Harald Schirmer - es kommt nicht nur darauf an, was wir tun, sondern WIE wir es tun!

Questions for HR Business Partner

Time is changing – specially for HR I see many new topics rising. The term „HR Business Partner“ implies that HR acts as a consultant for business leaders. Based on current evaluations, HR is not the function with the most advanced digital know how, nor being the function with the highest interest in it (still).

In my eyes HR is in front of a major decision about their future: Either administer the current tasks and ongoing actions or designing the organization of the future. If the choice is keeping business as usual, I am quite sure, this will end in being out-sourced fairly soon. We already see digitalized, automated services providing many of the HR services at a much more efficient way than an internal department could. Also being able to benchmark various companies (and sell those results) is a great advantage.

Based on my „Digital Self Assessment“ I put together some questions, HR colleagues might want to ask (themselves):

  • What do I know about skills based recruiting (not CV or role based/head count)?
  • Is our HR able to provide project based recruiting – or how attractive are our adds to „free lancers„?
  • What is my answer to a business leader, who wants to have a more team and network based organization?
  • How much know how do I have about modern organization forms like networks, wirearchy or holacracy
  • What is our concept for social learning?
  • How many times will a leader ask me for „digital advice(if I can not give concrete answers, concepts, ideas)?
  • Are our known tools and methods still the best answers, if we accept that the whole environment has changed?
  • How much time do I spend on an average day for learning? (e.g. building media competence)
  • When did I last base a decision not on my past experience, but based on taking the risk to a future possibility?
  • How often am I personally listen to the wishes of new hires – and transforming them into action?
  • Who is my trusted expert for digital transformation?
  • Do I understand the way my kids communicate?
  • How transparent is my decision making?
  • In how many areas have I introduced Gamification yet?
  • How many rules and regulations did I eliminate within the last year?
  • What was my last mistake, which I openly talked about?
  • When did I last ask someone else for help (colleagues, not support departments)?
  • What are my „instruments“ for rising engagement in virtual teams?
  • What measures can I offer to value cross functional teams?
  • What was the last idea, which I realized, coming from another country or culture?
  • To whom did I hand over responsibility even so the person never did such a job before?


Maybe those questions can stimulate some colleagues, to leave our know paths and get curious again – not seeing the current changes as a threat but as a great opportunity! I see many great possibilities for HR as the „people focused“ function. Putting a focus more on culture, transparency and engagement driven mindset, developing and test driving new concepts (starting in the own organization) will build competence and self-confidence in that area.

This is in connection to my Keynote presentation, which I will give this thursday at the 600 Minutes HR Management Event in Munich Hilton Park ( http://managementevents.de/events/600Minutes-Human-Resources ):

[slideshare id=54767690&doc=20151030600minuteshrcontinentalschirmer-151105083158-lva1-app6891]


Many business leaders are ready to ask some of the questions above – maybe tomorrow (I get them for quite a while already).


We better have great, compelling answers,
or they will ask someone else…







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