HR professionals increasingly important role as business solution partner

Research has shown that while there is aggressive global expansion and changes in market dynamics of human resource (HR) practices, there are still many organisations falling short of true ‘transformation’.

Some human resources executives have realised the importance of recruiting talent management and have regionalised their departments to improve their strategic value in line with their operational and functional counterparts to stay relevant.

Today, HR practice is more than administration. In fact, to keep pace with global trends, their market growth and other corporate initiatives must be more business oriented than just administration.

Many organisations fail to transform because they focus on administrative process improvements, resources and put in charge of day-to-day process management and therefore lack the skills to move to the next level.

According to a study done by the World Bank in 2009, Malaysia has only 28% skilled workers in its total workforce. This explains why there is an urgent need to up-skill and change the entire market dynamics of the country.

Global Trends

Global trends have advanced the strategic role of HR. The same research says on interviews and data collected from over 400 HR practitioners and over 350 global business executives, HR executives are being asked to transform their organisations.

Some human resource leaders lack the competencies necessary to deliver value to their business and this has put a spanner in their works to identify the major shift a human resources organisation undergoes when it truly transforms.

According to RA Thiagaraja, MD of K-Pintar Sdn Bhd, in order for Malaysia to become a highincome nation, it starts with HR. The roles of a HR practitioner in a modern organisation are important in recruiting talent, developing and retaining the competitive advantage to help the company strategise and achieve human goals.

“What some managers do not realise is that hiring skilled talents and retaining them is a cycle that starts from the hiring and development of the human resource professionals,’’ he said.

Thiagaraja leads a team of educators and related skilled professionals to deliver leadership and C-level executive education professional certifications programmes and graduate employability programmes to businesses, government and individuals in Malaysia and throughout other Asean countries.

Strategise the Direction of the Organisation

Explaining its importance, Thiagaraja said as the government works towards a high-income nation, there are paradigms that should be aligned with developed countries and ensure that local human resource talents are fully skilled to better strategise the direction of an organisation.

He said unlike other industries, there is no HR body in Malaysia and this also explains why local HR practitioners need to work with HR organisations overseas in order to up-skill themselves.

“Thus the need for certification among practitioners is essential and leads to the development of a high-income nation. There is a great disparity between skilled and unskilled workers in the country and K-Pintar is positioned to help bridge the gap between industry and talent capabilities,” he said.

HR practitioners, he pointed out, in most companies and not necessarily big companies are having difficulty attracting and retaining talent and there are many reasons and it differs among the different generations. One of the biggest challenges is that there is a gap between today’s professionals and organisations.

And these talents can be further reinforced if staff are equipped with the necessary certifications which are constantly updated and relevant to day-to-day work.

“Hence, HR plays an important role in this current global economy and since the HR profession operates at the core of this global economy, it would help ensure the alignment of organisational strategy with the workforce. This is why we believe that professional certification is important within HR,’’ added Thiagaraja.

K-Pintar’s Role

On this note, he added that K-Pintar is collaborating with Talent Corp as well as the Australian HR Institute to offer the first ever professional HR certification in Malaysia, which aims to enhance the competency of the HR function to better support business leaders in managing talents.

He said in addition to formal qualifications, it is important for HR professionals to equip themselves with leadership, people management as well as business knowledge. HR professionals need to remain up-to-date with best practices and regulatory changes. Other than that, they also need to equip themselves with business driven HR strategies, knowledge on how to build and develop talent, as well as knowing how to anticipate the likely areas of risk, measure effectiveness within HR and communicate changes to the organisation.

Thiagaraja said HR professionals need to explore new strategies to manage talent diversity and new talent, with a particular focus on Generation Y talent within their organisation.

Managing talent is increasingly complex and challenging and this has been further complicated by technological advancement. In order to attract and retain talent, HR professionals need to be more creative, agile and pragmatic in their HR strategies.

“In today’s competitive economy, many are changing jobs frequently; therefore managers need to assimilate employees into their new work environment. So, certification to up-skill a talent is very important,” he points out.

There are many people who do have the handson experience and have enrolled in knowledge enrichment programmes (certifications) to help them perform at the workplace. It is important for HR professionals to have the ability to provide guidance in best practices for organisational effectiveness and development.

Focus of HR Professionals

HR professionals should focus not only on recruiting and retaining talent, but they also have to grow existing talent within the organisation by investing in them with industry recognised and professional certifications.

And in order to do this, it is therefore important for HR professionals to prepare and equip themselves with the right skills as well as knowledge to be more strategic and business driven.

A global survey done by HR Certification Institute shows that certifications are widely preferred credentials by employers globally and it’s recognised by the industry.

So it is clear from the very offset that HR professionals must be a business solution partner within the organisation and not just merely fulfill HR functions.