The successful HR leader in this environment is one that carries this element out with total humility. It’s a powerful position, you are the moral compass, the filter for when the CEO wants to rant and the ‘face’ of the people in the organisation.
With the last day of school, a quiet calm normally descends over the HR market. Decisions once quick, now span 6 weeks as individuals are simply not together to make their choices. This gives us time to reflect on the post Brexit decision and what impact it has on the predominantly SME businesses across the South Coast. A quiet and indecisive first half of 2016 in the run up to the referendum talked of much scaremongering and the unknown. Now the decision has been made to leave the EU, like it or not, it is a catalyst for getting on with things.
Enter Q3 2016 and the normally quiet period is buzzing with activity. Demand is high and whilst summer has finally arrived, the normal lull in the HR recruitment market is back on hold.
Enter stage right: the demand for HR Leaders in the true sense of the word. Stand-alone, partnering CEO’s and contributing to the direction of business goals and ambitions, ensuring people resources are fit for purpose. The rise in demand for this individual is unprecedented across the South Coast. Smaller businesses with a renewed passion for the direction they are taking commercially, are now embracing the concept of what HR can do and how it will help them to get there.
So what do this new breed of HR leader look like in the world of SME’s? Culturally the cross over from large corporate ‘shiny’ businesses to a very hands-on role doesn’t always align. The specialist roles within HR in the corporate world (C&B, Talent, L&D etc..) doesn’t always create rounded leaders who can turn their hand to all HR tasks. The skill of an HR leader in a smaller organisation is to be able to wear all hats, to cover the full spectrum of HR needs with one foot in the strategic camp and the other in the operational one.
However, the defining trait of a strong SME HR Leader is the ego. Job titles aside, being the no.1 in HR brings a sense of power. You can now change things, influence key stakeholders and peers and have a seat at the top table. You are privy to business information and can shape the direction of the business. You challenge the CEO and question their motives.
The successful HR leader in this environment is one that carries this element out with total humility. It’s a powerful position, you are the moral compass, the filter for when the CEO wants to rant and the ‘face’ of the people in the organisation. Treading the fine line between keeping the business legal in its conduct and engaging employees, driving loyalty and retention, creating an amazing place to work culturally, is a narrow path. Done well, you have mastered what it is to be a great HR leader in the world of SME’s.
Founder and Director of HR Heads. Passionate about the innovative and successful recruitment of HR talent and creating strong, lasting networks built on trusted relationships. Industry specialist for the Hampshire region
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