Lesson #3: For HR to play a bigger role in the business, it must first gain a better understanding of the business.
Our third and final lesson from the recent Garden State Council SHRM conference comes from Bryan Wempen, Chief Strategy Officer of PeopleClues. During his interactive session, titled “HR Thinking Creatively: All Lines of Business Affect Recruiting Strategy,” Wempen highlighted the importance of understanding the process of starting a company and how that relates back to HR. When HR has insight into the challenges faced by their internal business partners, they can more effectively communicate with hiring managers and ensure a successful recruiting strategy.
Wempen began the session by explaining how 80 percent of what HR does entails a deep knowledge of the company’s business operations, while the remaining 20 percent involves the transactional processes of the department. Due to advancements in cloud technology and more processes becoming automated, the latter percentage is likely to decrease further in the future. This ongoing evolution presents HR with the opportunity to become more strategic and extend its value throughout the entire organization.
But for that to happen, Wempen explained, HR needs to improve its understanding of the business; not just of what the company does, but how it got started as well. Regardless of the nature of the business, all organizations begin with an idea, which leads to a conversation, followed by collaboration and, finally, a company. Wempen also shared the three components that make up the framework needed to start a business:
- Purpose – the idea or pain points the business is trying to solve
- Pride – the passion you have for the product and the ability to find people who share that passion and can bring the company to the next level
- Product – what you’re delivering, and why people will think it’s valuable
To illustrate the process further, Wempen had attendees break into small groups to come up with an idea for a company. Despite there being five different groups, each came up with a similar business proposal – starting a company that helps employees recharge, indulge themselves and improve the work/life balance. The common theme among the group tied in well with Wempen’s emphasis on the power of collective thinking; for a company to be successful, it requires getting people together who share similar passions.
By going through this exercise, and seeing how people come together to form an idea that launches a company, Wempen showed how this creative thinking can make HR more strategic. With a greater understanding of the thought process that goes into starting a company and the people needed to make that happen, HR can connect the dots between organizational goals and the recruitment process. Once that happens, HR will be able to enhance its recruiting practices and ensure it brings in people who understand the purpose of the company and take pride in contributing to its goals.