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Why you need to buddy up with HR

Rebecca Merrett | Aug. 28, 2013
There's an obvious reason why CIOs and HR managers should get together.

One major staffing issue many organisations are experiencing is to source the right IT talent, Guazzarotto says, making a partnership with the HR manager crucial for the CIO. He says the issue is this "old school thinking" about IT, where softer skills such as customer service and business strategy are often overlooked or underrated in candidates.

"HR folk find it much easier to recruit to a skills matching model where they can say 'you need skills in Java, HTML, Prince2, project management' and they can tick those boxes off quite nicely," he claims.

CIOs need to be more directly involved in the recruitment process and act as an advisor to the HR manager on the sorts of skills they need, rather than just submitting a job description and expecting HR to figure out the rest, says director of management consultancy Future Knowledge, David Guazzarotto.

Fischl agrees, adding HR managers can also help CIOs understand how a candidate would fit culturally into the broader organisation and not just the IT department.

When it comes to skilling up his IT staff, Department of Defence CIO, Dr Peter Lawrence, taps into HR's knowledge of available courses and workshops. "They understand courses that are available in the market, they develop some common courses we use across all of Defence, and they can facilitate and access the programs through training providers," he says. This helps identify training that can deliver the best results.

Another issue that relates to staff retention is actually one IT and HR share. Both are still often viewed as the 'rules and regulations' departments with strict governance policies and procedures when it comes to letting employees bring their own devices to work, says Michael Specht, senior advisor at Navigo Research.

The CIO has a detailed policy document for what employees can't do with their devices and, similarly, the HR manager also has policies. Together they are seen to create 'barriers', he says.

While rules and regulations are important, Guazarotto says the CIO and the HR manager need to work together to identify areas where they can be more flexible in their policies, particularly when looking to retaining Gen Y workers.

"There's nothing more demotivating for a millennial after a Sunday night where they have done their banking online, engaged with friends on Facebook, read a newspaper while watching television and downloaded a Game of Thrones episode in the background, than to come into work on Monday morning and have to log in and start working in archaic platforms," Guazzarotto says.

"There's a big push for things like bring your own device. To really enable the workforce to leverage those technologies, we need co-operation between CIOs and HR officers.


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