What is HR? - HR Open Source

Today’s post is by Johnny Sanchez. Johnny is the head of recruiting for Hot Topic Inc. and he’s been in the industry for 10+ years, working with companies in the consumer products, tech and non-profit fields including Manduka, PacSun, Forever 21 and The Bouqs. He’s obsessed with talent branding, recruiting ops, people/recruiting analytics, coffee and Big Sur. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, and see what he’s up to on Instagram.

There’s such a buzz around HR.

The workplace has changed. People have changed. Culture has changed.

Yet, or so we keep hearing, HR as a function hasn’t gotten the memo. But now the sleeping giant (HR) has awoken and is stumbling trying to catch up. Human Resources is ripe for disruption and it’s time for an overhaul; we need to think differently about people.  Still, amongst all the buzzwords and exchanging of ideas it’s easy to get tipped over by the fast blowing winds of change. Sometimes though, while those winds are blowing, we tighten our grip and lose sight of the bigger picture. 

As a result, we have “thought leaders” and “game changers” that are proposing sweeping reformation in the world of HR. This in and of itself is great; HR needs change. It needs major evolution. But that change will come not only from within.  What needs to evolve is not just how those in HR lead the people function but how those outside of HR perceive it.

That’s the big challenge...and something that won’t be solved by “thoughts”.

The HR field has been stagnant and reactive for so long it has lost its place as a strategic business partner. Startups are more nimble and as a result can proactively avoid this, but larger institutions and enterprises face a much bigger challenge. For far too many companies HR long ago lost relevance and is viewed as nothing more than a service function in place to clean up employee relations messes while recruiting is a transactional function simply charged with getting people in the door. 

Knitting Together Data + Analytics 

All hope is not lost.

It’s time to allow data to tell truth and take that truth to heart...even if it is an inconvenient truth. When we weave together data and analytics, driven from a focus on business need instead of merely flowing from technology, or best practices, or a “this is how we’ve always done it” mindset, we can create a narrative that calls for sweeping action.  One can’t argue with data; it’s less subjective and defines opportunity and reality.

We need this definitive narrative, supported by data, to showcase the new reality: we are all HR. We are all, regardless of role or function, responsible for culture, retention and engagement. We are all responsible for attracting the best talent and understanding how we work together.  These things are all intricately tied together and when there is true alignment, when those at both the top and the bottom of the organization speak the same language and have access to the supporting data, we will have true reformation and change. We will truly overhaul HR.

To revolutionize HR we need more that buzzwords slapped on pictures of smiling coworkers; we need supporting data to help share the narrative of not only progress and change but also explain why that change is necessary.  HR doesn’t need a seat at the table; HR needs top down/bottom up organizational understanding of people. HR needs clarity and buy-in to help others understand how we must function collaboratively in today’s world. 

That’s true HR. 

Robin Schooling2 Comments