Why HR Still Isn’t a Strategic Partner

9. July 2012

by J. Craig Mundy | 9:22 AM July 5, 2012, HBR Blog

For two decades we have been hearing that HR must become a strategic partner to the business. And the fact that we’re still hearing it suggests that in many organizations it hasn’t happened.

The need to align HR with the business has become more urgent than ever. Financial markets exert relentless pressure for growth, especially in emerging markets. Customers demand more and better service at lower cost. And cost-efficiency, resource conservation and regulatory compliance have become issues for almost every organization. Turnover among top talent is expected to increase in 2012; globalization is requiring stronger regional HR capabilities; and demographic shifts across the world are dramatically affecting availability of qualified people.

Yet, all too often, business leaders still wonder aloud why their organizations even have HR departments. For their part, many HR leaders are willing to partner with the business, but given the unique situation of each individual company, they have little in the way of concrete guidance about how to fulfill that role. Read the rest of this entry »