HR specialists – function and fit

The event will be held in Trinity House, Trinity Square, Tower Hill, London EC3N 4DH on 16 June 2010

The wide adoption by HR of the ‘three-legged' structural model has thrown up new challenges, including how best to design and manage groups of HR specialists. We will examine how centres of ‘expertise' or ‘excellence' can live up to the promise, and work harmoniously with other parts of HR and with the business they exist to support.

Who is it for?

HR directors and heads of specialist HR functions concerned to ensure that the design and operation of the HR function is making a real difference to their organisation's performance.

Overview

The wide adoption by HR of the ‘three-legged' structural model has thrown up new challenges, including how best to design and manage groups of HR specialists. We will examine how centres of ‘expertise' or ‘excellence' can live up to the promise, and work harmoniously with other parts of HR and with the business they exist to support.

Content

CRF's 2009 report, Configuring HR for Tomorrow's Challenges, was followed by an in-depth examination of ‘business partnering'. This in turn threw up many issues about how to deploy specialist expertise in HR - whether in medium-sized or large, complex and global organisations.
Here are some examples.

• The role and deliverables of specialists, including the tensions between offering both internal client services and developing corporate policy and processes.
• The interrelationship with HR service functions and HR managers embedded in ‘the line'.
• The choice of areas to specialise in, structuring and staffing issues, and how to avoid these becoming new silos.
• The level and types of expertise genuinely required to match business needs, and the consequences in terms of recruitment, capability development and career movement.
• Predicting workloads and the amount of specialist capacity needed.
• The issues involved in supplementing specialist resource with external consultancy.
• Who pays - the centre or internal business ‘clients'? There are many implications, either way.
• How best to measure and evaluate the contribution of HR specialists to improving organisational performance.What should specialists do to help embed greater expertise levels in line managers and ‘business partners', and what are the longer term implications?

CRF will convene a members' working group in March to examine these questions, and will then provide members with a research briefing to frame the debate at the workshop.