“If HR stays on the transaction side, we’ll be out of business in 10 years,” said Conrad Venter, global head of HR at Deutsche Bank. “Business leaders will say.… ‘Where’s the value?’” and choose to outsource those transactional duties."
Instead, the most valuable HR professionals in coming years will be those who have an understanding of the business strategy and can contribute to it. “If you work in business, you have to be a businessperson first with a specialty in HR,” said Venter. “You need to speak the lingo of your business.”
CEOs want their HR leaders to break outside the operational box and become more strategic players.
Remember: Administrative skills are easy to outsource. But — strategic talent is not. Click here to become a strategic player...However, many HR professionals are so bogged down in their daily processes that they have trouble lifting their heads out of the weeds. And they’re so busy managing the careers of employees that they lack the time to methodically assess their own job performances.
Advice: Regularly ask yourself: What value am I adding to the organization? Constant self-evaluation and improvement are necessary to earn promotions and gain credibility with management.
Ask yourself these questions to determine where you can enhance performance and become more strategic:
1. Do you have a career identity? That is, have you established a reputation among bosses for excelling in one or more HR areas that contribute to the organization’s bottom line? Without that, it’s difficult to be a strategic player.
2. What have execs cited as your biggest contributions to the organization? How many of the contributions impact the bottom line?
3. What new skills have you learned over the past few years? What new skills do you plan to learn this year? Next year? The most effective strategic players constantly acquire new skills and knowledge.
4. Are there specific abilities and skills you need to perform even better? A “yes” answer indicates that you need new skills to become a true strategic player.
Advice: Don't just be a problem solver! Sure, CEOs like employees who solve problems. But there’s one kind of employee they like even better. They like the employee who never brings them problems in the first place! They like the ones who bring them opportunities, ideas and innovations, instead. Yes! I'm ready to take my seat with the decision-makers...5. Do you train supervisors, either solo or as part of a team? If you are involved in training, it shows that you’re part of the strategic team.
6. What percentage of your job is spent on employee relations? Spending too much time in this area saps energy and time from projects that have a bigger impact on organization strategy.
7. What is the cost per hire within your organization? What percentage of time do you spend on recruiting? A high amount of recruiting time coupled with a low cost per hire indicates cost-efficient hiring. A high amount of recruiting time and high cost per hire indicates need for improvement.
You can’t be a strategic player if you can’t handle basic HR functions, such as recruiting in a cost-effective manner.
8. Which areas of HR do you track with metrics that measure results and costs? Which areas don’t you track? Are there metrics that you don’t use to track results and costs in certain areas? True strategic players measure almost everything that is measurable.
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