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Will Hutton

Will Hutton

Principal, Hertford College, Oxford University and chair of the Big Innovation Centre

Monday 17 Sep 2012
Growth is not dead says HR and payroll firm Ceridian

Growth is not dead says HR and payroll firm Ceridian

Growth is not dead 

We, and some of our customers, are experiencing growth. I know that this may be an unusual thing to say in today’s economic climate, but we are, and many of our customers are too. I don’t mean the 'inching along by the skin of your teeth' growth, but real, double-digit revenue increases. 'Interesting', you might say 'but, so what?' The answer is that this recovery in fortunes brings up again a number of very real challenges for companies and their HR leaders. The ones we see most acutely are two: talent management and analytics 

Talent Management 

Talent management is a clear one. Many companies have kept senior teams and management headcount very tight for some time, and now we are all starting to stretch key leaders and key deliverers yet again. We need to be close to those key people, identify who they are, and tie them in emotionally, developmentally, intellectually and financially. The key HR leaders of today and tomorrow, like the ones recognised by these awards, see this sooner than others and are reacting more quickly and with better end results. 

Analytics 

The availability and use of proper, insightful information and analysis is coming to the fore, mainly as a result of some strong tools becoming available to allow this to happen. What are the implications of this for HR? Firstly, there are now many more facts available to allow you to make progress. Secondly, to make best use of that information and the analysis that comes with it, HR leaders need to consider the capabilities within their own teams. More people with maths, science and analysis backgrounds are required. These skills lead to better analysis, rooted in fact, and therefore richer discussion and more impactful interventions. 

Influential HR leaders of today are balancing their own teams better and having more impact because of it. It’s good to see these two issues now growing in importance. They both signify HR leaders having a key grip on the real drivers of business success and they both signify a positive agenda for change in the future. It’s also good to see that both of these subjects allow the value of strong HR leadership to be seen very clearly, and therefore to drive the board agenda more strongly. 

Nick Laird, chief commercial officer, Ceridian UK