Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Friday, February 8, 2008

Next Generation HR

What is next-generation HR?

Hewitt conducted a research on the future of HR interviewing over 50 academicians and HR chiefs of global organisations, people like management expert Peter Capelli from Wharton, Ed Lawler from the University of Southern California, Jeff Pfeffer of Stanford University and Dave Ulrich from the University of Michigan.

We also interviewed the HR heads of companies like American Express, IBM, Starbucks and Capital One. The conclusion we arrived at was that HR has to be linked to business outcomes. It has to move from a vertical-oriented strategy — recruiting, learning and compensation & benefits — to end-to-end processes like talent supply, leadership & key talent capabilities and high performance that cut across verticals.

HR has to be made accountable to deliver business solutions. The difference in this approach is the move from process mentality to functional mentality. A good example is, Cisco Systems which disbanded the recruiting function altogether as each business was doing recruitments on its own. It then appointed its senior supply chain executive in charge of the talent supply process.

The talent supply process, as opposed to the vertical functions, includes taking care of various stages from workforce planning to candidate sourcing to assessment and selection, on boarding & orientation and first year performance. It’s very important to avoid a linear growth model where revenue increase is attained by a similar growth in headcount.

What is driving this shift?
The challenge of talent shortage is the driving force behind this shift. HR is less of an art but more of a science. Look at various data points about people and connect it to the business performance. For instance, in case of a retailer, look at the high-performance stores and find out what HR practices distinguish those from the others like where are the people being sourced from.

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