I saw a recent press announcement about Krish Shankar retiring from Infosys soon.
Krish is my classmate and dear friend and I wish him a wonderful second career – Shanki, the world is waiting for your knowledge and wisdom in whatever you do.
I could not but be struck by the fact that Krish is being succeeded by a non-HR leader who is an Infosys veteran. That certainly raised some curious questions and thoughts in my mind and wanted to share them here:
Why would a company chose a non-HR person to lead HR? Is it anything to do with the industry? Well, I looked around and found that there is no pattern. Many of the large software services companies are led by HR professionals and in some cases by non-HR professionals.
I then asked myself how these companies defined HR? Are the HR leaders doing and end-to-end HR role or is the meaning of HR changing? For example, is Talent acquisition and resource management not part of the job? Do the partners in the geos report to business or the HR Head? There is a lot of context to how HR is defined and how it is played out – no one rule again. Does learning take a different meaning when technical matters are involved?
Is the job being offered to a non-HR person for that person’s overall development or because they prefer a non-HR person to lead the function or are other factors at play? Is there a view that line professionals are able to bring competencies that are critical in that organizational context?
Is it fair to conclude that below the CHRO, there are almost always specialists from HR in the various functional roles like Talent, Rewards, Employee Relations, Leadership Development and so on? What about their aspirations?
Does the culture of the organization have a role to play in these decisions?
More questions than answers right now.