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4 elements of a minimalistic HR

1st, June 2014
1 Comment
by Tom Haak
in  Blog


Assume you are new in an HR job in a sizable organization. The contours of the strategic plan are there. As always the key element is growth. By growing the existing clients. By capturing some new markets. By cleverly adding services or products to the portfolio. The E-commerce division will have to grow. Sharing knowledge and capabilities is key. Leadership needs to be strengthened. Internal entrepreneurs are scarce. Etc.
Your assignment: divide 100 points over maximum 5 HR interventions you will start. The sheet is clean. HR services have been outsourced some time ago, no worry. What is your choice? How will you implement a minimalistic HR?
I will share my choice of today. Tomorrow can be different.

  1. Hire some new people
    I would reserve 50 points to hire some new people in critical areas. The most effective HR intervention is still the recruitment of new people. Maybe I will need more than three months to determine where, but often you do not need that much time. Part of the 50 points will be needed to stimulate existing jobholders to move on. 
  2. Appoint an organizational curator
    The organizational curator is a new role. A free agent in the organization. A connector, who travels, talks and connects. Who has the freedom to start small experiments to improve the organization. 15 points for the curator and 15 points to fuel the experiments. Pay back time will be quick.
  3. Install and push a collaboration tool (Yammer, Google+)
    The power of a collaboration tool cannot be underestimated. Implementation will take some time, but when the use catches on a lot of unused potential can be released. 10 points, I hope it is enough!
  4. Design and install a rigorous selection process
    An A-level employee can be 5-10 times as productive as an average employee. Investments in selection are earned back very quickly. My last 10 points go here. The question is what to look for. Making extensive job- and competency profiles does not make sense. Intelligence is still a good predictor. In addition I would look for a way to measure the value fit and the cooperation capabilities.

Would like to hear how you divide your 100 points.

HR Trend Institute

The HR Trend Institute detects, follows and encourages smart and creative use of trends in the field of people and organisations, and also in adjacent areas.
Tom has a keen interest in organisations and service providers that use trends in a creative and innovative way. He advices organisations on how to get more focus in their HR interventions and how use trends to increase the impact of HR.

He can be followed on Twitter (@tomwhaak and @hrtrendinst) and on Instagram @tomwhaak.
The HR Trend Institute also has a Pinterest page.

Tom Haak can conduct inspiring presentations and workshops about trends in HR and how organisations can benefit. The HR Trend Institute can also conduct the HR Trend Scan.

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About the Author: Tom Haak


Tom Haak is the founder and director of The HR Trend Institute. Prior to founding the HR Trend Institute in 2014, Tom held senior HR positions in companies as Arcadis, Aon, KPMG and Philips. The HR Trend Institute detects, follows and encourages smart and creative use of trends in the field of people and organizations, and also in adjacent areas.

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