Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Changing role of HR

An interesting thought on the role of HR by John Boudreau and Peter Ramstad in the HBR of April 2005:
As organizations increasingly compete through talent, their investments in human capital will determine their competitive positions. Yet HR's way of managing this key resource stands in sharp contrast to how other organizational functions operate. Marketing, finance, and most other functions have well-developed methodologies for generating the information managers need to make strategic decisions. HR, however, often focuses principally on its own performance, carefully measuring cost per hire, the ROI on its programs, and how its initiatives affect skills and attitudes. It's time for HR to shift its focus from what it does to the quality of the talent decisions it supports. (...) HR should be able to help leaders answer critical questions such as:
  • Where does our strategy require talent that is better or more plentiful than our competitors?
  • In what new business ventures do we have a strategic advantage because of our talent?
  • What talent gaps do we need to close in order to keep our competitive advantage?
  • Where would a change in the availability or quality of talent have the greatest impact?

Do you agree with Boudreau and Ramstad this is the HR function we need in modern companies? If your company is pioneering in this respect, or if you can share a best practice / methodology that supports the above, be sure to drop a Comment!