Stop your whirlwind lives for a moment and think about the answers to several very important questions. You may not think they are important but they are vital to the health of your career.
Question1: Who determines the specific job qualifications for your positions within your organization?
Question 2: Who really are HR’s customers. both internal and external?
Question 3: Do you take things at face value?
Question 4: What is the strategic focus of your department and your organization?
If you are like most organizations, your job descriptions are written based on templates available in the marketplace or you have run your positions through some system like the Hays method. But have you really looked to see what your customer base wants in those job descriptions? Do not make the mistake of saying we are HR and we know what is supposed to be in the job requirements. One of the best methods for identifying the actual needed skills, knowledge and attributes your candidates will need is to ask your customers.
This brings us to the second question. HR has two customer bases and in developing your organizational needs. To be of contribution to the dialogue you need to meet the needs of both groups. The first are the internal customers and they are represented by both management and the line staff. They know what their department requires to be done. But more important to your organization are the external customers. It should be the standard practice of every HR professional to go out in the filed with your top business development people. While there ask your organizational customers what they expect from your employees. It will provide you with a strong picture of the KSA’s you will need in acquiring new talent for your organization. They are your eyes and ears as to what is working and what is not.
As we have said in the past, all to often we take steps through our processes based on what we have always done them. Never mind if it makes sense or whether the steps deliver a highly ineffective process to the organization. Because we do it this way we always do it this way. Listen to your FTE’s who are in the trenches every day. They do understand and know where the problems lay. They know where the skeletons are hidden.
In that same vein do you know what the overall business strategy is for the organization and what HR’s role is in that strategy. If you do not then you need to begin that road to understanding today. It our job to drive the strategic initiatives of the organization. We are the ones who know what the human capital assets of the organization are. We know what their needs are and how they affect the organization as a whole.
So get a handle on the voice of customer both for the internal messages and the external messages. Learn what the brand is saying to the marketplace in terms of the human capital you are sourcing and recruiting. Learn what the voice of the customer is telling you about the future health of the organization. Become the strategic animal you know you are and look for ways to do things better, faster.
HR Strategic Focus Part 4: It Really is Not the People, Trust me