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Human resources – important or impotent

So, as we stride purposefully into another calendar and financial year, the burden of apportioning budget to build, maintain or reduce headcount is again high on the agenda (although for some it never diminishes). This either ushers gently or pushes forcibly Human Resources into the cross-hairs.

 

Whilst many perceive HR as “a necessary evil” or “a hurdle needing to be jumped”, their value and input to each and every business is significant, relevant and absolutely vital. Sure, there will be varying degrees of innovative and commercial insight but is this not the same in any discipline?

The very foundation of success in any of the Global 100 businesses is the workforce – the people; without the right blend, the right dynamic and, of course, the right structure there is no success. So, if the workforce is the lifeblood of the business, Human Resources are the ventricles of the business’ heart. Long gone are the days when the HR function was just a hiring/firing and administrative function – strategic input, P&L impact, legislative compliance and talent acquisition & engagement are just some areas of involvement now.

HR is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work, such as payroll and benefits administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advancement, and further research, HR now focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labor relations, and diversity and inclusion.

A technically competent HR professional, that has the ability and motivation to innovate and stimulate a business and its workforce to reach their optimum output, is worth their weight in gold. In the current global work environment, most companies focus on lowering employee turnover and retaining the talent and knowledge within their workforce. At the macro-level, HR is in charge of overseeing organizational leadership and culture.

As the market leading UK Interim Management service provider, Interim Partners pro-actively champions and appoints senior HR Executives and practitioners internationally. During 2014 we held a breakfast seminar highlighting not only diversity and resilience in the workplace, but also the impact and profile of HR in the modern business community.

Watch the video below to find out more about the Women in Business Breakfast Seminar, featuring the ex-BBC HR Director, Lucy Adams.

 

 

David Hazeldine is the Senior Consultant of Consumer, Retail and Technology at Interim Partners.

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