HR Directors Club on HCM

HR Directors Club members heard the latest thinking and shared best practice on human capital management at the latest workshop event at Trinity House in Tower Hill, London.

Human capital management feedback

HR Directors Club members were divided over whether or not human capital management (HCM) is the holy grail of HR, or the emperor’s new clothes.

Debating the issue at the issue at the latest member workshop in London on 7 June, supported by Oracle, Professor William Scott-Jackson, centre for applied HR research, Oxford Brookes University, said: “HR directors are frightened to make numbers up, but sales and marketing do it. As long as they are based on some sort of detail, it is fine. Work out what you believe and then find statistics that back you up.”

Michael Griffin, executive director of HR, King’s College Hospital, said: “The term ‘HCM’ puts up barriers for me. I also question the legitimacy of the term ‘capital’, as it is a depreciating asset. The challenge for HR is to prove that people are an appreciating asset.”

Linda Smith, HR director, Accord, said: “If we give too many statistics, we could go backwards again and be perceived as record-keepers. It has to be a measure of the value.”

But Brian Cormican, business development manager, HCM, Oracle said the HR profession should not get lost in numbers: “There are a lot of people out there who don’t do the simple things. Do some of these, and then migrate up,” he said.

Challenging others in the business was one step HR could take, added Ruth Altman, director of HR and development, Cranfield University: “HR people aren’t brave enough. No-one challenges figures coming from the finance director, so don’t assume they’ll question yours.”

Shirley Pointer, director for HR and change management, DTI, said: “The HR profession needs to get evidence to justify investment in IT systems. It is scary that it is not being done. Fit your argument to the strategic aim of the board.”

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