Hot Potato with Human Resources

So, back to our conversation….who wants the Hot Potato called turnover?

that is one HOT potato

that is one HOT potato

What if HR was responsible for attrition? No qualifiers, no carve-outs of accountability, all turnover falls in the lap of Human Resources – it’s our baby. “The hell you say?”

Yes sir, give us all of it – the terminations, the resignations, the layoffs, the retirements – we want it all.

This is the Human Resources model of the future. Human Resources desires a seat at the big boy table; we want to be a business partner, or, more specifically, we want to be a strategic business partner. The challenge, of course, is providing metrics that speak to our business colleagues. The hole in the HR resume is value. How to prove it; how to measure it; and how to sell it.

I’m proposing a mind-blower, man ~ HR needs to do more than manage the life-cycle of the human “assets” of the company; we need to own it.

When you own the asset, you become vested in the success of the company. Instead of using backward metrics (“cost avoidance” as one example), put the onus on the front-end of the situation. When was the last seismic shift in Human Resources? Ulrich? The business partner is dead – bring on the business owner.

How important would it be to you, as the owner, to assess the inner workings of each and every potential hire? How critical would it be to create efficient and productive teams? Properly engage and incentivize employees?

Create value on the front end, maintain and enhance the investment, assume responsibility for the loss, exchange, or replacement of the investment. It’s time to assume responsibility for the life cycle – ownership vs. a rental agreement. Time to saddle up.

Who’s in?

The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.” – Dee Hock, Creator of Visa.

Talent Acquisition Executive, team-builder, and full-time dreamweaver. Creative Director, Content Designer, Writer, Speaker, Entrepreneur, terrible golfer, lover of The Art of War & Texas Hold 'Em.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • August 9, 2013, 9:49 am

    It’s a great idea John. I’m in. How would you make this shift internally? It would require a huge shift of management responsibility. In most companies HR simply doesn’t have the gravitational pull that would allow that to happen. From an external vantage point (consultancy) it could be done but first you’d need to convince the CEO it needed to be done. And then you would have to replace most of the people within HR so that the change could become sustainable. Start-ups would be easiest but even there you would need to convince the entrepreneur that people practices need to be part of the DNA of the company, not a bolt-on down the road.

    So imagine yourself making the pitch to the CEO. How do you put this new idea in their head?

    • hrhardball
      August 9, 2013, 10:19 am

      I’m happy to explain…but first, let’s talk about my retainer 🙂

  • Kent
    August 9, 2013, 6:15 pm

    Whit my brother!! Couple thoughts….seems to me that HR in most companies is already a “strategic” partner, i.e. org design, performance management direction, succession planning approach etc. etc….I don’t see how “having it all” (including the tactics and the individual conversations around attrition etc.) pulls the chair closer to the big boy table. Isn’t that the stuff the manager of the employee rightfully owns? What am I missing? Looks like another fun run between the A’s and Rangers in the AL West. Should be a great race!

    • hrhardball
      August 10, 2013, 2:53 pm

      Rangers and A’s, couldn’t be a better stretch run! Strategic initiatives are wonderful & critical to HR’s inclusion at the highest levels – I want something fiscally significant. Procurement, Retention, Amoritization, ROI – you won’t find HR tied to many line items with $$$$$ in front