Another HR Southwest has come and gone. As always, we like to provide a brief summary of what we saw and heard on the show floor from the people in the trenches; after all, you can read all you want about big-data and analyst reports, but nothing beats the viewpoint of the practioners themselves!
This year, three themes stood out:
1. Acquisitions & Mergers. We spoke with many companies that were in the process of, or had just gone through some type of merger. It’s clear that change is still a constant in the industry and companies of all sizes are becoming part of larger enterprises. Those we spoke to said the process was driving a lot of uncertainty for immediate jobs and for how the new consolidated company was going to function. This is typical of trying to merge different cultures, and introduces a high degree of risk to a complex process.
2. Team vs. Hiring Focus. Although the economy seems to be picking up, most companies were still placing a higher priority on getting more out the teams already in place vs. selecting best-fit talent to fill new positions. This is certainly related to the first theme, but also perhaps because HR is one of the departments that has suffered the most from attrition and is being asked to do more with the same (or less!).
3. Lack of Assessment Strategies. This might be better phrased as an over-abundance of strategies because we spoke with more than a few companies that seemed to have an assessment fetish, some who used 3 or 4 different types of assessment. The worrying thing was they couldn’t really explain why they had so many, or why they were used at different levels. I would guess that there was no clarity in the value of these assessments because the only time investment grows “organically” like this is when there’s no scrutiny on why the investment was made.
There’s a lot going on out there in the industry: HR business leaders you need to step up and help your organizations through these critical phases! Please let us know how we can help!