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Do We really need HR? discuss...

(19 Posts)
Blackduck Sun 08-Mar-09 17:05:00

Okay, I have to give a 5min presentation with this title. It is for the public sector so I need to cover what I see as the role of a HR prof in a large public sector organisation and some of the main challenges/issues that may face HR prof in the Civil Service.

All help, comments, advice (keep it clean grin ) gratefully received...

Blackduck Mon 09-Mar-09 06:49:44


notsoclever Mon 09-Mar-09 07:35:01

I have 2 different ways that I look at this:

1) there are 3 main reasons why we need HR; one is to protect and support the employee (making sure that there are systems so they have access to advice and support that enables them to do their job safely and fairly, and enables them to progress and develop); second to protect and support the manager (making sure that they understand and are trained in procedures such as recruitment, discipline etc. that enabler them to undertake their managerial responsibilities and to be fair to their staff); third is to protect and support the organisation (making sure that policies are updated and reflect current legislation and practice).

Main challenge for HR in this is which group in the organisation are you working for at any one time, and do these roles come into conflict?

2) My other view on HR is that it is like an inverted iceberg. Most managers are responsible for a wide range of day-to-day HR activities such as recruitment, performance management, appraisal, coaching, mentoring, absence management etc. (the large wide area of the inverted iceberg that is seen above the water) and most HR interactions between staff and their managers are completed successfully in this area. To do this effectively, there needs to be a team of HR specialists who have a much deeper knowledge about any and all of the HR issues, employment legislation, etc.

Main challenge for HR is how to support staff when things go wrong "above the water", and to support managers so that they are equipped and confident to undertake their responsibilities, and yet also know enough to know when they need help and advice from the specialist HR staff.

Blackduck Mon 09-Mar-09 08:31:22

Thanks notsoclever - all good grist to the mill!

llareggub Mon 09-Mar-09 08:43:02

In my large public sector organisation, our role is not to support and advise employees.

Our role is to provide advice and support to managers within the organisation, ensuring that the business achieves its objectives. This often means that employees are treated fairly within the confines of employment law, but our "duty" if you like, is to the organisation that employs us.

I have more but I need to slope off to do the school run, so I'll be back. Does your organisation have business partners? More and more public sector organisations are moving to the BP model, and using shared services for transactional stuff.

What sort of presentation is this? Is it for a job or is it addressing an audience of managers to promote HR? Need to know more about the audience and the aim of your presentations.

Blackduck Mon 09-Mar-09 08:57:16

llareggub - it is for a job in the Civil Service. The brief is to convince a hard nosed senior manager that HR has a purpose beyond dealing with recruitment and stuff, and should be funded. Does that make sense?

Blackduck Mon 09-Mar-09 19:18:29

Anyone else? llareggub?

llareggub Mon 09-Mar-09 19:27:41

Sorry, busy nesting for new baby!

Right, where were we?

What sort of role are you applying for? Is it an advisory type role, strategic role? Do you currently work in HR?

Blackduck Tue 10-Mar-09 06:10:18

New role - basically HR recruitment program so could end up anywhere doimng anything in the long run. I am totally new to HR. This is a Grad scheme thou' I graduated a LONG TIME ago (career change for me)

nesting - what is ths nesting / never did any of that grin congrats btw

llareggub Tue 10-Mar-09 06:47:12

Have you looked at the CIPD website?

I've linked you to a recent survey on the changing face of the HR function.

Some random thoughts (I've been up since 3.30am with my toddler shock

HR must be aligned with and understand the strategic objectives of the organisation
Needs to provide solutions for managers, not tell them they can't do things all the time (this is a common criticism of HR in the public sector

HR needs to add value (have a look at this role of line managers which may also give you food for thought

You should also have a look at the ways in which HR can help with efficiency savings. We have to make efficiency savings year on year and HR is contributing to that through:

Strategic workforce planning: what does our future workforce look like, what skills are needed?
Reorganising the workforce (reduction, redeployment)
Specialist knowledge of employment law, practices etc

Have a look at Ulrich's model of HR, there should be some useful stuff there too.

Good luck, let us know how you get on!

ABetaDad Tue 10-Mar-09 07:24:03

On this issue I woud say there are two types of HR:

Type 1 HR: is the one every organisation actually needs

Type 2 HR: is the one nearly every organisation actually has

Type 1 is embedded deeply in the strategic direction of the organisation and a strong partner in the design and function of the organisation because in most cases people are the main resource an organisation has to manage.

Type 2 is the kind of HR everyone hats. Typiclly with little power of it own, regarded with disdain by most operational managers but also despised by staff as an interfering set of busy bodies that go behind your back and are always on the side of management when problems arise.

The very best organisations have Type 1 HR but most have Type 2 HR.

Blackduck Tue 10-Mar-09 08:29:46

Thansk ll and a abetadad......Just need to knock some thoughts into shape now...
This bl**dy process has been on-going for 6 months - this is the final hurdle...

Blackduck Thu 12-Mar-09 08:34:08

Ahhh presentation is TOO Bl**dy long.....I have to cut it down..... <bangs head off of nearest wall>

Blackduck Fri 13-Mar-09 17:07:17

Okay is all over....I am KNACKERED , but kept presentation to requisite 5 mins. Gruelling group exercise - very artifical. Now WEEKS until I hear!

llareggub Sat 14-Mar-09 18:57:23

Good luck!

Blackduck Sun 15-Mar-09 08:42:32

Thanks ll.....this round goes on until3rd April, so pretty sure won't hear anything until after that.

Blackduck Fri 29-May-09 07:24:41

LL - Waves - I GOT THROUGH!! only problem is that the job will probably be somewhere I have no desire to relocate to.....

eviz Tue 02-Jun-09 20:57:21

Congratulations Blackduck! I'm assuming this is the NHS mgt trainee scheme? I went for that years ago and failed at the final interview. Would love to know how you get on.

They should keep you regional - specially if you've got littlies to keep you at home!

Blackduck Wed 10-Jun-09 11:08:05

Thanks eviz - actually Civil service HR - figures crossed - should hear this week or next....

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