In his article “Toward a New HR Philosophy,” Allen (2015) suggests a novel approach to the responsibilities traditionally fulfilled by HR departments. He argues that critical HR decisions should be made by the organization’s managers, while the duty of HR managers is to provide them with the necessary information and assistance. In my opinion, this approach is worth consideration because it may increase organizational leaders’ engagement and motivation by allowing them to take ownership over important decisions and strengthening their sense of responsibility.
When reading the article, I imagined how the proposed approach could be implemented in an IT organization. I think that if team leaders and project managers were directly involved in making recruitment decisions, they would be more likely to hold the hired candidates accountable for their performance. In addition, managers usually have a much deeper knowledge of what technical and soft skills are required to perform a particular job. Therefore, they can make better hiring decisions than HR managers who fulfill a different set of tasks within an organization. The same seems to be true about other HR decisions, such as determining compensation and identifying training needs.
In my opinion, HR departments may conduct thorough research of best practices in the industry and provide recommendations to managers. Managers, in their turn, should make critical organizational decisions based on the provided data but adjust common practices to specific purposes and processes of their organization. One may argue that if managers were making all the important HR decisions, HR departments would become redundant. However, I think that HR would still preserve critical functions, such as providing a stable pool of candidates and developing performance appraisals and employee training programs.
It seems to me that the main point of this new HR philosophy is not to shift responsibility from HR departments to managers but to strengthen the collaboration between the two. HR departments should not be the only people in the organization concerned about hiring the right individuals and optimizing employee performance. Managers should also be directly involved in people development to ensure that their teams do their best to achieve organizational goals.
Allen, P. L. (2015). Toward a new HR philosophy. McKinsey Quarterly. Web.