HR expertise highly valued as strategic business partnerBy Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
The role of the Human Resources Department is no longer limited to recruitment, incentives and people management. It’s an important partner in every organization’s growth, and should be part of the executive team in the board room.
This theme emerged in discussions of the 12th People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) Regional Conference held at the Radisson Blu Hotel last week.
In his opening talk, PMAP national president Arthur Luis T. Florentin said people management goes beyond the traditional role of hiring and firing and into a more critical role of strategically positioning people according to what they can offer to achieve the company’s goals.
However 97.5 percent of companies in the country still don’t have an HR department. Most of these companies are small and medium scale enterprises where owners assume the role of recruiting people.
“They will remain small if they don’t leverage on their people through HR. HR is very relevant in increasing revenue for emerging markets or product innovation because, after all, we are employing people and it’s the people who are working to achieve our goals,” said Florentin.
The new role of HR is that of strategic adviser, the talent architect of an organization, counselor, confidant and coach of all employees including top level managers, a leader of a company’s HR functions and the liaison to the board. This is why HR should be represented in the board room.
Jay Aldeguer, Islands Group of Companies chairman, one of four executives in a panel discussion, agreed.
“HR having a seat in the boardroom is a must. I consider my HR head my wing man, who takes care of recruitment and head hunting as well as reinforcing and cultivating the culture in our company that we want to have as a tourism champion,” said Aldeguer.
Bunny Pages, chairman of Pages Holdings Inc., gave credit to HR for the success of his companies which includes restaurant chain Mooon Cafe and Thirsty juice stalls.
“Restriction of growth is not because of lack of capital but because of lack of the right people. HR is very important to grow in business and I give credit to my HR team for the success of our companies. I believe in putting the right people on the bus,” said Pages.
Beverly M. Dayanan, president of Contempo Property Holdings, Inc., said that HR is the heart and hand of the organization. To succeed in business, it is also wise to “put a little more of the heart (HR) in the head (board of directors).”
For HR to be a more respected and credible unit in the company, and earn a board seat, the HR practitioners should also think more about the business, how the company is earning and how his department can help achieve these goals.
According to R.L. Bandy, president of Lexmark Research and Development Corp., he expects HR to also have broad experience, understand multiracial issues, speak like a CEO, demonstrate analytical and numerical skills and live the values of the organization.
Alfonso Gonzales, chairman of Telemark Corp. which owns Qualfon Philippines, said their organization engages HR in all their operations because they believe that people are their real asset especially that they are in the customer service business.
PMAP Cebu president Jonah Lafuente encouraged participants to learn more from the forum and from each other especially with Cebu’s standing as a fast-growing metropolis with many new companies cropping up or relocating here for expansion.
Aside from the CEO Forum, breakout sessions were held on “Branding Through People: Building Your Walking BillBoard” “Attracting the Right Talents” and “Performance Management”.