Why we need to have a new discussion about HR

Why the current debate about the ‘HR’ function is superfluous and why a new one should start to take place

By Dirk Verburg

It seems like the Human Resources function attracts more and more criticism over the years. This criticism was initiated by a few articles in high profile publications. The most important are: ‘Why we hate HR’ by Keith H. Hammonds in Fast company,‘It’s Time to Split HR’ by Ram Charan in the Harvard Business review, ‘Why We Love to Hate HR and What HR Can Do About It’ by Peter Capelli in the Harvard Business Review and ‘Companies Say No to Having an HR Department’ by Lauren Weber and Rachel Feintzeig in the Wall Street Journal.

These articles had a lot of impact and resulted in a great deal of soul-searching by HR leaders and HR practitioners. Although critical self-reflection is usually a good thing, the question is whether this is justified merely on the basis of these articles. The second question is whether or not this is the most important debate to have about the HR function now – or are there more important issues for HR to focus on. Continue reading