Businesses across the world are experiencing some of the toughest operating conditions for many decades.  Currently it is difficult for many companies to maintain let alone grow their profits.  What might be overlooked in some organisations is the critical role that HR can play in boosting profitability.  In its simplest form: profit = revenue – expenses

The two main ways to grow profits are to increase revenue and/or decrease expenses.  Focusing on profit growth is often seen to be the sole domain of accountants and operational business leaders. However this should be an aspect of a business in which HR provides leadership and makes a tangible contribution.

Think about it.  Labour costs are usually the largest (or near largest) expense item for a business – and this is a cost that can be planned for and managed.  Every dollar of expense that is saved goes straight to the bottom line (profits).  On the revenue side of the ledger, the performance of people is a major determinant of business revenue generated.  So HR, often considered to be focusing on the ‘softer’ side of business, is critical to hard business outcomes.

AuthorMichael Sleap

Selecting and implementing the right Talent Management System (TMS) to meet your company’s needs can be a daunting and challenging task.   So for those non-techie HR people (like this blogger!), here are seven things you need to know before implementing a TMS.

 1. Understand what a TMS is and the associated jargon This emerging field can be confusing for a typical HR professional with little IT background.  Learn as much as you can as early as possible about what a TMS* is and what the jargon means (SaaS, UAT, SSO anyone?).  This knowledge will ensure that you are better positioned to articulate your company’s TMS requirements, assess vendors’ products and ask pertinent questions to ultimately select the TMS of best fit for your organisation.

 2. First ensure a clear and shared a vision for Talent Management in your company Forget about the software initially – what is your company’s talent management vision?  What processes, tools and behaviours will support achievement of the vision?  Once you have helped create a talent management vision that your company’s key stakeholders (especially senior management) buy in to, you then have the foundations and mandate to find a TMS vendor that will partner with you to help enable achievement of the vision. 

There are many valid reasons for choosing a career in Human Resources as an Advisor, Business Partner, or HR Manager.  However, there are a number of common reasons for choosing a HR career which can sometimes result in a poor fit between a person’s capabilities and interests and the role requirements.  Let’s take a look at them. 

1.  “I am a ‘people person’ ” So you love talking with people, meeting new people and helping people?  Well, that’s great.  But it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be good at or enjoy a HR role.  

The HR function exists as a partner to the rest of the organisation to support the achievement of business strategy. Therefore HR Business Partners need to have strong business acumen and an interest in business performance (profits, growth, sustainability etc). 

Sure, HR professionals need to communicate well with, influence and have a genuine interest in people (but hey, doesn’t the same apply for most jobs?) but they certainly do not need to fit the stereotypical ‘people person’ mold*.

AuthorMichael Sleap
CategoriesHuman Resources
5 CommentsPost a comment

Managers are accountable for leading, engaging and developing the most important assets in any organisation - people. But despite the criticality of their work, in many instances there is not enough being done to set up new managers for success - and it is costing businesses plenty. Onboarding of new hires is a high priority in most organisations but there doesn't seem to be the same focus in relation to people who are new to manager roles (either existing employees or external recruits moving into leadership positions).

It is commonplace that people are promoted into leadership roles primarily on the basis of their technical rather than people skills. Often new managers are thrust into a people management role with no prior leadership experience and little or no management training or education.

An organisation wouldn't put a person without relevant experience or qualifications straight into an important role such as an engineer, accountant or IT professional, yet there seems to be an assumption that anyone can be an effective manager and simply pick it up as they go along.

AuthorMichael Sleap

As the end of the year fast approaches many organisations are abuzz with a flurry of activity as managers conduct performance reviews with each of their people. Now I acknowledge that many people dispute the value of a performance review, but as argued in a previous post, if performance management is done well by a manager across a whole cycle and if it is linked to business strategy, then a performance review should be a valuable tool for the manager, team member and organisation alike (see

In the midst of all this work a golden opportunity is often lost by organisations - the chance to turn performance review data into strategic information.

For the purposes of this discussion let's assume that an organisation's performance management process uses a combination of performance objectives and competencies against which a person's performance is assessed and that some type of overall performance rating is determined (numeric or otherwise).