We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of random animal friendships that don’t typically go together. If there was a time in business when species as disparate as HR and IT might have been as post-worthy as a cat and an owl hanging out, that time is passing.
Normalizing the case for HR leaders to collaborate with peers in IT to improve processes and manage the constantly expanding role of human resources makes total sense. They are both increasingly strategic and visible across the business. Both areas must serve changing internal and external customers at a rapidly growing pace.
With companies looking for problem-solvers in addition to “doers”, HR professionals find themselves searching for a very different candidate than even few short years ago. This means an expectation of leaders to be fluent in internal customer service and better technology to manage it all. The folks in IT have the opportunity to become key partners and change agents in the business. As a matter of fact, the two organizations are birds of a feather that should stick together.
The How and Why Matters
Job seekers in the marketplace want to understand the “why” of their job description in addition to the “how”. Talent swims in a far broader ecosystem. Before, manufacturing professionals worked in manufacturing, financial services professionals worked in financial services and so on. The pool was populated by industry-specific job-seekers. Now they have transferable expertise, bringing skills across functional areas and industries.
Young people graduate with majors like petroleum engineering and robotics that according to Gartner, were part of the some 4.4 million jobs estimated to be created by technology by 2015. So now, you are competing across industries for talent, not just in your own backyard.
All of this puts immense pressure on the HR organization to automate for better operations. Further, if HR is to play a strategic role in growing the business, they must have ways to measure their success. Tools to capture their value enterprise-wide are essential. Leadership must have an eye not just toward the time it takes to hire, but time to productivity.
The push towards loftier goals drives the inherent need to focus on solving problems rather than pushing paper and transacting complaints. The lifecycle of HR organizations in the past were transactional, without a clear path to impact the business. Now they are being asked to have a strategic and transformational role. This is where HR software can service as part of the bridge and it can traverse the chasm between those two end points.
New initiatives require insight into questions like “”If we need better technology to achieve higher customer satisfaction, do we need an ERP system or a point solution?” One may do too much while the other is too challenging to integrate. “Does the internal IT function have the capacity to develop and effective RFP to select a software vendor who will truly understand our needs?” If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to call in an agnostic third party.
The right HR technology (HRIS) can help empower employees and offer a competitive advantage in the war for talent. It will provide senior leaders with the tools to develop their enterprise’s most valuable asset-their people. While HR and IT leaders may not be as cuddly as the cat and the owl, their simpatico is just as appealing if you really think about it.