“…it’s US, stupid!”

It’s the people, stupid. Companies need the peeps. Not only is it HR’s job to find the right people, we have to make sure we (and, more realistically, others) are finding these folks in a legal manner. We have to assess and identify talent, predict the needs of the business, and plan for the future. Ideally, we are assisting leaders in the organization with the process of on-boarding, developing, rewarding, managing, and, when needed, exiting the employee from the organization.

For many HR professionals, it’s the true joy of their function. Granted, some of it remains administrative – job descriptions (stick me in the eyes with needles), posting requirements, resume screening, and new hire orientation+paperwork (if you missed my eyes with the first set of needles, grab a newer, longer set), but it is a chance to truly align a strategic plan with the business. It’s our “raison d’etre” (that’s right, I’m throwing French). Considering our heritage, Workforce Planning & Employment is our grown-up term for “Personnel.” This is the reason the “real” business decided we were needed. We’re HUMAN resources, remember? So obviously, this is the most important function of the HR employee, regardless of level, title, or scope of influence.  But, if you’re planning to test for HRCI certification, what importance does the test place on this category?

For the PHR, 24% of the questions will deal with Workforce Planning and Employment, for the SPHR, 17%  – this is compared to respective 11% and 30% weighting for the Strategic Business Management BOK.[subject to change at any time, reference www.hrci.org]. HR Hardball’ers might respond in some confused, snarkish manner ~ how can Workforce Planning & Employment be the 3rd most weighted BOK for the SPHR (after Strategic Business Mgmt and HR Development)? Aren’t people the most important asset of the company? Hmmmm? HMMMMMM?

This is an awareness issue with Human Resources ~ there is no other area like Workforce Planning & Employment: the HR professional comes into contact with the current (and former, AND future) employee; instructs the leadership of the company on legalities and requirements; creates reward and recognition programs: serves as the gateway and the exit door for the human element that makes a company go. THIS is our area of Strategy. Do it right, then do it better.

The SPHR certification stresses “Strategic Management” knowledge (at almost a 2:1 ratio), as do many HR wonks, to measure the intricate knowledge of business operations & organizational goals. Sorry HR, we ain’t there yet.

Remember, whenever in doubt…it’s the PEOPLE, stupid.


John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder and OH (Original Hardballer); like this post? Try this one, this one, or even this one….go ahead, don’t be a weenie.