Give HR Departments More Authority

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Give HR Departments More Authority


Reblogged from the Wall Street Journal: The Experts


authorityFor all the focus organizations put on change and innovation, human-resource departments are often among their most conservative quarters.

This is evident in the long-standing popularity of “best practices” that help replicate traditional power structures, and of “competency models” that play down the complex and context-dependent nature of managing and leading, and being recognized as doing so.

It is even more evident in HR’s current romance with “big data” and its promise to predict performance, or more precisely, to select and reward people most like those who have been credited with the company’s success in the past.

There is nothing wrong with processes, models and data, of course. The problem is turning them into a fetish with the pretense that they remove human subjectivity and bias, when in reality they just endorse the subjectivity and consolidate the biases of those people and practices cast as models for everyone else.
Human resources’ conservatism, in short, resides in cloaking leaders’ choices under a veil of pseudoscientific inevitability that inhibits the company from questioning whether reliance on those leaders, those choices—and on the past—is desirable or wise.

The inability to question leaders, choices, and the past, in turn, makes it difficult to imagine a different future—let alone build one. No wonder innovation is such an elusive aspiration.

HR’s conservatism is hardly due to the timidity or ideology of individuals who occupy the function. Quite the contrary, HR executives I meet are often frustrated by the constraints it poses on their desire and ability to initiate or support strategic change.

It is most often a product of the ambiguous status the HR function still holds in many organizations.

While corporate rhetoric celebrates it as a strategic instrument, HR is often treated as a maintenance tool. The aim to stay aligned to the business so as to create value often translates into the demand to keep the organization running smoothly to earn legitimacy.

Take leadership development, for example, arguably the most forward-looking among HR’s duties. Most of the practices… Read More

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Scott Rosen

Want to know why 90% of the NJ, NY, DE and PA companies who work with us for their HR staffing needs (including Merck, Rutgers, PNC Bank, Daimer-Chrysler, Pfizer, SAP America and 150+ others) either re-hire our firm or refer us? We specialize exclusively in the Direct-Hire and Contract Placement of Human Resources Professionals including EVP of HR, VP of HR, Human Resources Manager, Compensation Manager, HR Generalist, Benefits Manager & Training Managers. The Rosen Group is one of very few firms in the NJ, NY, PA, and DE area that focuses on one, single area all day, every day – Recruiting and assessing HR talent! Our low-volume (2-3 positions filled per week, 8-12 per month and 100 per year), highly-consultative “super-niche” approach means that I will send you the right candidates – the first time (and typically within 1 week). For example 98% of our HR contractors complete their assignments, 50% are extended and 30% to 40% receive permanent offers! We’re giving Fortune 500 companies, SMBs and nonprofit organizations access to the best and brightest HR candidates. We have a database of thousands of HR executives with a wide range of experience, expertise and talent at all levels all the way up to the VP HR level. Plus we use social media and employment branding strategies to get your opportunities in front of top candidates. We're committed to the professional growth and development of the HR executives that we place for clients. That’s why I founded the HR Executive Alliance and the Talent Acquisition Leadership Alliance and have created the HR Department of the Year Awards. Maybe this is why the Rosen Group is one of the Inc 500 Fastest Growing Companies (Number 147!) – and why 90% of our clients refers us or rehire us.