HR must cherry pick its newest star performers

HR needs to recruit star performers and raise its professional standards if
it is to improve its business standing, delegates were told at the second
annual HR Directors’ European Summit.

Priscilla Vacassin, group HR director of BAA, told delegates that HR is
still finding it hard to employ the highest quality recruits. "We are
still not attracting the very best people in HR," she said.

She went on to say that HR departments must ‘cherry pick’ the types of
people in their organisations who are normally attracted into marketing roles.

"We’ve got to go and hand pick people while we work on the agenda to
get the profession more highly regarded," she said.

Andrew Lambert, director of the UK-based thinktank Careers Research Forum,
said his group had major doubts as to whether HR organisations such as the
CIPD, ASTD and SHRM were up to the challenge of taking the profession forward.
He said this is because the focus of these bodies tends to rest more on
entry-level development rather than senior career issues.

Making an impact in strengthening HR’s position, he noted, "needs
energy and communication skills I haven’t seen from the professional
bodies".

However John Hofmeister, HR director for Royal Dutch/Shell, warned
practitioners not to neglect basics such as administration, as they worry about
their ability over the long term to contribute to corporate strategy.

"You do the administration poorly and you lose your ‘licence to
operate’," he told the conference, which was organised by The Economist
magazine.

By Deedee Doke

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