Is HR really commercial?
Let’s face it, the phrase ‘HR needs to be commercial’ is nothing new. Yet it’s a theme that keeps recurring. Time and again we hear the argument that HR is not business focused enough and more HR directors need to be on the board.
Ellie Rich, operations director at Michael Page Human Resources, comments: “If I had a pound for every time an HR professional tells me, ‘I’m not a typical HR person, I’m really commercial’ I’d be wealthy. However, I could only name a relatively small number who can clearly articulate their commercial legacy. These gems don’t waste time labelling themselves as commercial in an interview because they’re too busy talking about the business.”
According to the CIPD’s recent HR outlook survey, HR professionals know they need to get to grips with ‘the business’. Of 1,543 participants, two thirds agreed with the notion that HR people need to ‘build the ability to understand business issues in my organisation’.
But what does this mean in the real world and for your career?