I have read a number of articles and features recently which spoke about the great evolution of HR and how it has become ‘data oriented’, ‘flexible’ and ‘mobile’ in its approach to talent management. This seems far removed from the reality of some of the HR departments I work with. The departments I work with report ever increasing pressures to ‘keep the train running’ as well as provide deep expertise to the business on the capabilities, skills and knowledge it needs to take it into the future. Many of these departments acknowledge that they simply do not have the skills or expertise currently in their departments to meet these new expectations.
The role of Learning and Development, HR Business Partners and HR Generalists are changing rapidly. Specialism is the buzzword in all parts of the organisation and no less so in HR. HR Business Partners are expected to act as Internal Consultants providing business insight, coaching, tools and expertise to support organisational performance. Many HR departments are struggling and have admitted that some of their HR people do not possess the interest or the skills to change their roles. In effect many HR employees say it is not what they joined HR for!
This is a worrying trend. If talent management is becoming a core capability for organisations then work has to start in the HR department. HR needs it own strategy to develop skills and expertise in the department before it can provide this expertise to the wider organisation.
The pace of this change is also very challenging for HR departments. The trends speak of evolutionary systems to provide up to date information on employees’ skills, projects and experience but many HR departments are grappling with processes to elicit and track this information for their employees.
There are a number of things which HR departments can do to stop this gap in the HR evolution widening:
1. Take stock of the department now.
2. Clarify with the organisation what the future expectations of HR will be.
3. Identify the key skills and capabilities which HR will need to support the organisation in the future.
4. Identify the gaps between the desired and current skill sets.
5. Identify learning strategies for HR to provide the skills needed.
6. Share the HR talent management strategy with the business.