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Today’s module primarily focused on planning and forecasting current and future employees in the organization. A little, but profoundly necessary tidbit of information cascaded down to us was the Evolution of HR as well, which is keenly followed throughout this learning journal.

In the 1950’s, HR back then was called the Personnel Office primarily tasked to handle administrative duties and clerical work. The 80’s came along and was renamed to the Human Resource Department for professional support. The 90’s arrived and it was upgraded to Human Capital Management for a more strategic role in the organization while the new millennia ushered in the moniker of Talent Management for it to have a more targeted and more strategic role in the business.

I’m speculating that while most local and maybe even some multinational companies still prefer Human Resources as two words to best describe and facilitate core human resource functions in their respective businesses partly for consistency’s sake to employees, the ever dynamic move of HR to deeper strategic involvement is still true and participation is more and more being felt to the tune of operational human resource personnel being pursued by organizations.

During the day, there were also some deliberation involved on whether talent could be taught and learned. Though there weren’t any chagrin to my part, I was on my own conventional knowledge that talent was learned and acquired through an apprenticeship phase. Much to my amazement the conventional wisdom really is that talent cannot be taught or learned. Skill and knowledge, perhaps. But not talent. This class finally cleared my mind, talent can not readily be taught. The perfect application of this ideal is me. Here’s a perfect example: I graduated with economics and financial management in mind. I have learned the skills and knowledge of being a human resource practitioner for more than 2 years already. Talent is something inherent. Taking myself into consideration, If I didn’t have the knack for human resources, I wouldn’t have stayed out long in the profession and just stuck myself with numbers. It’s as simple as that.

The class dived into a learning tip about HR to be more participative in being recognized by different core business entities such as financial publications with HR playing a bigger factor in contributing to meeting and exceeding customer satisfaction, having an impact in profitability, innovation & new product development, amongst others.

How all this translates to a learning journal should be correspondingly also be guided by the company’s goal tree. There should be a clear direction then on what kind of staff should be kept, retained and nurtured. This will be addressed in the following paragraphs.

Currently, my department reports as a functional excellence team to the region and not directly to the country’s general manager; But still, our main function is primarily to serve the business unit locally. Hence, the expectation of this rollup is on having quality personnel within the organization for it to better reflect expectations and deliverables on the corporate level. Competent people are consistently able to render valuable or worthy performance to the company. While we are all dreaming of that, defining competencies can become an overwhelming task unless we establish guidelines for what competencies are important for the successful completion of the job. This is where we should start digging our answers from for this learning journal.

The current workforce in my company could be more or less presumed to be fine tuned to what they are supposed to do in their respective jobs, albeit being a young company with 10 years as a local presence in the Philippines, a strict set of guidelines must have been cascaded down from the corporate/head office to the region and ultimately to the local level. Not to mention the performance management system in place as well as being helped with a plethora of tools such as succession planning, high-potential identifiers datasets, individual assessment forms, organizational development reports phases just to name a few. There are however some employees still resistant to these new tools, that’s where HR is tasked to make sure that each and everyone understands how these tools are carried out from one-on-one discussions, focused group discussions and management meetings are concerned. Demographics do not play a role in judging whether competency is inherent in a company. With the rampant rise of diversity policies in effect, there are simply no room for sexism. Diversity equates to diversity in ideas, innovation and ultimately to a wealth for both stockholders and stakeholders.

However, since the company I’m currently in has not had any HR presence for the past two years ever since its inception, a little data mining and a pursuit of fact checking during the first few months revealed that there could be a sizeable number of people who aren’t perfectly matched for the position they are presently in. Uh-oh, back to the drawing board. It was a timely opportunity for HR to work its muscles and start interfacing current workforce capabilities against guided job expectations. Obviously, laying off was clearly out of the question so the way this was addressed was through training and development with a set of metrics which was set as expectations by each employee’s corresponding department head. As of the department head that was not even supposed to be there, more training, certification and development programs were made to ensure correct skill, knowledge and toolsets were being used for bottom-line results.

That said, the ultimate answer on the type of people that are needed in a company could be seen as a pre-cognition before thinking about hiring a person. Perhaps it’s difficult to hire the best because we haven’t been through the rigorous process of defining what the best looks like. Hiring people with world-class attitudes starts with identifying the people in your own organization who already have the kind of attributes you want. This way, the present organizational culture coupled with all the applicant’s attributes is already a step up in making sure that there will be compatibility on the long run.

More importantly, it is very imperative to produce a rigorous hiring environment. For example, 1) setting up parameters 2) filtering out potential applicants 3) thinking on whether the person will work closely with others on your company 4) identifying dominant weaknesses on your existing team that you expect that new person to fill 5) is he/she trainable etc.

There are a million more questions that can be thrown to every planning stage and it really looks like a tough job, but the results for the company in the long run will definitely be worth it as long as you find someone who will be organizational compatible.

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