#SHRM16 Is Coming: This Time, Tips From Dell HR VP

So, we are only a few days away from #SHRM2016… This time I asked the very same questions previously answered by P&G HR VP to Craig Briscoe, HR VP of Dell.

For those eager to learn from others, here are his answers, full of insights:

You have been working at Dell for much of your career. I assume HR practices have changed a lot along the way. What was the most challenging change that was needed in parallel to gen Y entering the workforce?

Overall, I feel like we have historically had the type of work environment that is very appealing to newer generations of workers entering the workforce; but we have not necessarily always done a great job of telling the story to bring them in – more like they were pleasantly surprised when they got here. It is a highly collaborative environment with tons of challenging work assignments and opportunities for growth. And as a company, we are very involved in critical social and sustainability programs that the newer generations of workers find very appealing. But, again, our “pitch” to these prospective workers was a bit more clinical and didn’t really do a great job of painting that picture.

How did you overcome the challenge?

We have invested pretty heavily in our college/recent graduate recruiting engine with lots of emphasis on better telling our story in a way that resonates strongly with this group. We have seen a real uptick in our campus hiring as a result.

Could you share with us a failure that you or Dell HR Team learned from? A lessons learned case that would be valuable for HR professionals to know that would keep them from falling in a similar trap?

With the velocity of our business, we are provided with great learning opportunities every day :) I would say one of the biggest learnings within HR was how we managed the transition from a traditional HR model to a more efficient HR Shared Services and HRBP model, which started nearly 10 years ago. We are good at driving big changes quickly; so we probably underestimated the need for a very robust change management plan to manage that transition, which was significant. We have ultimately achieved the objective; but, looking back, we could have done it faster and better managed the churn along the way if we had put in place a more deliberate change management strategy. I think the specific example would be that we had our HR teams both in the Shared Services and HRBP space that had a hard time letting go of their previous roles as “HR Generalist,” which created a lot of confusion and took longer to get to the levels of efficiency we were expecting. If we were doing this again now, we would be clearer on the role definitions and would create a more diligent process to surface these concerns and issues, and address them. They worked themselves out over time; but we could have got there faster by more persistent communications, individual coaching, etc.

What is the one most important characteristic/competency you look for when you hire an HR Professional? We would like to hear your opinion about the “must-have” of an HR Professional.

It is really hard to narrow it down to one thing, but I would say the ability and willingness to say what needs to be said. We have a role to play in influencing the business that can’t be done if we are sitting in the corner waiting to be called on. Now, of course, you have to have good business understanding and knowledge of context when doing so; but that can be built. Unless we have the courage and conviction to speak up in the best interests of the company and our people, it is really hard to have an impact.

 

Originally posted on CigdemOzdemirEvren.net.

 

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For more information and to attend SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, visit www.annual.shrm.org.

 

 

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