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How Has HR's Role Changed in the Business Discussion

Posted By Theresa Wojtalewicz, Managing Editor, People & Strategy Journal, Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This issue (34.2) of HRPS People & Strategy focuses on analytics – more specifically how to use human capital analytics to make excellent business decisions. In this latest issue, Laurie Bassi asks the question: "What is HR analytics, and what can and should it be used for?”

From the onset, I’d been asking myself the same question. Some questions that came to mind after I read the article is: What function does HR analytics play in your business? Are you responsible for driving the strategic direction of your company, and if so, how much emphasis do you put on HR analytics and metrics? Do you feel that using this evidence-based approach has assisted in improving the quality for individual and organizational performance?

In 2007, HRPS ran an article titled, "HR Metrics and Analytics: Use and Impact” in V.27 No.1 of Human Resource Planning. The authors Edward E. Lawler III, Alec Levenson and John W. Boudreau write:

If HR can make a strong case for being an important part of strategy development and implementation because of the importance of human capital, why does HR often fall short of being a strategic partner? At least one possibility is because HR lacks the type of analytic and data-based decision-making capability needed to influence business strategy. One of the reasons for this may well be because it lacks the right metrics and analytic models.

In their response, they address how HR can make a stronger case to be part of the strategy development. It seems that in nearly five years (based on my read of Bassi’s article), HR professionals have become a bigger part of the companies in which they work and more a part of this decision-making process. Do you agree or disagree with this assessment? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Tags:  HR planning.  HRM  HRPS  human resources management  People & Strategy 

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