A recent survey by the country’s largest HR association revealed several clear trends emerging in human resources: an increased focus on hiring, an infusion of technology and a metamorphosis into a strategic department.
The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) released its findings from a survey of more than 9,000 human resource professionals. While the report was brimming over with insightful data, perhaps the most interesting fact was what type of HR people companies are increasingly hiring.
From 2007 to 2012, the amount of HR professionals in the market who were labeled recruiting specialist nearly doubled, from 6 percent to 11 percent of the total HR market. That falls in line with a KPMG International survey that found that 81 percent of respondents – the largest percentage of any of the questions asked in KPMG survey – agreed that finding top talent will be the focus of their company’s HR departments over the next three years.
“Recruiting is the area of increased specialization that… indicate(s) the increased attention to talent and human capital,” the SHRM study found.
The other big takeaway in the SHRM survey was that technology was increasingly doing many of the administrative tasks of human resource departments, leaving HR to focus more on strategy. The KPMG study agreed; concluding that for an HR department to gain the proverbial “seat at the table”, it needs to become a strategic partner in the company.
“It has become a cliché, but is nonetheless still true, that HR must shift focus from administration to higher-value added activities,” the survey stated. “As technology-enabled HR functions improve efficiency, HR must focus on providing more strategic, higher-order services.”
So how does that happen? Both surveys offered a similar solution: HR departments need to fully understand the organization they serve and the problems they face and then find customized solutions through its own metrics and research.
“Our research suggests that HR must dispense with its pursuit of generic mode and universal best practices and instead craft highly differentiated and distinctive approaches based on a deep and insightful understanding of the company value chain, required culture and strategically based people agenda,” the KHRM study read. “Only then will HR break-out of the trap of seeking a kind of universal ‘holy grail’ that can only ever bring mediocrity. Instead HR will find greater value (and credibility) in a highly situationally specific and idiosyncratic configuration, one that drives competitive advantage, organization by organization.”
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