What are businesses looking for in a director of human resources in the new post-COVID-19 era?

In a digital and totally disruptive environment, the Human Resources function must adapt to new business needs. Knowing what organizations are looking for and what to expect will be essential for the HR manager to differentiate themselves in an ever-changing and more competitive job market than ever before. This was revealed during the meeting “The vision of headhunters on the 10 profile of a director of human resources”, organized by the Spanish Association of Directors of Human Resources, its Community for the Future and Digitization from the HR function and Lukkap, an expert consultant in Outplacement and Employee Experience, in which international executive search and leadership firms such as Spencer Stuart, Russell Reynolds Associates and Heidrick & Struggles participated.

The conference was presented by Miguel Charneco, CHRO of Arvato Supply Chain Services and member of the Board of Directors of AEDRH and moderated by Itziar Nieto, Managing Partner of Lukkap. During the meeting, great experts such as Isabel Jaquotot, consultant at Spencer Suart; Pedro Lerma, Executive Search at Russell Reynolds Associates and Gabino Stuyck at Heidrick & Struggles, shared what were the key trends regarding the new role HR leaders need to embrace and what organizations and the market expect from them in order to improve. their employability.

And it is that human resources managers not only face great challenges within companies, but also when faced with a process of job transition. As the latest Lukkap results show, HR managers’ reclassification time is 9 months, well above the average of 5.5 months. This is why, as Rafael Vara, CEO of Lukkap Iberia & LATAM underlined at the start of the conference, “it is urgent that the HRD function is transformed and supports the transformation of the company according to the new needs of customers and employees, forgetting obsolete practices and archaic cultures ”.

Drivers of change and digital transformation

The reality is that the pandemic has revealed that accelerating business transformation and digitization is no longer an option. And, without a doubt, the director of human resources has to be a key role. In this sense, Isabel Jaquotot, consultant at Spencer Stuart, underlined that what is wanted among Human Resources managers is that they are able to become promoters of this innovation and this disruption in companies, yes, to that “it is essential to lose the fear of technology in order to be able to start making decisions that have an impact on people and the business on the basis of the data”, underlined the consultancy firm.

Likewise, Gabino Stuyck, Executive Search at Heidrick & Struggles, wanted to stress the importance of having the necessary skills to work with tools such as machine learning, AI or people analysis in order to achieve a real transformation. “This disruption is anything but an orderly or linear process. Being agile will help HR managers react quickly and help companies anticipate the future, ”he said.

But when it comes to transformation, it doesn’t just have to be done from one digital sense. And it is that, as it was possible to extract it during the meeting, the tendency is for the human resources manager to increasingly take on the role of transformation manager. Thus, in Stuyck’s words, “HR managers must accompany the disruption from a global vision, also focusing, not only on promoting digitization, but on other needs such as Employee Experience. or the strengthening of the corporate culture in a new environment ”, highlighted the search for executives.

Closer to business than ever

Another of the main challenges addressed and for which HR managers must be prepared, is the adequacy of the field of human resources in the activities of organizations. Thus, faced with such a competitive market, it is necessary for HRDs to have a great commercial vision that leads them to understand the business in depth: “HRDs and executives must add value and this requires the competitiveness of companies, ”said Pedro Lerma, executive director of Russell Reynolds Associates.

In esta misma línea, Jaquotot también reforzó the idea of ​​esta posición estrategica of the función de Recursos Humanos dentro de la compañía, destacando que “es clave que los directivos de RRHH vayan de la mano del CEO y tengan un papel activo en el committee of address”.

Make new working models a reality

Finally, if anything has become clear, it is that COVID-19 has broken with all the patterns established in the habits and work patterns that we knew before. Teleworking, hybrid formats, relocation of work teams… Concepts that have been in vogue for months and which, as Stuyck points out, Human Resources managers must be aware that “this flexibility has become permanent. Therefore, the challenge is to ensure that, in the face of these new working models, companies are much more efficient and can get the most out of the company ”.

Thus, there is no doubt that the role of the HRD will be more decisive than ever in this process of change and transition. “HR managers have a big challenge to overcome: they must be able to define and support the CEO in the transition from the current work model to new post-COVID-19 work models,” Rafa Vara concluded.

From the Spanish Association of Human Resources Directors (AEDRH), Charneco said “Now more than ever, that people management has become the epicenter of organizations, the Association will continue to seek to support associates in the of content of interest and value ”.

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