Friday, 17 April 2009

Can an HR professional become the Apprentice?


   So now we know!

The big question on the mind of the UK’s HR media over the last few weeks has been whether an HR professional could become Sir Alan Sugar's Apprentice?  The answer, for Paula Jones at least, is clearly no.  I missed the actual episode of the UK’s Apprentice series this week, as I was flying to the US, but what I understand happened, is that despite putting in a generally sound job as project manager, and developing and selling her product, Paula made a rather unfortunate mix up in its costs.  Sir Alan Sugar commented:

"You are a human resources manager - but you can't say you can't do numbers, you can't do this or you can't do that. You know how to work out a redundancy package on a calculator, don't you?  You made a fatal mistake. You're fired!"


This need for some basic business acumen is something I haven’t focused on that much on this blog – perhaps not enough? – but then there are plenty of other blogs that do.  And I would like to take the opportunity to clarify that just because I don’t post on it, doesn’t mean that I don’t believe it to be true.  I absolutely do.  Understanding the business, talking the language of business ie Finance, are all absolutely crucial skills for HR.  I just don’t think it’s enough, that’s all.

Business acumen will get you so far, but it’s not the difference that will make the difference to the future of HR.





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