What makes a great HR Leader?

The success of any individual leader is inextricably tied to the understanding, and relative standing, of HR itself inside an organisation. For Laura Harrison, the CIPD’s strategy director, that means recognising that business is becoming complex and interrelated – as opposed to just complicated – so simple, function-specific solutions won’t cut it any more. HR, in this reading, must draw on a far broader set of skills and an understanding of wider contexts such as human behaviour and data analytics, since the answers are less likely to come from a particular sector or discipline.

HR skills become increasingly transferable simply because they are more important than ever. Helen Floor, managing director of specialist HR recruiter 1-1 Recruitment, says businesses are understanding the importance of investing in people at a far more strategic level.

In this context, Harrison defines an HR or L&D professional as “an expert in people, work and change with a commitment to doing the right thing in the long term”, which often manifests itself more as a particular ethical competence than a role as the ‘voice of reason’ in an organisation. “A strong HR professional combines a good understanding of the business with strong relational skills, the ability to build trust and a willingness to champion the human side of business,” she says.

Veronica Hope-Hailey, dean of the University of Bath’s School of Management, collaborated on the CIPD’s Landing transformational change research report in 2014, which she says demonstrated that HR leaders with experience of change or OD initiatives were particularly sought after to move into general leadership roles, reflecting the new realities of corporate life and the fact that business leaders are generally less ‘gung ho’ and more attuned to the behavioural aspects of business transformation.

Another is the importance of forming a broader outlook and bringing external experiences into the workplace. It is striking that 20 per cent of all HR leaders volunteer; for Floor, this is evidence that CSR is vital not just to employer brand, but to broader business ethics and to aid individual personal development.

Please click on the following link to read the full article written by Robert Jeffery for People Management.  http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/02/20/what-makes-a-great-hr-leader.aspx