Thursday 17 February 2011

TRU London: How HR and Recruiting can be Strategic


  Oh good grief.  I’m feeling a bit frustrated at conversations at TRU London about why HR and Recruiting aren’t strategic, and why they should be outsourced.  Here’s why this is hogwash (sorry that it’s repeating stuff I’ve already posted on – obviously not everybody’s read it as yet!).

You’ve got two value chains in business.  One is the business value chain which is the one we know best.  It’s the last three perspectives in Kaplan and Norton’s business strategy map / scorecard.  But it’s NOT where HR and Recruiting can be strategic.  More proactive yes, closer to the business yes.  But not a driver of strategic advantage.

It’s the second value chain – the organisation or people management one we need to focus on.  This is about creating organisational outcomes – the human capital I tend to focus on in this bog, and the social capital I’ve been talking about at TRU.  And anything we do here, that’s focused on human / social capital IS strategic.

Anything we’re doing to support the business value chain can be outsourced.  The stuff we’re doing to create and effective organisation can’t and shouldn’t be.

Enough said?


Update – The HRD clearly didn’t agree with me (that’s OK, I didn’t agree with him) – but what do you think?



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  1. Maybe. Here are my thoughts.

  2. Thanks Laurie, your article is well worth reading and it was great to spend some time with you again.

    I still don't see why more HR people can't focus on "strategic concepts such as organizational alignment, leadership and executive development, and talent and performance management" however.

    And if they do - and if these activities are focused on producing strategic organisational capabilities / human and social capital - then I still think they're being strategic too.


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