I’ve found myself thinking this week whilst writing my bio for an organisation about the hats I have worn in my HR career and the expectations from leaders that you have to be an expert in every field. In fact as writing this, I’m looking at the eclectic collection of books I have sat on the shelves in front of my desk, for every time I was asked to put my mind towards another people project, the endless hours of research I did to fully understand the topic to consider myself capable to deliver the business results expected from that people project! Not only that, the further eductaion and studies I completed to specialise in the field that I work in today, talent management, 11 years of further studying following college, two degrees and four certifications later!
We embarked on developing our marketing campaign this week for our new product, TalentPerform, whilst we add the finishing touches to our TalentPerform portal, our marketing partner asked us ‘what’s the Unique selling point of this particular product’! We simply answered that being in HR, you draw your knowledge from expert partners in the fields of employment law and recruitment, our aim is that we provide this service and support to medium sized businesses to give them the same advantage in the the talent lifecycle that a large organisation has. ‘Why, would they call you?’ she asked. The answer is simple, I recall the days in the generalist HR role when I had to wear many caps but day to day operational HR always took priority. The additional people projects to focus on the proactive elements, were often completed outside of the day job and took so much longer to implement and embed and plus, I was an expert at that time in the operational HR role, it would have made life so much easier if I could have a resource or partner who I could call upon to guide me along the way in the field of talent and all that sits with it, in the same way I would pick up the phone to ask for employment law advice and support.
My final note to this is, you look at the CIPD competency framework and reflect on other disciplines such as legal and finance, they each have a specialism, legal may specialise in corporate law, criminal, IP etc, should we in HR be expected to have all the in depth insights to every element of HR? I feel really comfortable in my shoes as a HR professional who specialises in the Talent lifecycle, I don’t have to wear every hat anymore and I’m loving the journey of supporting companies in their focus in this particular area!