What kind of employees are employers looking for?
By DIANE STAFFORD
The Kansas City Star
And how can human resource officials help?
Those two questions were chewed on along with the chicken at a recent Society for Human Resource Management chapter meeting.
The answers came from a panel of four Kansas City area CEOs who represented a hospital, a bank, a manufacturer, and a marketing agency.
At the Lee Hecht Harrison-sponsored lunch, the CEOs answered the first question, saying they want:
Key people who share their philosophies about managing and growing their operations.
Rainmakers who produce revenue.
Workers who are willing to work and show up every day.
People who are willing to change and be flexible.
Nice people, because you cant train nice.
The executives answered the second question by telling the human resource professionals its their job to find and hire employees with those traits and to put them in jobs that are the right fit for each.
The CEOs said HR departments also should provide training that increases the value of the people we have.
They told the HR folk to avoid getting bogged down in administrative details, that they have lawyers and accountants to keep them out of trouble.
Rather, they said, their HR experts should understand their businesses and bring operational value to the table.
Those are tall orders. In the real world HR departments get consumed with administrative details. There are plenty.
Its also true that many HR departments not a revenue-producing unit are under-staffed for the companys payroll size. Many lack time or expertise to provide the ideal training or emotional hand-holding that some workers need to be productive.
CEOs rightly can expect HR professionals to be their people people. But theres a problem if CEOs cavalierly tell HR to handle their people issues without adequate funds or staffing to do it right.