Every company’s HR Function needs to look different, needs to be composed of different building blocks – and this is even more true when you have different industries: An HR Function for a major Retailer should be based on different building blocks than the one for a Financial Services company. This is what Consulting firms tell us and this is what we see out there – therefore, it is right.
Is that so? I see that different. The general concept of the HR Organization can always be the same. Every company needs the same foundational building blocks:
- Talent Management
- HR related Business Consulting
- HR Specialists
- HR Admin
And any company that does not see the need for any of these is definitely missing something. Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t say that every HR Function should look the same. I am just saying that actually the differences needed are not based on industry or country or workforce – but based on firm and HR maturity.
To get the basics out-of-the-way: The way how you fulfill these 4 foundational building blocks can be very different – you can outsource, you can consolidate them into unified roles if size does not allow for separate roles, you can have contractors supporting you, etc. – but you will always have all four foundational building blocks. If not, than you miss out or… and this is where my point is coming…or you are at a different state of maturity. What does that mean? The HR function is evolving since its beginning and there is still no end to see to it – where HR will be in 10 years from now or even in 5 years from now is a very interesting question. Only thing sure is that it will look very different from today. HR is still no stable function, no commodity, but still finding its purpose and its direction, defining where it should play and where it shouldn’t. This is all influenced by many different topics like workforce expectations, regulations, management needs, etc.
HR does not stand still and won’t – and any differences that there are between HR Functions of different firms are not based on industry or size, but on maturity of both the HR Function and the firm itself. HR is 100% a support function and needs to support whatever the firm needs to be successful, and only the firm itself knows what it needs – there is no personalized model per industry or country or workforce, but there is a basic model which needs to be adjusted to the needs and maturity of a company. What is right and fitting perfect today, is wrong and too tight or too loose tomorrow. Don’t go into the trap of “if my competitor is doing it way A, I need to do it way A” – look inside your company only and listen what is needed, what is wanted – and use this to shape your HR organization, every day.