Why Did We Ever Go Into HR?

I just read an interesting article in the July-August Harvard Business Review.

The article entitled “Why Did We Ever Go Into HR” is an interview with two recent Harvard Business MBA’s who chose human resources as a career.  Essentially, they make the case that the field of HR is the “next big thing.”

They argue that with the baby boomers nearing retirement and the Millenials bring new expectations to the workplace, the management of talent is going to become increasingly important.  They felt puzzled that CEO’s that came to the business school to speak shared that they spend 10-20% of their time on this part of their job, but shared little about how to actually do it in practice.

It was interesting to hear their observation that there is a shift away from the monetary levels of HR (compensation, benefits, etc) and a move to measuring the “asset value of human capital” as measured by intangibles such as employee engagement.

They also said that they see an undervalued and under-priced asset in the HR function itself, and that they believe that the value of the function is “poised to appreciate significantly.”

This article is worth reading — in my years of reading the Harvard Business Review, it’s the first article that has explicitly mentioned the HR profession as a whole.

Click here to be taken to the article.


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