4 strategies executives can use to get the most out of the HR department

HR is no longer just about benefits and administration. It is now an extension of a businesses strategy and has become a business partner that can make or break a company.

Business Insider recently spoke with WorkStride CFO Chris Gobalakrishn about the growing impact human resource departments are having on business success.

Workstride delivers employee incentive and recognition software for enterprises.

“HR professionals are increasingly expected to be well-versed in analytics and make data-driven decisions. The finance function was also a tactical one that has transformed into a strategic area of the business,” Gobalakrishn explains.

He argues that CFOs must educate human resource managers so they understand the business, where the company is going, and the challenges it faces in finding the right people and filling the correct roles.

“They should be empowered to be proactive instead of reactive, especially in today’s market, where many employers are struggling to find the right talent,” he adds.

Gobalakrishn outlines four ways CFOs can effectively get involved with HR.

Involve HR in corporate planning processes.

Human resources needs to understand where your business is heading. Gobalakrishn says HR is most effective in strategic areas when it fully understands the need for succession planning, talent sourcing, employee satisfaction, and retention.

“HR and finance need to share information so that both can make the best decisions. Finance works with quantitative data, but does not always have the insight into employee issues that will have an impact on the budget,” he explains.

The executive team should be sharing very specific information with HR such as what resources, capabilities, and skill sets will be needed to keep the company competitive.

Business insider west san francisco wework new office 5104Melia Robinson/Business InsiderHR departments are most effective when they understand the key metrics that are driving a businesses decisions.

CFOs need to help HR hone its key metrics capabilities.

HR does not always have the insight into the key business priorities that should dictate the company’s people strategy.

The more HR understands about the business and its people needs, the more it can deliver on those key metrics.

“Are you trying to onboard new customers faster? Add more prospects to the pipeline? Improve your product? The type and quality of talent HR recruits is essential to achieving these goals,” Gobalakrishn explains.

Hold HR to a high level of success accountability.

Gobalakrishn believes defined metrics that measure success should be a key component to HR management. He argues that the finance function and other departments use those metrics to measure their success and HR should be held to the same type of accountability.

“Sales has quotas to meet; marketing has costs per acquisition; operations has time from scoping to launch or quality metrics. The CFO should push for HR to track retention, measure employee satisfaction, and do compensation analysis versus the rest of the industry.”

Career development should be a key component for success.

An HR department’s success should not end after it has found the perfect candidate and completed the onboarding process.

HR and all managers have a responsibility to help employees with career development, both during their time with the company and beyond.

“The CFO can advocate for employee development within the executive team to ensure that HR gets the needed resources. Because there is often no immediate return on investment, the CFO may need to give weight to the initiative to get executive buy-in,” Gobalakrishn says.

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