What Makes a Great Modern HR Leader?


What Makes a Great Modern HR Leader?

The job of a Human Resources professional is to plan and implement the strategies for the recruiting and management of talented employees. They supervise performance, resolve conflict, and administer benefits and compensation - such as paying employees and keeping track of sick and personal days off. This requires a broad knowledge of business functions and expertise in human resources issues.

Today, advancements in technology have transformed organizations in more ways we can count. Because of this, a more comprehensive approach to the administration of people in the organization is needed. What was once the task of hiring employees through post publications on newspapers is now the process of team-based hiring of the most qualified employees. Recruiting via new methods that range from social media sourcing to employee referrals.

The Modern Organization

The design of a modern organization focuses on adaptability, drawing on ideas from different fields to make communication more dynamic than ever before. They rely on employee involvement, fewer traditional rules and boundaries, networking, and collaboration, resulting in a more organic structure. Authority is less hierarchical. Instead, each team works how it sees fit, and team leaders coordinate across departments for specific problems. The main concept is to diversify activities and connectivity, accept new challenges, and set new goals frequently.

The role of an HR professional has evolved to fit the needs of today’s fast-changing organizations, to meet the new standards for recruiting and retaining their most valuable asset – their employees.

Technology is the Ally, Not the Enemy

With Millennials making up more than half of the current workforce — and predicted to make up 75% by 2020an HR professional has to embrace and build on technological advancements to meet both employee expectations and business requirements. Recruiting platforms, onboarding programs, and talent management systems can now achieve many of the traditional responsibilities faster, cheaper, and better than before. User-friendly softwares can keep information from getting lost, prevent internal miscommunications, boost recruiting and employee retention, and shorten the average time-to-hire.

Thanks to technology, HR leaders are better able to distribute their time. Gathering insights, finding more efficient methods of goal setting, and establishing the organizational culture in which people are motivated to do their job well is now easier than ever before.

The Value of Company Culture

The personality of a company is its culture. It defines the environment in which employees work and continues to be a crucial factor in a company’s ability to attract new talent and retain current employees. With millennials placing more value on culture than any other generation before them, Human Resources needs to make sure to instill good morals and ethics within the company.

In this role, the HR professional provides overall talent management strategies, development interventions, and regularly scheduled communication opportunities to ensure the company understands the employee’s concerns. While HR might not always have full control over an organization’s culture, they can influence leadership to steer it in the right direction and nurture an environment where employees enjoy coming to work.

Sharing the Knowledge

Younger generations are eager to lead but don't feel engaged at work or provided with the right development opportunities, which leads to job hopping and lowered expectations. The Millennial Leadership Study shows that 91% of millennials aspire to reach leadership positions and 43% are motivated to be a leader to empower others. The study also found that 55% of millennials wish their employer offered better opportunities for leadership development.

HR is a critical component of an employee’s well-being in any company. Incorporating programs that meet their needs for meaningful work, growth, challenge, communication, and effective leadership will further contribute towards employee motivation, engagement, and retention. It is the HR leader’s job to get to know the employee’s areas of interest and to look out for opportunities that will help them build onto those skills.

By embracing social networks for talent acquisition, and increasing knowledge sharing through improved communication tools, there are better possibilities to meet the organization’s needs and push the workplace to the next level.

For a more in-depth look on the qualities of a great HR Leader, check out our interview with Jordi Sala, HR Director at Hotel Arts in Barcelona, who gives us the lowdown on talent selection, training, payroll and everything in between.