Dear HR Executive:
Professor Richard Beatty of Rutgers University has a message for hard-headed business types: Don’t trust HR people.
“They don’t think like business people,” the prof told attendees at the CFO Rising conference last spring. “Many of them entered human resources because they wanted to help people, which I’m all for, but I’m also for building winning organizations.”
Which, apparently, HR people are against.
He also said:
- “The language of organizations is numbers, [but] HR isn’t very good at data analytics.”
- “HR wants to treat most employees the same way, and they spend considerable time trying to defend or fix poor performers, taking on the St. Bernard role.”
Beatty thinks the “employer of choice” concept is another example of soft-headed HR think. “If you are the employer of choice, who’s going to be applying for your jobs? Everybody and their dog’s brother.” Employers of choice attract “those who simply want to find a good place to hide out,” he warns.
He's down on training, too, if it's to improve subpar performers. He suggests firing them and moving on. “Low turnover isn’t necessarily a good thing,” he says. “Think about where you want to disinvest."
And he doesn’t believe HR is ready to handle the really grown-up tasks, such as finding and retaining strategic talent. Companies are better off bypassing HR and putting someone else in charge of that task, he suggests.
So guess what Professor Beatty teaches at Rutgers? Finance? Accounting? Nope. He’s the director of the Master in Human Resource Leadership Program.
Thoughts? Comments? Post them below. We’ll forward them to the prof and invite a response.
Here's a link to an article from CFO Magazine, which covered his speech to a crowd of CFOs in March 2009.
HR Café Training Center