How Lousy is HR Perceived at Your Company?

FL09_MastheadKristen Carroll, of Elliot Health System, provides six questions to ask yourself about the role of human resources in your organization. We don’t have a scorecard on us, but suffice it to say if you give yourself a zero, that could be a bad sign.

  • Does your top HR leader report to the CEO?
  • Are HR reports and metrics reviewed and analyzed? Do they drive the company’s talent strategy?
  • Do you have a compensation philosophy? Was it driven internally?
  • Is the top HR leader involved in decision-making for C-level searches?

Carroll was speaking at ERE’s Fall conference today. She also spoke at ERE’s Spring conference (those Spring slides are online, by the way. And let me know if you want her slides from today). She also has a good article about succession planning, full of handy tools to tear out, coming up in the November Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership.

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Here are some of the characteristics that Carroll says are associated with a human resources department that is healthy, influential, and if we can use an overused word, strategic.

  • The human resources professionals and particularly the department head identifies solutions, not just problems.
  • They understand and helps drive business goals and financial objectives.
  • They’re a mentor to senior leaders.
  • They don’t just implement changes, but create them.
  • The department head is an effective, strong, determined leader.


6 Comments on “How Lousy is HR Perceived at Your Company?

  1. Wonderful information. I suspect that there are some organizations that come close but I have never seen any. Is Kristen Carroll referring to companies on planet earth? If so, they have their work cut out for them.

  2. HR is typically as bad (or as good) as the CEO wants it to be. At the end of the day, the C suite sets the performance expectations, keeps senior HR talent in place, and cuts the pay check.

    A lot of ink, or digital dust is devoted to bashing HR. The real crux from HR’s perspective should be Why We Hate the CEO.

    Every organization has exactly the HR function it wants. Some organizations just have higher expectations. As a practitioner, finding an organization that values high performance HR services and deliverables is the opportunity.

    Organizations that seek a competitive differentiation through people demand a superior workforce and the processes to deliver them.

    Many C suite executives are just really just happy with mediocre when it comes to what HR can contribute to overall execution of the business plan and profitability.

    Joseph P. Murphy
    Shaker Consulting Group
    Developers of the Virtual Job Tryout®

  3. One of the misses I have seen in interviewing C-level HR candidates is an inability to see what is relevant to the business. Often times they stick with what they think should be value added rather than exploring what is truly value added to a company. The future of HR will be determined by the willingness they have to listen and try to evolve to become the business partner that is so rarely achieved in the this discipline today. Shifting towards a more agile better defined Talent Management team with solid accountabilities and metrics would be a good start.

  4. John Hughes, I must disagree with your statement. (The future of HR will be determined by the willingness they have to listen and try to evolve to become the business partner that is so rarely achieved in the this discipline today.)

    In actuality, the future of HR will be determined by intelligent CEO’s who seek out and hire the best in HR, build their roles into overall strategic objectives and do not settle for mediocrity. Until this happens, HR will be the HR we all know and love. Sadly, this has been under discussion for millions of years (Since Steve Levy was a kid) and little has changed. This lack of real and meaningful change simply shows that something is terribly wrong.

  5. Couldn’t disagree with you more Howard Adamsky. But that is a good thing…:) If you are looking to CEOs for the future of HR you will wait another million years. Each function has to show its relevance to the organization.
    I couldn’t agree with you more that something is terribly wrong.

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