Recently, our very own Evette Baker participated on the expert panel discussion at the ‘When HR Has a Seat at the Table’ event in McLean, VA hosted by HR Alliance. This summit equipped HR professionals with strategies to reach the next level -the C level- of their organizations.
Did you know that the first Human Resource processes and procedures were practiced within the successful command and engagement of ancient armies? In fact, the role of a team member focused on people management dates all the way back to ancient Greece and China. During the a brief historical introduction at the panel event, attendees learned the evolution of the HR role from ‘labor manager’, to today’s HR Partner, who is their company’s anticipator of labor demand, and the cultivator of human capital.
Without HR managers attracting the best talent and retaining top-performers with the proper incentives, CEOs can easily become overwhelmed with the time-intensive processes of hiring and developing staff. This is where productivity and profitability begin to suffer. A recent study from SANS Technology Institute estimates that one bad hire can cost a company over $50,000, not to mention the possible negative impacts to the remaining team morale. When people are the driving force of industry, a company is only as successful as its most critical asset- its talent.
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric said, “In order to lead a company, you've got to get everybody on the same page and you've got to be able to have a vision of where you're going.” The HR ‘vision’ of streamlining all admin, legal, and performance tasks is why Welch and Ms. Baker believe the HR manager is just as important as the CEO. While the CEO focuses on strategic goals and initiatives to progress forward, the HR manager reinforces the mission and vision though the organization, creating a vital company culture that values each individual and their contributions. However, becoming a company culture authority is no simple task for any HR manager.
As a segment of her panel discussion Ms. Baker explained that this expert culture role must be mastered in order for strategic alignment to occur. Once the HR manager is perceived as an influential business partner, their invitation to the C-level table will become necessary for corporate function. After all, CEOs already have a lot keeping them up at night besides attendance monitoring and benefits administration. Ms. Baker recommends to become indispensable, HR managers should focus on widening their perspective to analyze their company’s competitive landscape after establishing themselves as the trusted advisors for all productivity, recruitment, and compensation concerns. When accurately determining influencers, growth, and potential areas for improvement, HR managers achieve the greater good not only for their own development, but for the entire organization. Becoming a reliable and accurate source for future projections provides the confidence and competency needed to rise to new heights of achievement.
Other methods, such as cultivating an executive presence and exercising innovative thinking habits were also discussed at the event as ways to break the perceived ‘glass ceiling’ in the HR field. During closing comments, Ms. Baker emphasized that her tactics for personal growth within an organization are not only isolated to the HR field, but are relevant to any department wanting a seat at the prestigious C-table. “In order to be seen as a business partner,” Baker explained, “you must first align with the business and its overall objectives.”
Ms. Baker has an impressive record of building and leading high-performance teams who deliver superior satisfaction. She is President of Sparks Group and a proven leader in the staffing and recruiting industry. Sparks Group offers free consultation for talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers. Visit www.SparksGroupInc.com to learn more about how Sparks Group's strategic approach to staffing and recruiting can help enhance and maximize your organization’s recruiting and talent management needs.