Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Reexamining business school fundamentals – human resources and managing personnel in an interconnected business context

Posted in HR and personnel, reexamining the fundamentals by Timothy Platt on July 31, 2010

I have been writing recent postings on the fundamentals from a very specific perspective of how the context that businesses exist and function in is changing, and in the direction of closer connection and collaboration as a route to gaining and keeping market share. I have already posted 22 times up to now in my ongoing series HR and Personnel so I have already spelled out some of the types of detail that would go into this series for this topic, and I cite a three part series on Making Human Resources Relevant (see postings 4 through 6) in particular here.

It is one of the core responsibilities that HR has, to help the business it supports find, secure and retain the people it needs on-staff to fulfill its mission and priorities and to meet its ongoing strategically assessed goals. This means technical and skills fit and matching the requirements to that level that would appear in a well written job description. It also and sometimes more importantly means corporate culture fit and searching for the people who current employees and the business can work with productively, and without conflict or discord.

Requirements in mindset and approach can be harder to assess, and certainly where contact and opportunity to assess is as limited as an interview, which can be stressful for reasons not related to the job requirements or the applicant’s ability to meet them. But this is important.

To cite a perhaps trivial example, a CIO or even a CEO who would be perfect for managing the stresses and uncertainties, and the lack of structure of an early stage startup may very well not the best person for later when the business is settling down into a more set pattern of structure and organization and with an emerging corporate culture. The C level executive who would thrive then and even as a best fit for that position at that stage may very well lack the personality and attitude to get the business initially launched and even if they do have the hands-on skills they would be expected to provide for that.

When the value that a business can develop and the opportunity it can create for its own success depend less on its functioning as if in isolation, and more as a member of a business ecosystem and business community, different operational processes and systems become necessary, different corporate cultures offer greater value in organizing the business towards achieving commonly held goals, and different personalities become best fits, and for a range of positions.

An effective HR department has to be aware of this need for at the very least evolutionary change in hiring and candidate selecting processes, and in managing staff retention for the people that their company most needs to keep and who their competition would most want to take away.

I have written several times now of value chains and business ecosystems. Businesses need the right people and they need to know what that means, in terms of being able to identify these people, and that is becoming a changing target for any HR department to strive for.

I am sure to come back to this in future postings.

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