Evolving Facets of the HR Function | DCR Workforce Blog

Evolving Facets of the HR Function

Managing human resources is about managing the employment life cycle – recruitment, training and development, deployment and retention until attrition, right? Not quite! Times are evolving and HR management is not lagging behind in moving from being an operations function with a process-oriented approach to a function which offers strategic guidance and solutions to the complex problems presented by workforce trends – like the globalization of talent acquisition and management.

HR as a Strategic Advantage

HR processes have moved from being labor-intensive and manual to automated processes which rely heavily on technology. Today’s HR technology provides HR leaders – as well as business leaders – with data about their operation that was never previously available; internally generated information that cannot be found in expensive surveys of general industry trends. The best HR executives are capturing and using this data to deeply understand their workforce and make decisions tailored to the needs of their unique businesses.

It is all about using information to leverage competitive advantage. Data can be used to not only answer “what happened” but “why did it happen” and, most importantly, “what can you do to shape what happens next”? :

  • The analysis can go beyond telling us the average fill time, or time taken to get an employee on-board to examine how the time to fill differs by sourcing channels, and which on-boarding activities are taking the most time.
  • It can also tell us the time a new employee takes to become as productive as the existing employees. The learning could help impact the training process in general and suggest ways to rapidly assimilate new employees who come into the business as a result of an acquisition or merger.
  • Data can be used to relate the organization’s needs and priorities to the talent requirements – determine the right type of worker for each job and the most effective talent sourcing approach for that position.  Locate areas where skill availability falls short of the requirement and look at ways the gaps can be plugged ahead of the requirement – compare and contrast options such as re-skilling of existing employees (by offering them career management insights and growth opportunities), affiliations with colleges and universities and internship programs which bring in budding talent. Also consider the consequences of choosing alternatives like mechanization and automation. These insights would also prove valuable when planning a venture at a different location or when the right skills are not available in one location but are abundantly available at another.
  • Use all of the data that is available.  Qualitative data can also be compiled and evaluated.  Performance reports, 360-degree feedback and exit interviews are early indicators of unplanned attrition rates. Most companies gather this information, only to file it away – without any further effort at deriving the insights which they offer.

All in all, HR today is evolving and growing into a highly supportive function which is crucial to the success of any business – much more than ever before.  But, to secure a seat at the head table, HR must proactively use information only they can gather to anticipate the future and suggest options for future company growth.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.