Get your work in HR noticed by your CEO and his high-level peers
As a human resource (HR) officer aspiring to a role on the top rung of your organisation, you need to create strategic value that will impress the big bosses.
Yesterday’s article discussed the first five of 10 suggested strategies. Here are the remaining five in your roadmap to the top:
6 Be a cash cow, not a cost-centre
HR has never been regarded as a profit-centre and probably never will in the traditional sense. While it is true that the department does not bring in sales directly, you can make a business case of the strategic value and impact HR has on the company’s bottom line.
For a start, HR is responsible for recruiting the best and brightest talent out there, including the sales stars who drive the company’s growth.
You should also demonstrate a desire to help the company cut costs, such as acquiring technology to automate administrative processes and eliminate manual work.
This would also free up the HR department’s time to focus on more strategic items like developing effective employee engagement programmes that help to raise productivity (bring in more money) and increase staff retention (spend less money on new hires).
Ultimately, you want to show how your department can manage and motivate workers to turn in their best performance for the company. Do this by volunteering to give result presentations to key managers, as well as getting HR’s economic results published in all important company-wide financial reports so everyone can see the business impact of your work.
7 Be the breeding ground for top talent
Make your department the talent launch pad where the company’s best employees start and develop. As in professional sports, everyone is impressed with the coach that can recruit and develop top talent.
So hire the best talent that will enable your department to do its best work, develop them faster and to a higher level than others, then create a talent pipeline and release them to the C-level offices.
This will position HR as the department that “star” employees must pass through on their way to the top, and word will spread about how good you are at identifying and developing talent.
8 Collect customer and competitor intelligence
CEOs love their customers because they know that there would be no profit without them. So even if you are in HR and not customer service, it is important for you to demonstrate an appreciation of customers’ needs.
Be bold and venture outside your jurisdiction by offering ideas on product innovation, ways to generate sales and how to improve customer service.
Your CEO is also likely to be obsessed with what your company’s competitors are doing. Be proactive and find out what the market leaders are up to and share these with your CEO.
Being at the forefront of such competitor intelligence, especially sensitive or confidential information, will put you in good stead with your CEO. Covering “blind spots” he may have will aid his strategic planning and earn you his respect.
9 Sell with zeal
We understand that if you loved to sell, you would probably be in the sales or marketing department. You are in HR because of your passion for developing people. But almost everything in life is a sales transaction of sorts, from selling yourself as a job candidate to pitching the benefits of eating vegetables to your five-year-old. So hone your sales skills — they will come in handy for selling a job to top talent or your ideas to top management.
10 Be an HR star
Position yourself as an individual who is impressive and exciting by building your individual “brand” on external platforms — get written about in the company newsletter or in media stories, demonstrate your thought leadership in opinion articles published in trade magazines, apply for industry awards, and develop ways to enhance employer branding so your organisation will be recognised as a great place to work.
These serve to showcase the value you create in a visible manner and will help you get noticed by your CEO and his high-level peers.
Article by Ronald Lee, managing director of PrimeStaff Management Services, a leading human resource consultancy based in Singapore with a growing regional reach. It provides a comprehensive suite of recruitment services. For more information, call 6222-3310, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.primestaff.com.sg. This article was first published in Singapore Business Review.