HR is pink and fluffy? I don’t think so!

Andrea Amy tells us: why HR is no longer the pink and fluffy discipline but central to business strategy

How things have changed! When I first started in HR two decades ago, it was generally seen as rather pink and fluffy – a nice-to-have but a nonessential part of the business. Back then many in HR had been secretaries and it was seen largely as an administrative role.


But, then, progressive companies started to recognise the importance of having an HR strategy and putting their staff at the centre of the business. Now, the heads of HR departments work alongside the operational board to make sure that all initiatives are implemented – HR planning and strategy really drives the business.

Do companies exist that have that old mentality? Thankfully, they are few and far between. However, smaller organisations can struggle with creating and implementing an HR strategy because they can’t afford to have a dedicated HR department or qualified HR manager. And, that’s why our smaller to medium-sized clients use us, because it is a more cost-effective way of managing their HR department.

Of course, we have to take time to understand the business, its strategy and its objectives. For example, if they wanted to increase profit by ten per cent over the next five years, we would need to know how they will resource that; what kinds of skills do they need; have they already got the talent in-house; are their employees engaged?

The HR remit is huge. For every plan or project in the business strategy, there will be an element that HR has to support, whether it’s recruitment, talent management, appraisals, training … we touch so many different areas.

But, because HR is not fee-earning, when companies hit tough times the first place they look when stripping resources away is their non-cost centres. In most companies, the marketing goes, the HR goes, training, learning and development etc, they all tend to go first. It’s not a good strategy because the HR department will help you through the difficult times, tying your main resource – your people – to your business objectives.

To contact Andrea, please email:

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