Is HR incapable of making link with business reality?

I would like to congratulate Personnel Today on exposing HR’s most nagging paradox in your 5 September edition.

On the one hand, I was heartened to see your no-nonsense exposure that as a profession we are facing a serious talent shortfall. Yes, we have many technically talented individuals, but most fall short when it comes to business savvy and the personality to drive results with clients. Good news also that the number of unfilled jobs is high. It validates that we are increasingly not prepared to compromise versus the benchmark.

On the other hand, unfortunately, we were treated to another dose of HR backslapping. We should all pick up your recent editions and turn to the two-page spread of HR awards (do it, your internal clients will be).

Here we celebrate more applications, better attendance at training courses and great feedback from our clients. But were the applicants talented, the training courses driving business performance, and was the feedback used to drive further business improvement interventions?

There were some green shoots. We have identified some customer benefits. If only we’d followed through and measured how this was actually having an impact on the bottom line.

So alas, another set of well-articulated benefits appear in print, published without so much as a pound sign in sight.

Do we have enough business-minded leaders in HR? There lies the paradox.

Martyn Phillips, HR director, B&Q

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