Summary:

For organizations to successfully recruit and retain the best people, human resources departments must move beyond the typical command-and control management structure and unleash their people and processes, according to speakers at GigaOM’s Net:Work conference.

Daniel Debow and Philip Korn

For organizations to successfully recruit and retain the best people, human resources departments must encourage employees to work in the ways they choose, and with the tools they prefer. Traditional command-and-control, top-down human resources management systems are breaking down in this era of social networks, according to Daniel Debow of Rypple, Philip Korn of TriNet and Glenn Solomon of GGV Capital, who discussed the subject at GigaOM’s Net:Work conference in San Francisco.

Forward-looking HR departments know that if they are to remain relevant, they must stop being “terrified of social networking” and must change their role to one of “unleashing people.” In doing this crucial role, Debow said, they help to build a “great culture” that helps an organization acquire and retain outstanding employees. For Solomon, modern HR is about motivating people, which aids recruitment and retention.

According to Korn, crowdsourcing within an organization can be an efficient way to find the best hires, which, Debow said, lets HR departments shift to an entrepreneurial focus on motivating people, coaching, developing leadership and succession planning, rather than the traditional compliance roles.

Successful HR departments should also get rid of what Debow called “archaic technologies” like paper forms, records and policies. He pointed to Netflix, which has no vacation policy, but instead measures employee performance through outcomes. Korn added that employees expect to find such items as W-2 forms online, and that they want obtaining such records to be as easy as ordering from Amazon.com.

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