The role of the HR professional; – Strategic or Administrative?

Louise Holder, a principal in the employment team at EMW Law and Michelle Theuma, a Director at Onyx Recruitment, hosted a lively and thought provoking seminar on 24th September in Milton Keynes for HR professionals. The theme was “Challenges facing HR professionals” and centred around whether HR can truly be a strategic partner to the business as well as performing their necessary administrative duties.

Louise started the discussions and set out that the ratio of HR staff to total employees in organisations has reduced, with less members of a HR team to the number of employees, which raised the question “If each HR person has a greater number of staff to look after, can they also perform a meaningful strategic role?”

After much interesting debate, the conclusion from those present was that HR most definitely have an important strategic role to play in ensuring the survival and growth of their businesses. In fact the view was that this is becoming ever more true as organisations are having to change their cultures and working environments to attract and retain the best new talent. The workplace is having to evolve and become more flexible to appeal to “Generation Y” (people born between 1980 and 1995) and HR will play an increasingly important role in managing this transition between how things were done and creating an attractive environment for the future workforce.

However, due to the increasing demands being made on HR professionals in terms of the numbers of staff they are responsible for, in order to be able to contribute strategically, HR needs to relinquish a degree of control and entrust line managers to manage people better. This means Managers must accept a new level of accountability for everyday staff operations, within a framework defined by HR, but will need training to enable them to meet those challenges.

If you would like an invitation to future seminars or have any questions regarding employment law, training for managers or recruitment issues, please contact;