HR partner

HR, from the last in line to a strategic partner

Telephone conversation:
Me: “Good morning, I would like to speak to the company’s human resources manager”.
Company: “Yes, just a moment, I’ll put you through to the payroll department”.
Me: “We’re off to a bad start.

We already know that the world keeps changing. It always has, but the speed at which it does so now is dizzying. Companies are facing challenges they didn’t have before. They still need results and productivity, but if they don’t incorporate innovation, globalization, constant change and development, as well as talent acquisition and retention, they are out of the game. On the other side of the coin, professionals live in an uncertain, unstable, insecure ecosystem, with high external pressure to be productive, but with high internal pressure to be happy and feel fulfilled.

But every cloud has a silver lining, and this is the perfect breeding ground for the HR department, despite the crisis, to go from being a mere personnel manager, dealing with payroll, vacations and recruitment, to a strategic partner that serves as a catalyst between the needs of the company and the state of the workforce.

The challenge for HR to become a strategic partner within the company is to put human feet and hands to “what we want to achieve” and “how we are going to do it”, which are the executive heart of the company, i.e., the sum of the analysis of the environment, values, strategies, objectives and action plans, etc. HR then responds to “with whom” we will do it, “why” we will do it with them and “how” we will measure it.

From this perspective, HR must help the company move from reactivity to proactivity. It must encourage and even demand that the company periodically review its heart, that strategic “what and how”, as the only way to keep human capital aligned with what is really intended. It must communicate efficiently through a concise plan to motivate human capital. And it must have tools that evaluate, measure and demonstrate that the policies it is implementing are helping to achieve the objectives.

As a strategic partner, it has two lines of action; one vertical and the other transversal. The vertical line includes designing the human fabric through job profiles with key contribution and talent indicators, implementing evaluation processes that are not only results-oriented, but also behavioral profiles that ensure a person-function fit, as well as plans for identifying, developing and retaining talent. And in its transversal line, motivational communication, transformational leadership, facilitating change and a culture of constant development and feedback, among others.

In this sense, the most effective methodologies and the most innovative talent assessments, combined with new technologies, are put at the service of HR departments to objectify their decision making and give visibility to their contribution to the company. These tools, like the ones we provide, give a new dimension to selection processes, training, development and communication plans, talent management and team analysis and management.

Companies that do not evolve their conception of seeing their team as personnel or employees, in short as human “resources”, and not as professionals or values, or in other words as human “capital”, and use the new tools, assessments and technology, will wither in the next decade. It is that clear.

Ignacio Rubio Guisasola


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