What is Human Resource Leadership?” is a big issue for both HR professionals and business leaders. For more than a decade, HR professionals have attempted to get a “seat at the table” with their leaders of activities to influence how the business is run and to elevate the importance of the HR function. In most cases, the HR team is not entirely integrated with the firm. Often, the senior HR professional is not involved in either strategy development or key decisions on how the business is run. This is because some business leaders don’t fully appreciate the strategic importance of the HR function, or in other cases, the HR leaders have not explained how the HR function can be strategic. Both business leaders and HR professionals can benefit from having a common understanding about the basic question, “What is strategics Human Resource Leadership?” The answer is for both to work together to align the key roles of the HR function to support the overall business strategy. Here is how to do it.
Define the critical positions that support the strategy. Not all areas are equal. Some are more critical to the execution of the strategy than others. Understanding which positions are most critical to success will allow the business leaders to focus their attention and resources where they will get the best “bang for the buck,” and HR professionals can use this as an entry point for enhancing their role in strategy development.
Define the critical skills needed to implement the strategy successfully. Depending upon the strategy and the industry, some skills will be more critical than others. Developing these skills is not only important to the strategy execution, but also to the long-term survival of the organization.
Recruit the people with the skills and raw talent to implement the strategy. Recruiting people is a traditional human resource function; however, the “war for talent” is now global, and sourcing the right people is much harder than simply posting some advertisements. The HR team must lead the charge to find the right people.
Provide opportunities for development and training to sustain high performance. The 21st Century business climate is one of constant change. Thus, training and development are more important today than ever. Without ongoing opportunities to improve their skills, even the best people will fall behind. Successful business strategies will include a component for developing people for the future. HR leaders should be there to help design the development and training strategies.