Being Bold—Not Just for HR Anymore

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Josh Bersin has led the market with a message for HR practitioners at all levels:  Be Bold! Take the reins, mobilize the troops, and capture the HR and Talent field in your organizations.  The mantra for the HR community includes – perhaps for the first time—words such as “innovate,” and “become data-driven,” to “boldly go where no HR team has gone before.”

Hyperbole aside for a minute, the charter remains; but stepping up to the proverbial plate requires fearlessness and gumption; willingness to take a risk, and the courage to lead. Today’s HR leaders recognize this.

Boldness is not just for the HR department however: companies that supply software for managing HR also face the need for such decisive action.  One example is SilkRoad, a SaaS-software company that launched a core HR product a few years ago that failed to meet the standards the company sets for itself. 

Here is where the bold part come into play: management decommissioned the product and went back to the drawing board; rather than trying to be all things to all people, the new product which emerged, SilkRoad HRMS, is far more focused, leaving areas to third parties where third parties may do them best, such as payroll and benefits management.

Product providers can be bold in their market strategies as well. Consider innovative ways to look at HR, such as “how much core HR is enough?”  What does a core HR software solution need to look like for, for example, a mid-sized company that has no international employees?  When talent profiles sprouted in the last decade, many of us analysts hypothesized that that employee profile could “take over” the system-of-record employee profile in the core HR system.  For many of the vendors that today provide  both core HR and talent  management systems  (such as talent acquisition, learning, career, performance, and succession management), that integration has happened:  there is one employee profile that contains both employment information and talent information.  But the innovation comes in with those suite providers who are talent-only – often linking to a third party HRIS system.  What employee information is indeed sufficient?  Some talent solution vendors see an opportunity to support their users—again, mostly less complex business environments—with one employee profile stemming from an integrated talent suite. Think about it: One single point of truth for information about a given employee without the complexities that sometimes accompany an HRIS. 

The boldness of replacing a traditional HR system with a talent management system and an employee profile—no matter how complete—may not be sufficient in organizations that rely on the HRIS to determine ACA eligibility, as only one example.  But you must admit it is intriguing at a time when companies are looking for less complex ways of managing their businesses.

I’m not forgetting HR however; consider emboldening your team. Look where you can reskill or upskill your department with the skills they will need for the rest of the decade.  Improve business acumen across the HR team. Upskill analytic skills. Enhance proficiency with today’s technology. Collaborate tenaciously with other divisions in the organization.  Build internal project management and change management proficiency within your team.

Re-envision HR; re-envision the solutions you use every day, or if you are a solution provider, that you create. Consider revision –a word that does not mean “do over”—but “to look at with new eyes.” Let’s be bold enough to re-envision and  revise.

 

This publication contains general information only, and none of the member firms of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms, or their related entities (collective, the “Deloitte Network”) is, by means of this publication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte Network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

 

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Christa Degnan Manning

Vice President, Solution Provider Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Christa leads technology and service provider research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. In this role, she helps businesses align their workforce support strategies with appropriate third-party software developers, service partners, and governance models. A 25-year technology industry veteran, Christa’s expertise assists organizations in creating functional capabilities and employee experiences that increase productivity, engagement, and workforce efficiency. Frequently cited by business and trade media, she has presented market research on business to business trends, leading practices, and expected challenges and benefits at industry and user conferences globally throughout her career. Christa has a bachelor of arts in English from Barnard College, Columbia University, incorporating studies at University College, University of London. She also holds a master of arts degree in English from the University of Massachusetts and has completed executive coursework on business metrics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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