Strategic Human Resources Planning – Part 1 of 2

Investment Priorities
Too many people consider Human Resources within an enterprise as one of those necessary evils that one must have to stay out of trouble. In reality, Human Resources should be considered one of the most critical functions at the center of building competitive advantage and business success. Why? Because for most companies, expenditure on people is the single largest area of investment. (See my earlier blog on this.) And isn’t it interesting that financial executives spend so much time and energy looking at inventory turns, investment of access cash and building / land investments instead of investment in their people?

Therefore, Human Resource Management should be one of the critical core functions present at the highest levels of corporate leadership. At a Raleigh-Wake Human Resources Management Association chapter meeting I attended over a year ago, former SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) president Johnny Taylor, Jr. presented “Courageous HR” (link to blog) discussing how HR managers need to be more bold in demonstrating leadership and providing significant impact on a company’s success.

And now to kick off 2014, the Triangle Society of Human Resources Management (TSHRM) presented an excellent speaker, Molly Hegeman, VP of HR Services for CAI (link), on “Strategic Planning: A practical way to focus on what is important.” This meaty session provided a structured practical approach to HR professionals strategically planning and aligning the Human Resources function with corporate goals.
Strategic Planning Feb
Molly began with a definition of strategic planning: “a systematic process for ensuring a desired future and translating this vision into broadly defined goals and objectives along with a sequence of steps to achieve them.”

Molly’s presentation included the four steps for Strategic HR Planning:
1. Assessing the current human resources capacity of the organization – where are we?
2. Forecasting future human resources needs , which includes both the employee requirements or demand needed to achieve corporate goals as well as current supply.
3. Completing a gaps analysis which is documenting what is missing or needs to be improved on from the current state to achieve future goals.
4. Ensuring that HR strategies and execution can leverage existing capacity and develop new resources to meet requirements.

In addition, Molly summarized the important industry trends that need to be considered while doing strategic planning. These trends included:
• The impact of corporate culture on attracting and retaining employees
• Impact of the overall work climate
• The focus on differentiating, rewarding, retaining the top performers
• Truly paying for performance, for impact, contribution
• Emerging variable pay plans and flexible scheduling

Of course there was so much more in this session than can be covered in this short blog. She covered practical suggestions on how to do this and the importance of communication along the way.

In part 2, I will expand on how my two areas of expertise, diversity and career development, are central to human resource strategic planning and corporate success.

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Molly Hegeman is VP of HR Services for CAI (link). CAI is a trusted resource for HR, compliance and people development serving approximately 1,100 member companies in Eastern and Central North Carolina.

Generational Diversity – Are Your Recruiting Methodologies “Up to Date?”

IMPORTANT NOTE: (This session is being postponed until later in the year.) The newly formed Triangle Chapter of the National Diversity Council – Carolinas is holding its first half day conference, the Generational Diversity Summit on February 19th! It’s going to be a great event – link here for info and to enroll. Email [email protected] for corporate sponsorship opportunities.

Many millenials prefer informal working spaces where they can multitask and team

Many millenials prefer informal working spaces where they can multitask and team

Generational Diversity continues to be one of the hottest most discussed areas in the continually evolving field of workplace diversity and inclusion. In a blog I published in June, 2012 on the “Growing Various Types of Diversity,” I led with a discussion on the four generations now in the workplace. This is an historic happening as mature workers (link to a blog on this) are staying in the workplace longer due to financial needs, better health, and the desire to stay active and intellectually stimulated. Here also is a link to a 2.5 minute video excerpt I did on Generational Diversity.

The group now being recruited on our college campuses are referred to as “Millennials”, those born after 1982. This emerging generation has very different views on communications in the workplace, important attributes of a vocation, collaboration, corporate hierarchies and more. Here is a link to a recent article from Forbes called “10 Ways Millennials are Creating the Future of Work.”

One area that needs focus at many of our companies is recruiting. How do we find, attract and hire the brightest new talent? Of course we should not forget to recruit the experienced professional who may be looking for a job change, but as always, college campuses will continue to provide the largest talent pool of new workers.

On the whole, recruiting methodology has not changed very much over the past 30-40 years. Yes, resumes are sent electronically and placed in on-line repositories instead of mailed, and job postings are online in addition to print ads, but overall the process involves recruiters reading through thousands of pages of boring text resumes. How can this be innovated?

At a recent generational diversity workshop sponsored by the Raleigh-Wake Human Resources Mgt Association (RWHRMA) Link, Margaret Gordy, Talent Acquisition Manager for Citrix, shared innovative ways that her company is identifying and recruiting top talent. Citrix (link), an industry leader for collaborative workplace solutions such as the popular “Go To Meeting,” teams with university classes, clubs and professors to engage students in collaborative problem solving. Teams work together to propose solutions to actual Citrix business challenges developed by Citrix business areas. This gives Citrix managers a way to evaluate technical, problem solving, and team skills of potential candidates. Those demonstrating the strongest skills are often offered an internship, a full time job, or at minimum a fast-path into the job interview process.

Advantages of this approach over hours of pouring through resume paperwork include:
• Candidates with the best skills and team work abilities who will fit best into Citrix’s workplace are identified.
• Candidates can experience the Citrix culture and both the candidate and company can assure a good “corporate culture fit.”

Overall, companies that successfully recruit top talent across all generations and keep them engaged working cross-generationally will win in the competitive, global marketplace.