Which Kind of HR Director Are You?

Directors have their movie making styles, coaches have their play styles, and CEOs have their management styles. Great HR directors also bring their personal leadership styles into the office with them, and the kind of HR leader you are has a big influence on everything from hiring your team to the company culture you build.

Which of these successful HR styles are closest to your approach? Which ones have skills you’d like to incorporate into your leadership methodology? Are there any that would be a great fit with your organization or that you’d look for when hiring your HR team?

The Advocate

This HR director is thoroughly knowledgeable and puts that education to use as an activist for staff and management. Instead of simply offering alternatives, he or she gives a point of view from a position of knowledge and authority. Advocates often act as counselors as well as HR directors, offering advice when asked and challenging assumptions about routines in the workplace. What makes advocates successful is that they temper their opinions with a willingness to listen and a genuine desire to learn. They’re highly respected within their organization, having earned the regard of staff and management alike with their knowledge and passion for their work.

The Curator

As a museum’s curator has extensive knowledge of the facility’s collection and a deep appreciation for culture, a curatorial HR professional is adept at shaping and articulating the organization’s culture. Curators are excellent at assembling teams and hiring just the right candidates to fit seamlessly into place because they have an almost intuitive knowledge of the missing ingredient in any group of people. They’re stewards of the company culture from its earliest incarnations to its future goals, and they take an active role in molding the organization’s brand and philosophy. Curators also impart their passion for the company’s cultural standards to its personnel, inspiring their loyalty over the long haul.

The Talent Coordinator

If curators excel at finding people who are an outstanding cultural fit, talent coordinators are brilliant at finding those whose abilities match job openings perfectly. They do assiduous research on candidates for entry-level positions and promotions, combining the knowledge they gain with dynamite interview skills. Because they focus on polishing personnel’s talents to a high shine, they’re also good at developing organizational systems and processes that let talent express itself to the fullest.

The Strategist

HR directors who see their role as architects of an overarching strategic vision are an excellent fit for start-ups and other organizations with grand goals. Their eyes are fixed on the future, and their long-range vision is keen. These big-picture thinkers take larger business trends into account when sorting through job candidates and giving input into staffing decisions. They also excel at making their visionary ideas matter to employees, bringing them in and making them a part of the bigger picture too.

The Business Associate

With a background in business administration or finance and an instinct for success, HR directors who are business associates are valuable allies for executives. They have a strong profit motive and want to see the organization succeed financially. Excellent administrators of employee benefit programs and careful budgeters, they work well with CFOs to maintain the company’s financial health.

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