Repositioning HR function

Repositioning HR function

In the context of last years’ economic environment, the HR Departments’ role has been repositioned, evolving towards a more strategic role, being perceived and acting as real business partners who have been capable to take and implement different measures.

Such measures comprise: assessing company’s business needs and business capabilities, driving internal restructuring and reorganizing campaigns, outsourcing resources and redesigning internal processes etc., measures that allowed companies to gain flexibility and to become more adaptable to continuous market related changes.


HR – A multiple roles business player


Although processes and resources optimization will continue to be a significant part of HR’s role during 2013 as well, considering forecasted budget limitations, HR Departments are expected to assume in parallel some other roles, as besides restructuring HR will have to anticipate the companies’ business needs (Anticipator) in order to nurture existing knowledge, talents and people who make a difference within organizations (Nurturer) and create future capabilities (Builder) through accurately balancing trainings programs between internal development needs and clients’ expectations and by swiftly reacting to continuous market’s changes through setting-up a rising speed for all internal processes (Speeder).


Consequently, in the context of a market highly familiarized with words like social media and high-tech, HR is expected to be in 2013 a-multiple-roles-business-player, finally being and driving the change in the same time.



Retention: A real practice or episodically solution?

There is no black-and-white answer to this question as it has to be differentiated in view of elements like: companies’ culture, policies and size, positions’ levels, companies’ business development phases on the market, business field etc.


Certainly, during the last years, companies, especially corporations, have been progressively engaged in applying different programs that successfully contributed to an increasing employees’ retention rate, programs like: building a healthy organization culture where people feel valued and engaged, giving people the adequate resources and support to perform and excel, developing and involving people in professional growth plans and last but not least, create effective pay-for-performance strategies etc., nevertheless, on the other hand, we have to admit that Romania is still considered a cost-effective labor market, this being one of the reasons that still attracts foreign investments.


To put it briefly, in view of last years’ economic context, the good news is that retention is not reactive anymore, but proactive and it should not be considered an option, but a necessity. It should start with selecting and attracting the right candidates and end with retaining high performers and strong matches and elegantly separating out the non-matching ones.


Indeed, having the right talents on board in the right time is not a short trend or a smart slogan anymore as people are what finally determine if organizations win or lose. In a period when technology evolves from one day to another, the people one hires or does not hire, on one hand, and the people one nurtures to grow and the people one decides to let go, on the other hand, are significant reasons for which a business works or not and consequently reasons for companies to have become more and more focused on applying the best talent attracting and retaining strategies.


Although initial investment related costs is an important factor companies consider when deciding to outsource the talent finding process to a recruitment company or an executive search player, either hiring for hard-to-find-skills or for a top executive role, the-need-for-the-right-talent-in-the-right-time along with, paradoxically, same initial factor, costs, in fact, minimizing bad-hiring-decision-costs, are the main reasons that made companies adapt their employment strategies and budgets to their business needs and choose to work with external HR partners, at least for top priority roles, as finally getting the right talent matters now more than ever.



Employee/ staff leasing



  •  Companies gain time to focus on developing their core business as renouncing the burdensome and time-consuming (paper)work related to personnel administration, statutory declarations and payroll (keeping employee records and preparing reports or personnel related formalities).
  •  Companies assume lower risks specific to undetermined period hiring, risks that are taken over by leasing companies in case of potential layoffs due to bad hiring decisions or restructuring processes.
  •  Companies can benefit from leasing services suppliers’ expertise and legal assistance support in various issues related to Labor Law.
  •  Companies can ensure support for their business development by having on a needed basis the necessary personnel, employed with all legal rights of an employee, without additional changes to their structure / headcounts.
  •  In case of start-ups or green field operations, the initially selected and nominated employees can be hired by a leasing company and contribute to the establishment of the necessary operations and procedures until the company becomes fully functional.


  •  Employee leasing could be used by some employers as a seasonal hiring strategy, therefore some employees “might feel and act seasonally” not investing 100% of their energy and capability as they know they will / might not be part of the company on a long run.
  •  Companies assume higher costs on a short run than the salary that would otherwise be paid to that employee as besides inherent salary related costs they will have to pay the leasing services related fee.
  •  Companies are delegating a critical area of their business to an outsider and unlike traditional hiring process when employers can hand-pick employees and include them in a long term development plan and due to the fact that sometimes companies consider leased employees as project-based solution, employee leasing might favor mass recruitment that not always comes along with highly trained professionals as finally it should be only a short-term option.


  •  When companies deal with high volume hiring involved by a specific project for which specialized professionals or temporary workforce are needed. Most commonly leased positions: entry level (workers, unskilled labor force) or specialists (accounting, IT).
  •  It could be a temporary solution even for managerial roles in several cases: either the company does not have own local office, or its development /strategy needs additional workforce for certain projects, or it’s local organization structure remained unchanged in spite of new developments and has not received yet the approval to have additional managerial roles on own payroll etc.
  •  During permanent employees’ medical or maternity leaves or even holidays.
  • When companies need a higher probation period than the one allowed by the legislation in force, choosing personnel leasing solution as a temporary initial solution and then hiring the respective employee if proving to have the needed profile and capabilities.



An education

On one hand, decreasing the gap between present Romanian educational system curriculum and needed competencies on present and future labor market represents a highly important measure that should be considered as one of the top priorities for the upcoming years. Measures like a proper assessment of the real competencies the labor market calls for and designing and steadily implementing a coherent and aligned-to-labor-market educational system that is based on developing required competencies, rather than the present principally theoretical educational approach, could ensure labor market with an ongoing supply of practice-oriented professional specialists who could have the opportunity, as well, to be rapidly “absorbed”.


Additionally, as many of the skills most needed to compete in a highly technological time are technical skills that fall into the vocational area, setting up new vocational schools according to companies’ activities real needs could be a positive action for both, future-to-be-employees and their potential employers.


Furthermore, attracting, ongoing preparing, supporting, rewarding and retaining well-prepared teachers is a sine-qua-non condition for progressively improving as well the quality of the teaching system and lastly its outcome, future labor force. In the same time, the correspondence between the needs for qualified workforce of the companies acting in business & industrial environment and the qualifications offered by schools, universities is crucial in terms of workforce planning at a macroeconomic scale.


On the other hand, companies need to get involved more as an active partner of the education system by closely cooperating with local schools, delivering information sessions, organizing open days and offering future-to-be-employees work experience placements within the company like: internships, apprenticeships or volunteering programs.