Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Time has come to evolve or dieOn 11 Jan 2000 in Personnel Today When a Getty Images recruitment advert shunned IPD qualifications last year,a full-blown HR debate was triggered. Here, Getty’s HR director Ralph TriberespondsWhen we at Getty Images placed the recruitment advert for HR people”with teeth” we had no idea that it would cause such a stir.The strange thing is that while there appears to be some heated discussionon the issue of HR qualifications versus business acumen, when you look moreclosely at the debate, the two elements look more closely aligned than onemight imagine. Pity that things got a little bogged down in semantics, then,but it is a small price to pay for the richness of dialogue.The simple position that we hold, along it seems with just about everybodyelse out there, is that in order to be truly effective as a function,specialist HR skills need to be aligned behind specific business challenges,rather than ahead of them. Developing best practice for its own sake looks veryfetching on paper, but really is not very helpful.Sorry if this way of thinking comes across as divisive, defensive orcontroversial, but from experience this is what makes the difference betweensuccess or failure for HR teams supporting organisations where the luxury ofincremental change is the exception rather than the rule.We should be united in a common cause – professional development that placesas much emphasis on understanding and applying: consultancy skills; projectmanagement; relationship management, technological innovation and pragmaticbusiness savvy; as it does on pure HR theory.But are HR qualifications really necessary to prove our credibility? I amnot convinced. I am IPD-qualified, but the people who have taught me most abouthow to build HR credibility during my career did not have IPD qualifications.They were just great managers who fully understood the relationship betweenpeople and business success. As a profession we take “predictive validity” very seriously – soshow me the predictive validity of the current IPD qualification. I am notsaying that it is a bad thing, I am just saying that it might be meaningless onits own as a predictor of commercially measured success in the job. On a similar note, we are currently rushing towards “Chartered”status for the HR profession. But again, what will this really do for us? Myfear is that it will actually undermine our credibility rather than build it.The general business community may lift its eyebrows in contempt if itperceives this as a beleaguered profession creating an artificial barrier toentry in order to survive in the 21st Century. The best way forward is surely to embrace diversity, and what it canpotentially do for the HR function, by encouraging the best people from anydiscipline to join us – if new blood helps us innovate, I am all for it. Let’sface it, effective and impressive human resources management is generally aboutapplying common sense, sensitive, creative, people based solutions in acommercial context. Human resources management will never become extinct as a concept – it hasbecome far too important. Much of what HR people do, however, is betteroutsourced or automated these days, and many of the traditional models andtheories we work to are losing pace in a world that moves faster every day. As the world diversifies any single “best practice” fits fewer andfewer situations. And as we stand together at the dawn of a new millennium, thetime has come to evolve or die. • Ralph Tribe is HR director at Getty Images Related posts:No related photos.