I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among Human Resources professionals recently. They are leaving tech companies due to professional dissatisfaction. The trend signals that these companies don’t have an active, engaging role for human resources beyond administrative tasks. A gap is emerging between the next generation of human resources defined as ‘human capital developers’ and the human resources born out of the 20th Century.
Today, HR is undergoing a seismic shift driven by the changing nature of work and the impact of technology. Many companies, even forward-thinking tech companies, are struggling to define the role of HR, and engage the department in the organization’s overall vision. As traditional roles becomes outdated, companies have to reconfigure departments to meet workforce needs. A huge gap is developing between the old and the new model, and in the midst of it, a lack of clarity among many senior managers on how to effectively reconfigure human resources.
For many accomplished HR managers in the technology sector, the department inadvertently becomes a trap offering limited growth and opportunities. Many of these bright professionals possess drive to develop thriving workplaces that in turn can create the best products. However, often the C-suite has a narrow perspective on what HR is capable of accomplishing. CEOs expect one human resources professional to fulfil recruitment responsibilities with generalist HR functions. This usually occurs because of budget restrictions or a lack of awareness of what the future of HR requires to move forward into the 21st Century.
There are few factors driving this trend:
HR professionals have a reputation for being generalists and are quite often seen as the ‘bad guys’ that are known for hiring and firing. We’re now in 2016 and times have changed. Hiring to manage culture and leadership development is now a prerequisite – much like a create DevOps or FullStack Developer might be when creating your company’s technology.
Look for capability, growth, scalability, ability and hunger to learn in your HR professionals. I meet many incredibly talented HR professionals every day that have a unique drive and passion. They go the extra mile to learn and implement their knowledge. Invest in them, like you’d invest in your technology or product team. It’s about keeping your organization ahead of the curve.
Leaders aren’t taking a risk with their Head of Human Resources to create a fully loaded team that can build a company’s culture, which supports the ability to develop strong products. They are working on insufficient department budgets, which negatively impacts their ability to perform at the needed levels.
Building the team and culture to ensure phenomenal output is critical to succeeding and generating growth. Many leaders will not give HR enough credit, bandwidth and strategic scope to really create a company that will generate the ROI the C-suite desire.