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…So a while back Tim Sackett wrote an HR post here wherein he laid out the argument that a good HR Manager must do the following three things if nothing else:

1. Keep Track of the Score,
2. Find Better Talent,
3. Be a Relationship Bridge.

…It’s a good list.

I think most HR Managers tend to be strong at executing around #3. This is because the sorts of folks that move into HRG type roles tend to have high emotional intelligence and communications skills. Said competencies (along with the nature of HRG/employee relations roles) tend to position talented HR pros well to facilitate cross-functional dialogues between leaders and individual contributors alike.

^And along this same vein, as much as recruiting (e.g. item #2 on the above list) is not for everyone, the sorts of people that self-select into HR talent pools often have the soft skills, temperaments, and process focus required to develop (and even thrive) in the space.

…Where conventional HR talent pools frequently lack in KSAs, however, is around bullet #1 (keeping track of the score). Strong business acumen, analytical thinking ability, solid quantitative skills, and the ability to manage data to generate prescriptive insights are all integral components of said bullet, which is defined by Sackett as ‘creating and tracking metrics that have bottom-line impact to your organization.’

^As additional reading, Laurie Ruettimann talks about the value add this skill set can add to an organization here, going on to suggest some way that universities can bolster their student’s analytical skill sets.

The days of HR roles being predominantly transactional/administrative in nature are all but over. But as HR plays an increasingly strategic role in the arenas of talent management and employee relations from the line to the C-Suite, I don’t know that I (anecdotally) see it adding quite as much strategic value in the arena of people and business analytics. I don’t think this is because businesses don’t want this from their HR folks – I just don’t know that as a function this is a skill set we’re requiring from our talent pools yet, and so we’re less likely as a function to provide value in the space than elsewhere.

…I like Laurie’s university/STEM program partnership idea (again, here), but is this a skill set that more companies should be developing internally as well? Companies are increasingly spending training dollars on leadership programs… why not make the investment in programs that will develop HR talent’s quantitative and analytical competencies as well?

Just a Wednesday thought stream.

Best,

Rory

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