The HR Purge — What Would You Change?

June 18th, 2013
Jim Nesbitt
Recruiting Teams

A recent and successful Hollywood movie, “The Purge”, taps audience fears by questioning society’s reaction to criminals having a 12-hour window with no consequences.  After digesting the concept of the police not responding, hospitals being closed and contemplating the ability to confirm my car’s top speed, I thought about how we can apply this concept to business – and specifically, to HR.

If you could clean-sheet your HR function, or maybe just a process, procedure or policy and have no concern of internal politics, your company’s conservative history or risking your quarterly MBO incentive, what would you change?  Pause, read that last sentence again and digest it.  Now take a deep breath and let some wild and game changing ideas fly.  If they won’t surprise a few of your candidates, stir up your employees or make leadership release a verbal “whoa”, try again.  Come on the traditional HR function needs to be shaken up!  I’ll break the ice with a few that originate from my tenure as an HR practitioner.

You can picture this easy one say no to generating that same old report every week… you know, the one someone asked you for 5 years ago.  Did anyone notice or complain they missed it?  Or my recent HR pet peeve compensation. 

HR spends hours and countless dollars working on internal programs and deploying technology to differentiate between someone getting a 2.1% increase versus a “top” performer getting 2.8?  In the U.S., merit raises have become entitlements.  So let’s be done with merit, call it a COLA (a one line email from the CFO to payroll “2.5% across the board”) and spend our time building easy-to-administer incentive plans that recognize and retain top performers. 

Now a biggie let’s stop providing benefits to our employees.  And I don’t mean change the plan or “upgrade” your BPO provider… I mean eliminate.  Imagine the weight lifted off of HR if you didn’t have to manage benefits!  Too many regulations, a huge tactical HR distraction and way too much money spent on compliance. Give each employee a set dollar amount; educate them on being a benefits consumer and tee up some providers at group rates.  And don’t forget to encourage the employees to buy medical insurance and not a new car!

The moratorium is still on… what will you change?