Human Resources Starts with Great Employees

Julie Shenkman
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Good workers are the building blocks for any company's success, and strong human resource employees can create a solid foundation for the entire team. The human resource staff is in charge of essential duties such as vetting and hiring employees for all departments, implementing ongoing and new employee training modules, and ensuring organizations follow legal and ethical policies in a range of areas. Some upfront legwork to hire HR professionals of the highest possible caliber can prevent hassle and headache in the future.

As technology and global trends impact businesses across all industries, good workers are going to become even more important for human resource organizations. According to Forbes contributor Josh Bersin, HR is going to face tribulations in 2014 associated with increased competition, the need to improve company branding, and a short supply of good leadership. Bersin states that data is going to become a sort of currency, and HR organizations must be prepared to use technology and information to effect smart hiring decisions on a global market. Performance management policies are likely to evolve as mobility, engagement, culture, and innovation join money and benefits as reasons for applicants to want to work somewhere. To keep pace with these trends, human resource hiring must expand to include professionals who are skilled in marketing, branding, programming, analysis, and Internet development.

Andrew Benett, author of The Talent Mandate and president of Havas Worldwide, says companies should hire for the future. According to Benett, many companies attempt to slot people into preexisting positions without taking the unique assets of each person into account. Companies are more likely to develop and keep strong employees when those individuals are allowed to grow organically within the confines of the department or organization. That doesn't mean you create an entirely new position to accommodate a candidate's experience or degree, but human resource organizations can offer some flexibility to ensure overall growth. Consider dividing duties in a manner that uses everyone's skills to the highest level while providing every employee with ongoing training and growth potential.

Skills and a good fit for department needs aren't the only reason to hire someone. Andrew Seaton, managing director of Resolve IT, believes personality is also essential. Certainly, the ability to communicate, problem solve, and develop strong and logical arguments are all essential skills for HR professionals. Seaton recommends asking creative or off-the-wall questions in interviews or on applications to get an idea of applicant personalities. An application for Seaton's company includes a question about favorite movies—according to Seaton, many people cut and paste an answer from the Internet, which tells him they either don't want to take time for the work or don't know how to craft a valid answer themselves.

Human resource managers must understand upcoming trends and hiring needs. Once needs are defined, creative thinking can help match employees to jobs while ensuring a strong future for all involved. Getting creative in the interview can also help you identify the shining stars in your applicant pool.



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