The Evolving Role of the HR Professional

How many organizations do you think have begun to realize that their Human Resource professionals do so much more than just helping employees chose their benefit package? And how many have given these professionals additional responsibilities and decision-making authority to reflect this development in the HR world?

We all know that HR plays a fundamental role in any business. The HR professional, when provided with the right tools and freedoms, is not only one of the resources within an organization but in most instances a primary driving force behind the make-up of the organization. When analyzing the HR field, it’s exciting to see what’s changed – the HR professional, once considered a paycheck generator, is now a strategic partner. At one time, Human Resources had limited functions. While organizations still have Generalist positions, the domain of HR is becoming increasingly specialized, encompassing Recruitment, Organizational Development, Talent Management, Learning and Development and much more. There has never been a better time for leaders to look at the functions of their HR departments, to really leverage their talents and to set them up as strategic partners.

So, what does it mean to be a strategic partner? First, HR professionals must shift their focus from the traditional conception of HR by aligning their strategy with that of the organization. To do so, both parties need to understand where the organization is and where it wants to be. Aligning specific HR initiatives with short- and long-term objectives can help organizations reach their goals successfully and often at a lower cost. Change management is another area which is becoming increasingly important for HR professionals. HR professionals must be forward-thinking and anticipate which aspects of evolving technologies, environmental changes, legislative amendments or even rent increases, can affect the achievement of organizational goals. Knowing how to identify issues, propose solutions, and help the organization adapt to changes will ensure HR professionals remain strategic players in any organization.

In the end, though, research shows that it is people who ultimately drive success. A key role of HR is to help maximize employee performance, and this begins with the HR professional’s own position. Shifting the perception of the HR professional from “vacation pay advisor” to “strategic partner” allows companies to truly maximize their HR role, by creating a job profile that fits with this new reality. Recruiting with this new profile means changing the way you look at your HR professional; but there are tools and processes that can help you with this challenging task. The recruitment phase is one of the most important steps to any right-fit culture and should never be rushed. Choosing the right people can yield plenty of benefits, while choosing the wrong ones can be disastrous. Leverage your resources and the opportunities are boundless.

Franco MaimoneWe hope that you continue to benefit from the plethora of interesting articles about this fascinating field in which we work. As in every edition, we would like to thank you for your continued readership and the loyalty you have shown to EPSI and our Compmetrica assessment products.


Franco Maimone
Director, Consulting Services and Business Development