History of HR - the move to a strategic function
A brief glance at the history of HR shows a clear evolution from the ‘hiring and firing’ department to an integral business function that is increasingly represented at board level. Nowadays, some of the most successful organisations are those which truly incorporate the values, needs and opinions of employees into their strategic planning process: employee-owned John Lewis is a shining example, having just reported annual pre-tax profits of £306.6m – a rise of 9.7%.
Effective management of a diverse workforce requires varied skills across a number of disciplines including corporate strategy, law, training, recruitment and employee relations. Perhaps contrary to the beliefs of those unfamiliar with the industry, those on the coal face know that it requires far more than simply being a ‘people person’ to deliver real value as an HR professional.