The times are a changing

It seems the pace of change in business is increasing exponentially these days. Keeping up with this change is a challenge, to say the least. Work is also becoming more complex, with more facets to more tasks and less time to complete them

By Craig Donaldson

It seems the pace of change in business is increasing exponentially these days. Keeping up with this change is a challenge for HR, to say the least. Work is also becoming more complex, with more facets to more tasks and less time to complete them.

Keeping up with this pace of change is a perennial issue for HR professionals. As the HR function continues to evolve, with one part becoming more strategic and business-focused, and the other continuing to work on traditional administrative tasks, it is the HR directors at the pointy business end of things who are facing the greatest challenges. They juggle any number of issues that are converging upon HR as well as taking a proactive role in dealing with wider business issues facing the executive.

The new HR director can work directly with the CEO or CFO in understanding and aligning HR initiatives directly with those of the business. Traditional warm and fuzzy HR programs that HR has loved to push in the past don’t even make it to the table. They take a backseat to HR initiatives that directly support business goals.

This is a radically different approach to what HR practitioners have taken to their work in the past. It seems wide-eyed HR graduates aren’t prepared for the hard realities of this.

The head of HR for a large professional services firm told me a while back that graduates usually realise this within 3 to 5 years of work. They then make a decision to knuckle down and take a business-focused approach to HR, or throw up their hands and cruise along with the more traditional HR they learned at university.

There will always be a place for someone to process payroll, look after leave and fill in policy and procedure templates.

But business changes quickly and such HR practitioners will find it harder to get a job than those who choose to knuckle down and avail themselves of business-focused opportunities. Recent comers to HR with this experience will always be in stronger demand.

Recent articles & video

How recruitment agency marketplaces can save time, costs in talent acquisition

Manager made redundant while on leave: Is it unfair?

Oral termination vs. dismissal via email: Which is more effective?

Work health and safety – increased activity means employers need to be proactive

Most Read Articles

2 in 3 Australians OK with date change for Australia Day

Does a change in working arrangement also change employment status?

FWC: Employees entitled to double pay for insufficient breaks between shifts