Lately I have had several recruitment projects for HR Manager positions. That is how I came up with the idea of writing this article. Who am I talking to regarding these positions? The CEO or the GM of the company. He is the person with whom I discuss the requirements of this position, his vision of the impact of the new HR Manager on the business, the organizational culture that he wants, HR processes, etc. He is the person with whom I discuss the requirements of this position, his vision of the impact of the new HR Manager on the business, the organizational culture that he wants, HR processes, etc.
When you are the HR Manager in a company, the operational side gets you extremely easy.
You finish projects, tick off activities, report figures, and at the end of each day you are exhausted. And the days in which you are dealing with the strategy, the “preparation of the future” are getting less and less. In time, you do not even see why to prepare for what’s next, why should you anticipate? What to anticipate? The present overwhelms you, and your actions are needed now. You have the feeling that everything is urgent, and if you are not present, things are going in the wrong direction. So, you are there, every day, every minute, the operational side keeps you busy.
I empathize with you, I was often in this situation. But let’s not forget, the CEO has other expectations. Gathered from stormy debates 😊, global studies or feedback from open-minded Human Resources Managers, I summarize them below. Maybe it can help you to have more structure in your plans. Or maybe get you out of the daily operations and give yourself time to think about projects and their impact in the longer run. Everything for a company where employees require predictability, but also a reality that requires change and an open attitude to change.
What expectations does a CEO have from you, the HR Manager of the company?
1. HR processes to be well defined and functional.
For a CEO, their operation is an element related to the “hygiene” of the company. It needs to be in the HR Manager’s attention how they are done, the way, where and with whom. If they are not done, then a CEO remarks them. Otherwise, they are the elements that ensure the good functioning of an organization. Whether we are talking about holiday leave requests, timesheets or performance appraisal systems. A McKinsey study highlights that a classic HR department has an average of 60% of time and resources allocated to HR operations, with all efforts to outsource and use shared services.
2. To automate as many processes as possible.
Where things need to be done, but you know they do not add value to the company, they are necessary but not important, AUTOMATION is the keyword. Use the new technologies, make friends with your IT colleague, and he will surely help you 😊. From time to time you check, but you detach of everything that means large volume of low-impact work in the organization.
The use of technology leads us in the desired direction from the point of view of the HR strategy. We have data, many data about people in our organizations, existing in staff files, excel files, performance evaluation formulas, salary reports, skill matrices, etc. But we do not have a processing of them that allows us to move from “experience driven company” to “data driven company”, from “ad-hoc” to “systematically” from “hit and miss” to a consistent approach. We lack this integration of statistical data into daily HR processes to make better, faster, more accurate decisions.
A very good example is “succession planning” – historical data analysis can highlight the success factors in this role. Current data can highlight the top 5 internal candidates for that role. The image of the current skills of our internal candidates helps us develop a customized development plan.
3. The need of a CEO and HR Manager is to bring the HR strategy in line with the business strategy.
McKinsey Global Institute highlights in a report the increase in the profit margin by 2025 of companies using HR-based solutions. Example: A McKinsey company, compiled data on employee personality traits, leadership style and work patterns, and introduced changes that positively impact customer service. This also had a tangible effect on financial performance.
4. Reinventing HR based on the understanding of the strategic role of talents, using HR tools to analyze data.
We may be in the position where HR Business Partners no longer act as generals, but as a “talent owner”, which justifies a renaming 😊 – Talent Value Leader. What is the role of this Talent Value Leader? He will link talent hiring decisions to the value generated and needed by the company. He will be responsible for the performance of the talents within the company and even for their dismissal (the final decision though belonging to the department manager, the budget manager).
A TLV uses measurement systems that show every year the development of skills, areas where we have a skill deficit, the engagement and a rate of voluntary leave.
A PWC study from 2018 highlights the main concerns of a CEO:
80% are concerned about the lack of key competencies for the organization.
As business change, so must HR – and we do not have much time. People who have the skills needed by organizations are difficult to identify and maintain. Companies need the full range of HR expertise, and HR tools to identify areas where skills are lacking, anticipate needs, identify potential. Moreover, in order to contribute to the development of talents, and of the organization.
60% want to rethink the HR function so that it is aligned with a HR strategy for the digital age.
Artificial Intelligence – as long as we control it – becomes a powerful ally in this new vision. We also need the talents that have these digital competences. They can anticipate potential problems, generate solutions and work on their implementation before they affect our company’s results. Here, design thinking helps us to anticipate the problems before they appear.
I try to conclude, I realize … that it seems I cannot stop 😊, but before that, I want to point out an important thing!
We need transparency and one reason is to increase confidence. Transparency becomes the basis of the relationship between the employee, employer and stakeholders in the digital age. Let’s not ignore it … a clear and transparent communication starts the entire construction.
I still have some ideas written on paper … I leave them for another article. We already have something to work on 😊.