I've been "involved" in Human Resources (HR) for 25 years, my first sales role was selling HR and Payroll software before it became Human Capital Management (HCM).
For 25 years HR has wanted to move itself from being a cost centre to being a profit centre. Or at least a "break even" centre. But how could "hiring and firing" be sexy? How could HR start driving the agenda within a business?
There is talk (I wrote about it in my second book) about HR taking on more of the "brand" function from Marketing, I'm not sure that Marketing will be happy about this.
So what can HR do to drive the business?
Well it can look at using "today" techniques to drive out the cost and up the efficiency. For example, using social media.
Social media is all about communication, it's a frictionless way for us to communicate. And HR is all about communication. Right?
The first thing an HR department should do is get all the team in HR to have personal brands. This sounds difficult, but really it's about each member of the team to be themselves on social.
Just by being on social will attract recruits to want to work for you.
The next thing they should do it grow their network. While other HR professionals is good, it is also an echo chamber. What you want is a diverse network of people you might like to hire, or people who might influence people you might like to hire.
Connect with HR influencers.
A strong network of your team is good.
The next thing is that the HR team should publish content. Content that they have sourced, often called curated, from tools such as FlipBoard. As well as creating your own content. Not "adverts" but explaining, what it's like to work for you. Empowering people to write articles like that as well.
Why not have an objective that new employees, interns have to post on social about their first six months.
What will attract talent to your business is culture, how else can candidates see your culture other than you talking about it on social?
Think about Apple, Facebook, Google we all want to work there. We all know they have jelly beans and bean bags. We also know that they have some of the most shitty recruitment processes, but people put up with them as they want to work there.
The point being that if people see that you are a cool company online, then they will want to work there.
Immediately you will have the pick of the great (digital) talent. You will be employer of choice.
Better still you will have reduced your job advertising budget, maybe even eliminating it. You will also have reduced your reliance on recruitment consultants, maybe even eliminating them.
In other words, by some simple straightforward steps, you can reduce HR costs, increase efficiency, become employer of choice, created competitive advantage ... and raised the presence of the HR function to one of "profit centre".
It's all do-able, so what are you waiting for?
Move from inside to outside: Rather than just meeting business leaders within the organization, go and visit customers. Instead of remaining inside the business, HR needs to step outside and bring what they learn from customers back to build effective strategies and systems to help the organization to win in the marketplace. Focus on business success: The biggest thing HR gives employees is not “commitment, purpose, belonging, it’s winning in the marketplace.” We need to broaden our view to include the stakeholders and customers as well. From people to systems: When looking at what HR uniquely delivers, Ulrich says we also need to broaden our horizons from people and talent to include organization design. “People can be champions,” Ulrich says. “But organisations win championships.” In order to do this, HR focus should be not just about people, but about organisation’s