GNcareers, from Gulf News

A look at the roles of today's HR managers

A look at the roles of today's HR managersImage Credit: Supplied

Though some HR managers have world-famous certificates like CIPD or MA in Human Resources from reputed universities, they have inadequate understanding of business needs. They feel comfortable modifying HR roles into administrative roles. Most of them tend to work methodically and follow a structured format. Common sense with a commercial approach is required for HR role. Some HR heads fall into the ''power trap'' and ''operation cum administrative trap.'' Most of them reduce their responsibility to mere administration work and spend time on the recruitment process.

I met the HR head of a world-class company from the US. She is a brilliant people manager. She said she spends 40% of her time outside the company poaching excellent candidates of competitors. She meets line managers every day and visits plants regularly. She attends conferences and builds networks to improve professionalism. On some occasions, she visits workers' townships and accommodation facilities. I asked her how she finds time to do office work. She said she delegates routine HR functions to her team. She never calls for staff meetings, and she never supervises her staff.

Beyond HR administration, value-building exercises prevail. One cannot measure such performance but can visualize these values as results. Only a few HR managers have made a difference to their organizations. And there are some significant lessons to be drawn from the success stories of role model HR managers.

I remember one Emirati HR manager, now the vice-chairman of a big authority. He used to go to container terminals on weekends to watch container movements at berth. It helped him understand the job role, productivity norms and workload. I consider him a role maker rather than a role taker. He did not look for guidance from the top management. He provided guidance to the top management and steered the company towards adopting good HR practices.

Handy Hints:

• HR managers should not only focus on the recruitment process

• They should strive to retain and motivate valuable employees

• They must steer the company towards adopting good practices

Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant