World_Report_on_HR_Challenges_2010

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Unformatted text preview: es as part of ongoing efforts to transform the HR function. “HR today is at the center of the business, just like finance, procurement, or marketing,” explained Hallstein Moerk, former executive vice president of HR at Nokia. “As such, HR is not just a strategic partner—it is in the business itself.” Respondents rated the most common of these initiatives, introducing or enhancing the role of the HR business partner, as highly effective. (See Exhibit 17.) However, with the workforce now front and center in the creation of sustainable competitive advantage, the bar has been raised for HR professionals filling this role. They now need strong consulting skills and business acumen, paired with people management expertise. Raising the bar means that “an internally focused HR for HR is needC P A ed,” said Thomas Wessel, chief HR officer of the Degussa chemicals business of Evonik Industries of Germany. HR should focus on questions such as, “How can we attract the right talent to HR?” and “How can we develop the necessary skills among existing HR staff ?” HR is adept at this line of questioning for other functions, but less so for itself. “The HR function is much better at identifying talents outside its own function than within,” Wessel said. Just as a capabilities gap exists for HR personnel filling the business partner role, there is a gap in people management skills (such as recruiting and training) among business managers. As Exhibit 17 shows, respondents rated the second most common transformative initiative, integrating HR activities into line management, as highly ineffective. It is the responsibility of HR to support business managers in becoming better people managers instead of acting as a substitute for them. Identifying Gaps in HR Business Acumen and Consulting Skills Regarding the specific competencies required for HR business partners, the survey uncovered some significant differences in perception between HR professionals and business managers. (See Exhibit 18.) A striking finding is that HR professionals perceive HR expertise as the most important skill that a business partner should bring to the table. By contrast, business managers ranked HR expertise fih in importance. Grouping skills and capabilities helps in the effort to define a set of requirements for anyone moving into an HR business-partner role. For example, the HR business partner needs to be able to talk to business managers about Exhibit 17. HR Is Enhancing Its Role as a Business Partner, but Integrating HR Activities into Line Management Is Proving Ineffective Percentage of respondents that introduced a concept Introduced or enhanced the role of the HR business partner 73 Integrated HR activities into line management 43 Introduced HR employee self services 41 Bundled HR services in HR shared service centers 35 Built HR centers of excellence Bundled HR services in enterprisewide shared service centers Outsourced HR activities Effectiveness of...
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