Talent Treasurer?

Shawnee Love   •  
November 10, 2016

HR better change fast, because we are quickly becoming redundant.  Our transactional work can be outsourced often to technology that does it better than an HR department ever did but for the human touch.

Our advisory work is being outsourced to phone services and downloadable webinars on how to give constructive feedback or give praise.  Sit with a group of experienced managers or even someone relatively inexperienced with great emotional intelligence, and you get decent to good advice on how to handle employee challenges.

Our audit and compliance work exists, but being the HR police is something most of us have worked hard to change over the years.

Investigations are here forever as are terminations and both require a degree of sensitivity and significant expertise to do well, so we will probably keep those, but that still feels a bit police-like.

For HR, where’s the secret sauce if just about anyone can do what we do and be half decent at it?

I believe HR needs to be the Treasurer of the people and people systems. Treasury Treasurers are typically responsible for managing the cash of a  business. To do a good job, they monitor and analyze financial history, forecast futures, and develop and implement cash management strategies to enhance the business and /or enable it to meet its goals.

HR must become the talent treasurer, responsible for knowing

  • Exactly what you have at any given time (hard and soft skills, characteristics, abilities, knowledge, intelligences, etc.),
  • Forecasting what you will need (based on company strategy and goals, market conditions, demographics), and
  • Building and implementing the systems (talent management, culture, etc.), processes (hiring, managing, etc.), structures (communication, decision making, etc.), tools (appraisals, org charts, etc.), strategies and tactics to ensure the business has the talent it needs to achieve its vision.

Just as the money isn’t owned by the Treasurers, an organization’s people aren’t owned by a Talent Treasurer’s either.  Rather, the Talent Treasurer needs to work with the business and its leaders to manage and align the talent systems with the strategy of the business.  At least that’s my take on the future of HR.  Would love to hear your thoughts.