The Importance of a Strong Human Resource Department – Business Research Paper(200 Level Course)
There are many facets a modern day business must posses before it can be deemed as successful. One important ingredient of the pie is a strong human resource section. For the last 13 years I have been an executive for Target Corporation; two of these years serving as the human resource manager of a building. Target focuses heavily on the strong development of each team, and team member, in all of our 1350 buildings across the United States.
In this paper, I will discuss the structure and core roles of a human resource manager at Target as it relates to my current position in the building.
To get a realistic view of an HR in Target, you must first understand their place in the building. In Target, there are 5 executive positions, similar to assistant store managers. Each position, although in charge of different areas in the building, holds similar weight in terms of importance and authority. There is a front end manager in charge of the cashiers and food service section. Two sales floor executives who handle each side of the selling floor. A logistics manager who runs the backroom, and an HR executive in charge of people piece. Becoming a store manager requires that a person runs at least three of the five executive positions for one year. On my route to store manager statues, I was lucky enough to be placed in two different stores as the HR executive.
The core roles for HR in Target revolve around one “theme”: right people, right place and right time. As a logistics manager currently, I rely heavily on my HR to follow this theme to ensure my success. It all starts with the “right people”. My HR is responsible for hiring me the best possible candidates. Even for entry level positions, HR executives are picky about the type of people they hire. All candidates are first given a personality test that places them in a red, yellow or green hiring statues. Once a candidate passes with a yellow or a green, they are then subjected to at least two interviews, one with the HR and one with me.
Putting new team member in the “right place” is also an important key to success, for them and the store. I expect my HR each week to update myself and fellow executives as to staffing plans, guidelines and current statues. We discuss as a group any staffing downfalls, problem employees and any areas that extra training is required. The HR then writes action plans and distributes them to us as an executive staff. My HR constantly gets updates from our executive staff on how many new people we need, if any schedule adjustments must be made and any “human” issues that require support from the executive staff.
“Right time” in the retail world is as important as having merchandise to sell. This last piece encompasses two important things. It might sound odd, but retail HR teams have just entered into their own “Christmas Season”. At Target, we have entered into fourth quarter and Christmas is just around the corner. Our staffing needs just went from 125 people in an average Target store to over 200. It is the HR’s responsibility for the acquisition, training and scheduling of all these new team members. Marta McGough, my current HR said “It has always been said that July through October is Christmas for HR’s, from November to January their job’s should be easy if the planning and executive happened earlier in the year”.
The second piece to “right time” deals with the development and promoting of internal team members to management. With the addition of 600 new Target stores in the next 4 years, we are constantly looking for internal talent to be the leaders of tomorrow. It is Hr’s role to coach and train the team members in the building who want a career with Target. My current HR holds many mock interview sessions with team members, trains them on professionalism and grooms them for promotions. The process one must go through to get a promotion with Target is very strenuous. Before any team members I sent to district interviews, they must first acquire the seal of approval of the stores HR representative, only then will they be even eligible to interview for a hirer position.
One thing that I am very thankful for in terms of HR support is what I like to call the “shield”. The HR is prohibited from participating in many interactions with team members such as corrective action and does not normally conduct formal training with team members, they just orchestrate the interactions and ensure that all communication to team members is legal and productive. I personally have the tendency to say the wrong things that could potential put me in harms way with the legal system. That is all I will say about that. My HR I use as a shield to filter out things I can not do or I can not say to my team. The HR role constantly keeps up to date on legal trends and issues such as working off the clock, which has been in the news a lot lately due to our foe Walmart’s follies. A good HR plants their executives and is the little voice in the back of their heads keeping them in check as to the “right” things to do and to say.