Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Talent vs. human resources

I like HR people. They're a busy group, as HR professionals wear many hats and often, don't get the recognition they deserve. They also wield considerable influence. If you doubt that, you've obviously never gotten rejected for a position.

Seth Godin, author of Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync, and fellow blogger, has some interesting thoughts about marketing and HR, from a post he put up yesterday, on his blog.

From SG's blog:
Understand that in days of yore, factories consisted of people and machines. The goal was to use more machines, fewer people, and to design processes so that the people were interchangeable, low cost and easily replaced. The more leverage the factory-owner had, the better. Hence Personnel or the even more cruel term: HR. It views people as a natural resource, like lumber.

Like it or not, in most organizations HR has grown up with a forms/clerical/factory focus. Which was fine, I guess, unless your goal was to do something amazing, something that had nothing to do with a factory, something that required amazing programmers, remarkable marketers or insanely talented strategy people.

So, here's my small suggestion, one that will make some uncomfortable.
Change the department name to Talent.

The reason this makes some people uncomfortable is that it seems like spin, like gratuitous double speak. And, if you don't change what you do, that would be true.

BUT... (read the rest here).

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