SHRM CEO Responds to "It's Time to Split HR"

In July, Harvard Business Review featured a blog post by Ram Charan titled, It's Time to Split HR.  SHRM CEO, Hank Jackson, responded to the post with the following comment:  

Dear Mr. Charan,

I have read several of your books and have been impressed with your analysis of the drivers of board and business success as it relates to human resources.

However, I had occasion to read your latest article in the HBR (July-August) referencing the splitting of HR into two activities: “HR-A (for administration” and “HR-LO (for leadership and organization)” and offer a different view.

While you state that this is a radical idea, I would submit that this is a step backward and dismisses the development and contributions to the business process the HR profession has made over the last two decades. The split you propose does not fully acknowledge that the practice of HR (as with other professions) is a steady progression of knowledge, skills, and abilities applied in a competent manner toward business outcomes.

However, we do agree that there must be a high standard for the HR profession and we must have a measure for evaluating individual proficiency.

SHRM has developed and introduced a new SHRM HR Competency Model based on nine strategic skills and behavioral competencies needed for business success. They are: business acumen, relationship management, communications, critical evaluation, leadership & navigation, consultation, global and cultural awareness, ethical practice and HR expertise (knowledge). We have validated this model with more than 32,000 HR and other business professionals around the world. Beginning in 2015, SHRM will be certifying HR professionals based on these nine competencies.

We believe SHRM’s new competency-based certification is among the first of its kind to not only focus on teaching and testing knowledge, but teaching and testing those practical workplace skills to get strong outcomes for business. To summarize, SHRM’s new certification more closely measures not what you know, but what you can do with what you know.

I hope you can appreciate how this effort addresses the issue you raised in your article and how it raises the overall quality of the HR profession. I would enjoy talking with you more about our efforts and how SHRM is working toward setting the HR business standards.

Thanks for your focus on HR--it continues to highlight the key role the profession plays in driving business success.

Henry G. Jackson, CPA
President & CEO
Society for Human Resource Management

 

To learn more about the new SHRM Certification, please click here

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COMMENTS 1

Comments

Agreed. My thoughts are that splitting the HR function will ultimately result in the separation of vision(HR-LO) from reality (HR-A). I'm a firm believer that HR must be interwoven within an organization and in large part HR is responsible for pushing culture and identity. Leadership doesn't happen behind closed doors, great leaders are on the ground and hands on advancing their vision, leading by example. HR has a key role to play here, organizations cannot afford to only pay lip service about their employees being their key asset, they need to show results and separation of the role will most certainly impede the process.

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