Improving the HR talent pool

We asked HRDs: what ideas do you have to improve the quality of the HR talent pool? Here's how they answered

  • “HR leadership has to be really clear in its direction that while technical expertise is important, it must be applied with a broader context in mind.”
  • “Be more receptive to taking people outside of the HR area of expertise. Create a proper career path showing how a career in HR is not necessarily a specialist activity.”
  • “The CIPD needs to develop business critical skills such as budget management, project management and engaging with stakeholders.”
  • “We need a greater focus on metrics and analytics. These should be compulsory components of HR qualifications.”
  • “Early qualifications should focus first on business knowledge, then professional knowledge, and encouraging the ability to translate this into being both business acumen and being human, rather than process-led.”
  • “Either make CIPD compulsory (as accountants do) or get rid of it, but stop having a system where we pretend it’s important, then disregard it for key hires.”
  • “Encourage those in HR to broaden their horizons by having secondments in other fields early in their careers, to understand the different perspectives and pressures in operational functions.”
  • “Get more people from line management who have a genuine and proven ability as people managers.”
  • “Focus on the more important HR tasks to be able to provide quality experience. Provide generalists with the opportunity to work on specialist projects on a global scale. Provide local, international and global exposure to develop cultural intelligence and be the champion of cultural collaboration.”
  • “It’s important for good HRDs to mentor future talent and to make the profession more appealing to talented individuals working in other disciplines. This could be done via job swaps. I also believe re-certification of professionals should be introduced.”
  • “We need the introduction of a specialist HR business school, recognised as the best in the UK, and a compulsory, challenging qualification system.”
  • “Move all talent across the organisation so people gain broad experience. HR practitioners need to be business people first, HR second.”
  • “Provide business experience, develop consistent expectations of the level of commercial nous required in HR roles, manage performance and develop HR more effectively. Demonstrate HR is an attractive career path and challenge ourselves as a profession as to what skills are transferable into the profession.”
  • “We need a strong focus on growing our own, with clear progression plans. To be a strong HR professional, gaining specialist experience is key as it enables you to be a more well-rounded individual who has a greater breadth of abilities.”
  • “There is a big commercial gap in a lot of HR professionals. They may understand theory and law but HR is a lot more than this. Ensuring all HR professionals work ‘in the field’ at some point will support this.”
  • “We need to make the profession more attractive to less typical candidates, attract people with science and engineering backgrounds as well as liberal arts.”
  • “We should stop encouraging people to go from school to university to HR. People who come up through the ranks from HR admin are unlikely to become forward-thinking HRDs in significant businesses.”
  • “Make the qualifications more commercially-focused. It’s easy to do what the right thing to do is, but less easy to make a judgement call between the right thing, and the right thing for the business, weighing up all the risks.”

Do you have an idea about how to improve the HR talent pool? Tell us in the comments below