Time to Reconsider Your Role in HR

For years, finance executives and human-capital management have generally been at odds with each other, as CFOs try to reduce costs and HR tries to improve employee resources. Though various issues may seem conflicted, it’s important for CFOs to remain important contributors to their organizations’ HR departments.

One of the most recent cases where the CFO should have played a more prominent role in the HR department is with a company called kgb USA. The company had misclassified its 14,568 workers as independent contractors and a federal judge ordered the company to pay $1.3 million in back wages. The judge found that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. Though the company would have had to pay the $1.3 million to its employees anyway, had the CFO been more involved, it wouldn’t have had to spend the resources to defend the lawsuit.

The CFO of 2013

CFOs are playing an ever-changing role as marketplace and government policies continue to evolve. With healthcare reform being implemented in the way businesses provide benefits, CFOs must work with HR more than ever before to construct a financially stable yet employee friendly plan. The line between finance and human resources has grown thinner than ever before and is indistinguishable at some points.

So how exactly can a CFO play a larger role in HR?

  • Help leverage metrics. CFOs are naturally analytical, mathematical, and objective people. By using these skills to measure employee performance, workflow processes, and other elements that impact the HR of the business, CFOs can help strengthen the decisions that HR must make.
  • Attract top talent. Collaborating with the HR department will make it easier to attract top talent to your business instead of losing them to a competitor. If the HR department is doing its job right, with the assistance of a CFO, they should be able to not only find the right talent, but also provide the best opportunities that will help them progress and grow in their careers in the company.
  • Measure employee satisfaction. Just as Zappos measures employee satisfaction on a quarterly basis, CFOs should work with the HR department to gauge employee engagement and happiness, which influences overall productivity.
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