The Changing Role of Human Resources

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Rick Rossignol

Smart companies have been shifting focus from profits to people because they understand talent is the foundation for business success. By transforming the essential role of their human resource departments, CEOs can harness the capital of human creativity for financial gain.


Many of the tedious administrative functions of the traditional HR department are being outsourced so that HR professionals can carry out their reimagined role of talent management. Payroll and benefits dispensation, legal and policy training, temporary staffing, background checks, and production of company materials such as employee handbooks are all examples of conventional HR functions that are now being managed externally.


Today, HR professionals are increasingly working in tandem with the heads of companies; rather than just carrying out executive orders, HR reps are given a seat at the table where they are expected to be the driving force behind creating and implementing an overall people management strategy – and have the metrics to back up these programs.


Moving beyond the negative stereotype of bureaucratic pencil pusher, the new HR professional has shifted their focus from paperwork to relationships. They handle employer branding, encourage cultural alignment, have an eye for talent, and facilitate strong bonds among the workforce.


Employer branding: a reputation that attracts the right people and retains talented employees.


How a company is perceived from within and without will ultimately affect its success. Customer opinions are not the only ones to look out for, as a company’s brand or image can either repel or attract the right employees. Basically, an employer’s brand is their reputation relating to how they treat their workforce. Do they provide competitive compensation packages, offer stability and opportunity, and conduct themselves ethically and fairly? These are all elements of HR professionals either control or facilitate through company culture.


The new HR department develops and drives company culture.


Whether they are aware of it or not, people’s behaviors are driven by cultural beliefs, values, and underlying assumptions. It is the job of the new human resources professional to establish such norms that promote the success of their company – to use culture rather than a cold checklist of expectations to unite and motivate individuals to work toward a singular purpose. HR plays a crucial role in shaping culture through positive reinforcement and supportive interactions.


Talent management: hiring the right people – and keeping them.


Rather than just filling desk chairs with people who meet a superficial checklist of criteria, the modern HR professional is trying to find individuals who are good cultural fits, who genuinely believe in the company’s mission and vision. Their job doesn’t end with the hiring process, however; HR reps are now building a relationship with employees throughout their career by providing ongoing training and development opportunities, performance feedback, and even career planning. HR satisfies the needs of employees so that employees willingly and enthusiastically carry out a company’s objectives.


HR pros facilitate a strong work ethic through team-building.


Getting people to work together is the key to success and this hinges on developing trusting, genuine bonds among employees and their bosses. That’s why many HR departments incorporate team-building exercises into their overall strategy. Activities such as group brainstorming sessions, celebrations, ceremonies, and sponsored outings help unify a workforce.


Identity, culture, talent, unity- these aren’t just fluffy goals with unmeasurable outcomes. A human resources department driven by culture and focused on developing relationships, rather than just tedious policies, will result in tangible outcomes. In other words, the proof will be in your bottom line. If you’d like to modernize your human resources department, please contact our HR experts at RTR consulting today!

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