implement solid fixes through succession planning or talent-management programmes to prevent gaps occurring.

There is no denying that the role of HR in the modern workplace has changed. Business owners who value their people are more likely to have a happy, productive workforce which will directly impact profitability.

At Leading Strategies, we support a wide variety of clients with their people based needs. You can find out more about what we do here: www.leading.uk.com/people-development