Monday 1 March 2021
Home      All news      Contact us      RSS     
- 1 month ago

HR leaders need to master new skills — and it starts with learning

Summary List PlacementThe coronavirus pandemic has put human resources in the spotlight. People are dealing with personal challenges that necessarily spill over into their workdays: a lack of childcare, loved ones getting sick, the onset of depression and anxiety. Now many companies are trying to figure out how to bring staff back to the office safely, and what their policies around flexible work should be in the long term. Lars Schmidt has spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the future of HR, and how the pandemic has reshaped the role. Schmidt started his career in HR 23 years ago — accidentally, when he landed a gig at a technical recruiting agency. Since then, he s led HR teams at NPR and Ticketmaster. Today he runs Amplify, a consulting company that works with top brands like SpaceX, Zenefits, and Vimeo. He hosts the Redefining HR podcast, interviewing talent heads at the likes of Spotify and Coinbase. Schmidt is an outspoken advocate for what he calls open source HR, or sharing HR resources between companies. Schmidt s book, Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams to Drive Business Performance, comes out January 26 in the US. The book walks readers through the key components of next-generation talent management, including a willingness to show vulnerability, company policies that assume employees are adults with good judgment, and job postings that are honest about the role. Insider spoke with Schmidt about what excites him and what scares him about the future of HR. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. Something you talk about in the book is that people are coming to HR from all different fields. So if having specific career experience in HR isn t entirely necessary, what do you think are the critical skills and traits that make a successful HR leader? Learning agility is an essential skill for modern HR. The field has just become so complex and so dynamic, and it s going to continue to be that way. You have to be able to pick things up quickly and have an innate curiosity around not just the field of HR, but other disciplines as well, and see how you might be able to borrow from other fields and bring some of those thinking and practices into HR. I think the ability to work out loud, or give it away, and embrace open-source approaches is another key thing. So other people can use them and borrow from them. Leaders are also being much more open personally. They re willing to be vulnerable. They re able to talk about their life experiences and, in some cases, even shortcomings in ways that allow them to build trust and credibility with their staff. Read more: Joe Biden is an excellent example of vulnerable leadership, says prominent social scientist Brené Brown. Here s what that means, and how anyone can emulate the quality. What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in the HR world? Analytics as a discipline is still fairly new. The way that we re using analytics and the capabilities that we re able to harness — that is a skillset that is specialized and hasn t typically resided in HR. So how can HR harness the power of data analytics in a way that they haven t yet? We ve had metrics and reporting forever. But look at some of the best-in-class teams that have teams of data scientists literally working on people-analytics teams within the organization. [They have] the ability to start looking at predictive analytics and harnessing that, understanding potential trends or risks to the business or issues with employee morale and sentiment before it even happens. When you can see the future before it s happening, that s pretty impactful to the business. That s pretty massive if I can predict with a high degree of accuracy what our turnover is going to look like and proactively staff against that, that s a game changer. If you re just reacting to things as they happen, which HR historically has done, you re always going to be behind. A lot of companies have hired heads of diversity this year. Do you think that falls under the HR umbrella? Modern HR teams are built in a way that representation and inclusion is embedded and considered in every HR touchpoint within the organization. And that s a big difference from how legacy teams looked at diversity and inclusion. Too often they looked at it more from the lens of recruiting, like how do we make sure that we have X, Y, and Z representation across our recruiting funnel and in our hiring metrics? But they re not connecting that to development, promotions, executive representation, board representation. Read more: 4 steps diversity and inclusion consultants recommend for hiring more Black and brown employees — and keeping them long term Modern teams are looking at it much more holistically. It s one thing to hire a head of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Whether that [person] reports directly to the CEO or the CHRO, I think what s more important is that it s resourced, funded, and empowered to make a difference. And that is where there s still a healthy degree of skepticism within experienced DEI professionals. You have companies that are talking a lot about what they re doing, and they re going to hire this person, but then not talking about what they re actually doing to enable that person to drive change within the organization. How do you advise people on career decisions? I generally tell people: Look, you may think you want to do X, and as you re thinking that, take the steps that you need to take to prepare yourself to do X. But if you find yourself somewhere along that way getting curious about Y, don t be so locked into X that you deny yourself the opportunity to explore Y. That level of fluidity is really important. Read more: Use this simple technique from recruiters to craft a compelling story about your career and impress any hiring manager Do you have a go-to interview question? My favorite interview question is, What s the best part about your job? It also allows you to understand: What do they value? Where do they get juice from their work? As an interviewer, it allows me to understand how is the opportunity that I m representing aligning with what lights them up. And if it doesn t, I need to have that conversation and say, Hey, look, it s great that this is your favorite part, but I just want to be honest. In this job, you re not going to do any of that. Are you willing to give that up? With recruiting in general, so often we re focused on closing a candidate and how to get that person to say yes to an offer. I don t want them to say yes to the offer if it s not the right offer for them. And a question like that allows you to understand the candidate s drivers in a really meaningful, personal way. Have you ever said that to a candidate once they told you what they love about their job? Actually, this isn t really the right role for you? Yeah, absolutely. I want somebody to have as much information as they possibly can to determine whether a role is fit for them or not. If you re bringing people into a role that isn t suited to what that person wants to do, it s not going to be a good outcome for anybody. Ultimately, it s still a candidate s decision to make. They may say, In making this move, what s most important is that I m exposed to this thing. And even though I won t have that thing that I love there, your job would expose me to this thing. And that s what I want to do next in my career. Then they re making that decision, but they re making it with eyes wide open about what your opportunity has and what it might not have.SEE ALSO: Recruiters who ve placed candidates at firms like Goldman Sachs, Burberry, and Lionsgate reveal 3 strategies for job searching that applicants can start using today Join the conversation about this story NOW WATCH: Why these Gucci clothes are racist


Latest News
Hashtags:   

leaders

 | 

master

 | 

skills

 | 

starts

 | 

learning

 | 

Sources