Tuesday 17 April 2012

#BersinIMPACT: Agile HR


   As well as career development, performance management, recruiting and learning, the two key themes of the conference were probably big data, and agility.

This is Josh Bersin on agility:

“In today’s fast-changing business environment, organizations tell us that their #1 goal is to improve their “business agility” – their ability to understand market changes, rapidly adapt, and operate as a globally integrated business. How can your HR, learning, and leadership programs help make this happen?

Well unfortunately, many existing HR and L&D programs are getting in the way. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit study (Fall of 2010) found that Human Resources is the ‘least agile’ function in most businesses, less change-ready then even finance and administration. The old fashioned processes for training, performance management, succession, and compensation are just not keeping up.

And to make matters worse, HR teams are not always aware of modern solutions. Chief Human Resource Officers tell us that their #1 challenge, after partnering with their CEO, is modernizing the skills and capabilities of the HR team itself.”


Supporting Josh Bersin’s presentation on agility was another from Matt Milbrodt at Walmart.  After having performed the Walmart cheer (including squiggley – well, as a Brit, I took photos of everyone else doing it instead [and I bet Asda staff don’t do one!]) – we learnt about Walmart’s agile approaches to keep up with some amazing growth projects – from a base of 2m employees today, Walmart needs another 4m people by 2013 to cover growth and replenishment!  So recruiting, development, retaining processes have to keep up with this pace.

I particularly liked the example of a group selection process from Walmart Canada in which 9 managers interview 18 associates in one 1.5 hour session.  The process includes role plays and scenarios, benefits, including career etc, and speed meetings and interviews.  Oh, and the Walmart cheer of course.  The process is completed by a collaborative hiring decision.




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