HR Generalist Interim ManagementWith a number of HR departments and HR generalist professionals still embarking on implementing the Ulrich model of Human Resources, there is already a feeling in the function that we are ready for the post-Ulrich era.

The human resources model

I believe that the basic facets of Ulrich’s HR model still ring true. Which business leader does not want a commercial, relationship driven professional in his or her team, whose specialism is in HR? Surely they should also expect the same attributes and qualities in their other support functions too. The HR business partner model is logical here as it gives direct access to the expertise needed. Drawing on a team of centralised specialists with a depth of know-how in their areas is also sensible.

The HR generalist career development dilemma

The difficulty stems from the entry points into the HR profession. How does a budding young graduate become an experienced, generalist HR professional, who can supply insight and knowledge to their business teams without having cut their teeth across all of the HR disciplines in their early career development? It is a daunting situation, and one to which there appears to be no immediate solution to in the industry.

Is it about rotating through each of the specialist areas with a healthy slug of HR operations transaction support? If so, how then do they go on to develop their client relationship skills? However, focusing on building the commercial relationship alone will undermine their functional know-how and subsequently, the depth of insight and support that can be offered.

It is a difficult question and one that the function needs to address in order to ensure that HR professionals remain just that - professionals in the application of HR management in the relevant organisational context.

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