Smart businesses have always recognised the importance of maximising their most valuable asset – staff – with an effective human resources department. But amid the faltering recovery from the financial crisis, HR is increasingly being recognised for its strategic value as UK plc look towards growth.
To help HR meet this increasingly strategic role, proactive firms should investigate how IT can be used to make HR an even more precise discipline, says Richard Beatty, professor of human resources and leadership at Rutgers University, New Jersey.
“Only 15 per cent of positions – not people – really have a direct impact on the creation of customer and economic value in firms.” he says. “Unless you know and understand where that is happening and manage towards that through the smart use of data and analytics then you will probably under-perform as a business.”
But while Beatty sees the potential of technology to increase the sophistication of the HR, he has questioned whether this “people-centric” discipline has the technical pedigree to cope with a more data intensive role.
“The language of organisations is numbers; HR isn’t very good at data analytics,” Beatty told a recent CFO conference in Orlando. “They don’t think like business people. Many of them entered human resources because they wanted to help people, which I’m all for, but I’m also for building winning organisations.”
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