Is HR strategy a dead concept in 2018?

In a fast-changing world, is the idea of a three-, five- or ten-year plan a thing of the past?

Is HR strategy a dead concept in 2018?

A person, a team, or an organisation without a strategy is an entity without direction, according to Damir Kucan, executive general manager, HR, Crown Perth.

Kucan told HRD that while the business environment is rapidly evolving, a company’s core purpose, should be enduring.

“How that purpose is executed is the element subject to competitive and environmental pressures; it is incumbent upon HR to position the business to meet those challenges,” Kucan said.

He added that this requires a two-level approach ensuring clarity around long term direction and the actions required to get there.

“Simultaneously, the business must position itself to respond to short-term factors. I think that’s called a strategy and HR has a critical role to play in both.”

Holly Barnes, head of people and culture, Moodle added that the world of work moves quickly and organisations need to be agile.

“Gone are the days of executing a rigid 3+ year HR strategy that aligns to the implementation of a business plan,” she said.

Instead HR must support the business in shifting its focus to team and culture. She added that putting energy into building a great team rather than a structured plan, makes adapting at a moment’s notice easier.

“While focusing on hiring and developing talent for culture and capability across multiple skillsets, HR strategic planning needs to evolve to create the agility that business requires to adapt to changing market conditions. Fast trumps long-term.”

Indeed, HR strategy is more alive today than ever, according to According to Sonam Jain, VP HR Asia Pacific Region, DHL eCommerce.

“It is the overall business strategy that dictates the strategy of every function; It is the ‘employees’ that help realise the business strategy,” Jain said.

He added that if your business wants to improve sales (short or long term), and you have no HR strategy to either further develop sales capabilities or create an environment that encourages high sales output behaviour, then all you have is someone ‘hoping’ that it turns out right!

“Don’t confuse HR strategy with HR function. HR strategy can be Business or HR led, but unless well-planned, you are leaving business success to chance!”


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