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FullStackHR on a Monday?! Yes. Last week went by too fast. As weeks usually do at the end of each year. It's funny how we humans work this time of year. Everything needs to be shipped before the holidays and the magical new year. Like if there was this magical event happening on New Year's Eve where if you haven't completed your stuff by then, a green elf comes out of a shed and smacks your fingers.
So yeah, I'm late. But that aside, there has never been a better time in HR than right now. And that’s what today is about.
There's almost an endless demand for our profession. With talks about the great resignation (or re-shuffle or whatever you want to call it if you believe it to be true), with a record number of open jobs and an economy recovering from COVID needing our services. I'd go so far as saying that we've never seen such tremendous requests for having HR present and ready to help ever before.
Even before the pandemic, we saw the demand for HR rising. In the boardroom post, we talked about how HR rose to prominence and that many companies have acknowledged this and worked to amp up their HR efforts.
It's a pure business decision. When more roles are done by highly skilled labor, which is scarce, the requirements for organizations rise.
And to get the organization in shape, you need people who can help the organization - enter us.
One of my favorite non-validated data points around this is looking at what the Big Fours are doing. Traditionally, as you probably all are aware, they have offered services closer to Finance than HR. Thus, they have been the breeding ground for many finance people. And they still are. But a couple of years ago, I noticed an interesting trend emerging; they started to hire more and more HR people.
We can only speculate on the reasons for this but knowing these firms; I'm confident it's due to their customers demanding this. (I know that I have at least 30+ people from these firms reading this, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here...)
In my view, it doubly validates our profession, and that's why I like it.
On the buying side, the buyer requests this. It may be the CEO, CHRO, or CFO, but one or all ask this from a partner that usually throws an accountant at every problem.
On the supplier side, these big companies all see the demand side sustained long-term; otherwise, they wouldn't make a bet.
They are not early movers in the area, but they are entering the arena, full force. And I know I'm biased here, but I understand why they are doing it.
Organizations aiming to solve complex problems, but are not people-centric, will most likely fail. And if they fail, then you can have the best accounting practices in the world, and it doesn't matter— people matter.
And as more and more organizations realize this, our profession is becoming more professionalized. We are still a pretty young and new function in many ways, and in all honesty, we've struggled a bit in the past.
We struggled to find our way of working, struggled to raise our voices, and struggled to showcase the value of the work we do. The pandemic has, in that sense, not only acted as a catalyst for initiatives within our function but for our function, HR itself.
Another unvalidated data point is that we are hot in demand right now.
It's almost as hard to hire an HR person today as hiring an engineer.
Let's continue this momentum. Let's try not to lose ourselves in all of this. I've said it before, and I'll repeat it - it's the basics, the things we learned the first day in HR school that will make the difference for organizations—no need to reinvent the wheel or jump on the next fancy trend.
Let's focus on our leaders, helping them create the best possible organizations out there.
There has never been a more exciting and fun time to be alive.
And never a more exciting and fun time to be in HR.
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