Company needs HR – a question or exclamation mark

November 21, 2018

Over the last couple of years, the topic of demand for HR and the need to have it in a company has been actively discussed in various information sources:

●      Some of the owners, pathetically dispersed their HR department, proudly announcing this to the whole world.

●      Someone spoke about the incompetence of HR managers and their functions in general in the company.

●      Someone from the former/current HR actively spoke out in support of this topic, someone, on the contrary, went into opposition.

This topic did not leave me indifferent as well. I was maturing to write my opinion for a long time. Firstly, working within the HRD company, I was very indignant, how is it possible to be without HR, who would do all this work, who would observe the standards of the company, combining them with the interests and needs of employees, etc. But it was a view from the inside. Then I entered the external market as a recruiting agency and faced the other side of the coin based on communication with customers as owners / CEOs of companies. I have seen their needs, expectations and painful points associated with the staff in their companies, without anyone to solve them. And why no one? Because the existing HR cannot / does not see /does not want to change the situation, does not want to change itself, and problems grow like a snowball. And this is the situation that is inherent in many companies in different markets, including IT. In the IT industry, unfortunately, even worse, because fast-growing market requires a lightning-fast response and introduction changes to the personnel management system, but there is no system. Because there was no one to build it: recruiters massively closed vacancies, grew up in the zone of their limited functionality, and could not see the impending catastrophe (as part of being in the zone of unconscious incompetence).

So, on the one hand, as HR with 15 years of experience inside corporations, I want to shout ‘YES’, HR is vital for the company. On the other hand, as an external recruiter in the IT and Executive directions, working with the request and problems of the first persons, I say ‘NO’, you can do it yourself without the help of an unqualified HR.

But, as a system person, I exhale, take a pause, systematize problems and look for solutions.

And that’s what I have done.

Do we need HR in the company?

Personally, I vote for the option when head and managers of company perform the HR function. After all, 70-80% of the functional constitute personnel management and comprised only 20-30% of the operational/strategic objectives of the functional area. If we accept the suggested model, it means:

ALL managers must be 100% competent in personnel management (education, skills, possession of relevant competencies, etc.)
ALL managers should monitor the situation on the labor market, the influence of current and future changes on the economy/labor market trends in the country and the world.
Some of the managers should develop and implement uniform standards/approaches in different areas of personnel management (evaluation, selection, training, …). Otherwise, without uniform standards, a company may have 3-5 hiring policies, 3-5 assessment procedures, etc. That will affect the brand of the employer, employee involvement and turnover rate over time.
Do I believe in the possibility of the existence of this model in nature? – yes, I do. But the level of maturity and professional training of the owner / CEO of the company, when introducing this model, should be appropriate. Since it is his skills and vision that should be ideally transferred and implemented in his management team (which, by the way, he should form himself at the stage of creating the company).

This is a perfect picture of the world ☺

And now to the realities:

●      how many managers do you know who devote 80% of their time to personnel management

●      how many managers do you know who have high-quality personnel management competence

●      Are there many managers ready to constantly monitor the situation in a changing labor market, study the system of generations and world trends in the economy?

I know such leaders, but there are not so many of them. However, as well as HR experts who want, are ready and able to do it.

Therefore, the question ‘does a company need HR?’ I would paraphrase in ‘what kind of HR does a company need?’.

Consider the kind of tasks, the situation/stage of the company’s life, the team of top managers (maturity of managers and their personal characteristics) and company values. It is very important to understand how long the company needs HR. Perhaps it is a necessity only for the period of processes formation and training of the management team, and then they will be able to perform independently.

By answering these questions, the owner / CEO of the company will be able to create a portrait of the candidate they need. And then there will be 3 ways to find this expert:

1. Search in the external market:

●      The ideal candidate. We combine professional requirements for the candidate with his personal characteristics that are suitable for the values ​​of the company. At the same time, we do not forget about the coincidence of the candidate’s expectations with the company’s capabilities (and this is not only about the material component)

●      The suitable candidate. When something needs to be sacrificed because your expectations or possibilities do not coincide with the ideal portrait of the candidate. My advice to you is never sacrificing the values and personal characteristics of the candidate. Professionalism can be improved, skills can be worked out, knowledge can be added, but values cannot be changed.

●      The HR function on a project basis or on an outsourcing, when the goals/objectives of the project, the timing of implementation and KPI are specified. By the way, the main part of the payment for project HR is based on the results of KPI implementation, what makes the customer pleased.

2. Grow inside:

●      If the capabilities/resources of the company allow, this is one of my favorite methods. Since it is long and labor-intensive in addition there should be an expertise within the company, that will share its knowledge and help to grow up such HR manager as you need.

Therefore, before you put a question mark or exclamation in the phrase ‘ Company needs HR’, go back to the picture (YES / NO) and answer yourself a number of questions above. Only after that, you can safely put the necessary punctuation mark in your opinion and in 0.5 years return to this question. Why after 0.5 years? Because your company is growing/changing and after some time your answers to the questions will look different.

Have a successful development, with HR or without ☺

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