Ask The Experts

Line managers as HR managers

Question: For almost 10 years now, our group human resource (HR) department has played the central role in the recruitment and training of our people in all our subsidiaries.

Despite this, we feel that they are not doing a good job, as we continue to face long delays in getting vacancies filled up. Even when they are filled up, the new recruits are short of the ‘quality’ we are looking for.

The consequence of this is a declining workplace effectiveness and productivity, thus affecting the results we are looking for. What can be wrong with the HR team and how can we gear up to do a better job?

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Answer: Like everything else in life, total dependence on one thing is not healthy.

It is even more dismal if everyone else is depending on the same single soul, and in your case, this is the HR department. There is a need to restructure it from its current state.

The best thing to do is to decentralise the HR role to the various departments and let them be accountable for the recruitment of their own people. The HR department becomes only the overseer of this activity in terms of coordination and conformance to company’s policies.

When line managers are made responsible for their recruitment role, they will naturally develop a greater sense of ownership in the proper management of the rest of the people in their departments too.

This will reduce staff turnover, which will lead to greater stability at the workplace.

Most of all, when we decentralise the HR role, it will send a strong message that line managers are people managers and not just technical managers alone.

Indeed, it is high time for everyone to be good in people management, as this changing world requires organisations to zealously protect their good people from leaving for other organisations.

Powerful questions you can ask yourself:

• If there was no HR department, what would you expect your line managers to do?

• What benefits will come out of this?

• What is your vision of your organisation in regards to its human capital?

• How do you want to move closer to this?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with

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