The best HR people within organisations are those who know the answer to a business query but want a better answer all the time
It’s time to put the H (human) back in HR - Aquil Busrai, CEO, Aquil Busrai Consulting
How have you seen the HR services market change over the last few years?
A tectonic shift has happened over the last few years. Earlier in HR services there were few firms that specialized. For recruitment & assessment of leaders there were the MNC firms. They were followed by large local players and then there were the low end of the market. For compensation related services we would turn to Hewitt and Mercer. Then there were freelancers who built relationships with clients and who would do any consulting and services depending on what the clients needed. Now the market has changed. There are a lot more players. A new category has emerged which is people who have rich experiences in HR at a strategic level.
What are the kinds of client engagement and services such people are providing?
There are two types of organizations that approach such advisors, organizations that want to grow big or organizations that need a directional change. They have a HR team but want to tap into the time of such experts to make these changes happen. So unlike traditional consultants these advisors are engaged for a long time helping the long term goals being achieved. They engage with the CEO on the organizational strategy aspects and with the existing HR team on how to execute the strategy. What the CEO and HR people are looking for are advisors as someone “who can hold my hand”. These advisors also help the HR team on how to deal with other HR service providers.
How are the HR departments getting impacted with so much work being done by external partners?
With most of the transactional work being done by external parties it is time for HR team to do its most important tasks. First is to partner with the business leaders and second is to build engagement with employees. It’s time to put the H (human) back in HR. Outsourcing gives a chance to HR to revisit and re-emphasize its role.
What implication does it have for an individual HR professional?
There are, I believe, two kinds of HR professionals. There are Thinker-Executioners and there are Executioners. The former will ensure that he/she would not be dependent on specialist partners while the latter would be. HR specialists and advisors can be leveraged by the former to increase their own quality of work. They will need to build their judiciousness to separate the wheat from the chaff. They should lean on the Advisor to build their skills using everything available to upgrade. The best HR people are those who know the answer to a business query but want a better answer all the time.