Monday, June 6, 2011

Why HR? And Why Now?















I am asked to speak and teach quite frequently for graduating college students and continuing education students. Most of the time, I am asked to speak on a topic that goes something like this:

Why should I get in HR?
How do you get in HR?
Is HR going away?
Why did you get into HR?
What is next for HR?

Why I get asked these questions, I will never know. Maybe it is my passion for my profession. I am a "glass half-full" kinda girl, so I try and see the positives in life, people and work. Maybe that is the reason, they know I won't come in and tell them all to find a new major! :)

So, I guess my message to students is that NOW is a great time to enter HR because I do feel a shift coming and I do see progress into the world of "HR gets it." I believe our profession is at an important crossroads where "value" and "transactions" intersect. I see more and more HR professionals going down "value" street. Some will argue it is a little too late. I happen to think the recession forced HR to think and act differently. I see progress everyday in my work and my interactions with my fellow colleagues and students.

Here are some specifics that I base my opinion on:

1) Our company led a strategic bootcamp in Atlanta a few weeks ago. It was an all day event spent working on linking organizational strategy to HR activities. It was awesome. I saw HR professionals from some of our biggest companies, from government and education and small business, roll up their sleeves and really get the "hard-stuff." The conversations were awesome and each person was truly speaking the language of their business.

2) I see a lot of interest around metrics and analysis from HR professionals. As this work is my passion, I see the demand rising for this type of knowledge. Our C-Suite demands data and HR is gearing up to deliver. Brilliant!

3) Gone are the days just talking about being strategic and business partners and table sitters. I am so glad as I was so tired of those conversations. I now hear conversations around real business topics like how to drive strategy and how to make sure the workforce is as productive as it can be. Love it!

So my message is this...Go into HR but go in with a business perspective. Lead the change, and make a difference. People being productive at work is the end game and HR can impact whether that gets done....or not!



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