The Risk of Eliminating Human Resources

Some companies are deciding to make a bold move.  The move to get rid of the Human Resources Department is a risk that some are willing to take.  Companies that desire a flat management structure and want to put more weight and more accountability on their employees are making the decision to go without a traditional human resources model.

 

It’s often said that the traditional human resources department/personnel tend to stifle innovation in the company and can also bog things down with stringent policies and procedures.  The hiring and firing body of the company is looked upon as something that can hold a company back.  Things like mediation and pay issues fall to the managers, and they have to handle the things that would be traditionally handled by hopefully unbiased human resources professionals.

In companies that have done away with human resources personnel, they are turning to managers to handle a bulk of the human resources responsibilities.  The leaders in these companies would argue that there is more accountability among the managers and it also gives them some autonomy to be able to handle the matters that arise themselves.  Unfortunately for the companies that have decided to rid themselves of the “cumbersome human resources departments,” they have chosen to do so at a time when human resources personnel have evolved into something much more valuable. 

Personnel issues are complex.  The strategic map of a company can be constantly changing and matters of personnel tie directly back into strategic planning.  Human resource executives now have a seat at the table.  The department that was removed by the companies mentioned above is the old, static model of human resources, when people moved in to those positions with very little knowledge of the field simply to fill a gap in the company but also did little more than review resumes, interview and move candidates forward. 

In today’s workplace, human resources plays a vital role in the long term picture of a company if utilized correctly.  With ever changing employment laws, background check rules and hiring guidelines, professionals that handle these and other matters day in and day out are needed.  Rather than removing it all together, reshaping the department into a strategic player with a seat at the table is what businesses should be looking at doing.  There is an inherent risk in removing the human resources all together, both from a financial standpoint and a strategic standpoint.  With a global marketplace that includes multiple players in many of the key industries, it stands to reason that a company would want to the most strategic partners to be around the table to assist in creating a long term map for success.