The New Frontier for Corporate HR

Julie Shenkman
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Corporate HR departments oversee compensation and benefits packages, talent management processes, incentives and professional development initiatives. These are all standard practices in many firms drawing top talent. Stand out from the crowd by engaging in four principles that form the new frontier in human resources in 2017.

1. Think Strategically

Businesses develop detailed strategies about how to attain goals regarding revenue, profits and growth. Yet, most HR strategies are only a few pages long and lack details. Corporate HR managers must create strategies that have step-by-step details, coupled with rich data analyses, that compute the best ways to achieve goals. With tons of computer software vendors out there, there is no excuse for not tracking the data necessary to improve retention, employee engagement and talent management.

2. Manage Talent Wisely

When developing a strategy, your talent management dossier should have as many details as a plan that outlines getting a product or service to market. Corporate HR needs to examine value propositions, internal structures and employee profiles. Determine what the market is like for hiring and keeping employees to maintain a competitive edge when developing talent pools. You might discover that your employees are just as important as a product or service offering.

3. Focus on Internal Processes

Hiring top talent is a great goal to aspire to, but your employees need to work well within an organization. Analyze internal processes to see what you can improve. Southwest Airlines hires people based on whether they fit into the company's culture and paradigm to create superior performance. Southwest believes that no amount of schooling from the top colleges can teach people how to fit into the company culture. It took many years for the vaunted airline to develop this strategy, so you must recognize that corporate HR strategies may take some time to reach fruition.

4. Oversee Informal Systems

Thanks to technology, there are copious ways to track and manage performance and other metrics focused on employees. Gone are the days of annual reviews. Constant, regular feedback that you can track is a valuable tool to examine employee engagement, even if these regular meetings are informal compared to regular strategy sessions and weekly meetings.

Incorporate informal processes into your analytical data. As an example, software giant Cisco discovered that problem-solving sessions and networks revolving around customers and teams of employees were just as effective as formal, internal data gathered by the company. These informal systems complemented the formal ones, so managers started to look into these problem-solving areas. The aim is to replicate the success and build on the networks informally created by employees as a part of Cisco's corporate HR strategy.

The new frontier of corporate HR aims to make the department a beacon that helps everyone in the organization work together in optimal ways. Blending technology to track trends while fostering collaboration among departments represents an attainable goal that can increase revenue and profits.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at


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