Is HR on the Fast Track to Irrelevance?

by | May 26, 2018 | Season 1

Is HR on the fast track to irrelevance or what will it take for HR to finally get a “seat at the table?” Those are just a few of the critical questions discussed in this episode of Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization. My guest is Ed Krow, partner and co-founder ofTurboExecs and 25 year “veteran” of HR.

This episode was prompted by two separate but almost simultaneous experiences shared by me (Ira S Wolfe) and Ed. 

When presenting my keynote at a regional SHRM meeting, I noticed something odd.  I was the only male in the room of over 3 dozen participating members. Not that all the women weren’t professional and competent but I couldn’t help to wonder why no men felt the need to attend a presentation about talent acquisition, one of the biggest challenges organizations face. Was it me? Is recruitment considered a “woman’s job?” Was there any significance behind this or were all the men just too busy too attend?  I don’t know the answer but the experience was a bit troubling.

My concern was soon deepened when one of the members introduced herself to the group. She stood up and said “how good it was to be back in ‘HR’?  The quotes around HR are intentional because as she spoke the words HR, she raised both hands and motioned air quotes.  Why did she feel the need to air quote HR?  Is it a secret society? A department or profession that is not officially recognized as legit?  Again I don’t have the answers but can tell you that I was beginning to feel that HR might be on the fast track to irrelevance.

After leaving the meeting, I checked my email. My friend and colleague Ed shared a similar experience. While presenting at a SHRM conference, a participant stood up and told the group why she chose a career in HR: “to show other that all HR weren’t mean.” What???  Was she the white knight riding in to save all the workers from “mean HR?”   Even HR professionals seem to demean the Human Resources profession, even if unintentional.

Those incidents led me to ask Ed to join me on this episode to explore the future of HR.

During our conversation, we discuss these topics and more during podcast:

  • What keeps us (and CEOs) awake at night about HR?
  • What skills does HR need to have to become strategic and relevant?
  • Why management must raise the expectations of HR and hold them accountable.
  • Will the COO and CTO take over workforce management if HR doesn’t step up?

 

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