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    Entries in Human Resources (51)

    Tuesday
    Dec152009

    Is HR Hot?

    So during a year when the 'Is HR Dead' discussion seemed to rage on and on,and we are still talking about HR as Secretaries, out of nowhere the Wall Street Journal runs a piece called 'HR Executives Suddenly Get Hot' - about the increasing trend of current and former HR executives being called upon to serve as outside directors for publicly traded firms.Flickr - getmethegun

    From the WSJ piece:

    Once considered denizens of a corporate backwater, more human-resources executives are being tapped to serve as outside directors because many have become strategic players with bottom-line impact. U.S. companies wooing them seek their insight on hot-button issues such as executive pay, management succession and integrating acquisitions.

    I wonder how it makes some long-time HR professionals feel to know that they were 'denizens of a corporate backwater'? That line reminds me of a post I never got around to writing titled 'Trailer Park HR'.

    But I digress.

    It was interesting that several of the examples in the WSJ piece had to do with firms not just wanting help with managing risk or compliance, or with navigating the recession. Rather items like 'attracting and developing top talent' and assistance in 'detailing strengths, weaknesses, and developmental needs for top staff' were cited as reasons to bring in HR talent into the boardroom.  These are significant, and dare say 'strategic' activities.

    More HR professionals an Corporate Boards sound like a good thing for HR and for corporations alike if the increased representation drives improvements; like better alignment of strategy with workforce capability, methods to try and not just preserve jobs but to (gasp) actually grow jobs and opportunities, and for more organizations to truly live up to their myriad 'people first' mission statements.

    So maybe, after all this time and effort, HR is rising above filing forms and party planning, and getting (don't kill me for this) the fancy leather seat at the giant mahogany table.

    However, a quick glance at this article on 'The Next Hot Jobs' doesn't mention anything about HR.  Jobs like 'Bioinformatician', 'Forensic Accountant', and 'Fuel-Cell Engineer' all make the list though.

    Those all sound pretty complicated to me.

    What do you think, should more Corporate Boards have HR executive representation?

    Is HR actually hot?


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