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Simon Cowell in HR?


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I recently read in that 82 percent of survey respondents said they thought the Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol judge, Simon Cowelll, would be perfect for a career in human resources, with half of those saying it was his ruthless manner that would work well in this “hiring and firing” role.

Almost fell off my chair! I know this is a survey… but… makes you think, why?

Well in the words of Dave Ulrich, a university professor, author, speaker, management coach and consultant: HR managers need to think of themselves as strategic partners.

Partner has become the term of choice for HR professionals who help accomplish business goals… turning strategy into action.

Simply put, this is what Simon Cowell does best!

In addition, he possesses the two qualities Ulrich identifies to succeed as a strategic partner: fortitude and discipline. Further, he could likely overcome Ulrich’s five challenges to succeed in HR:

  • Avoiding strategic plans on the top shelf; meaning, translating aspirations into actions
  • Creating a balanced scorecard; meaning, meeting the needs and expectations of stakeholders, executives, customers and employees
  • Aligning HR plans to business plans; merging and integrating plans, thinking, practices and decisions to ensure results
  • Watching out for quick fixes; avoiding benchmarking (learning about best practices) and frou-frou— learning but doing it better
  • Creating a capability focus within the organization; building core competenties and capabilities within the organization—what an organization is able to do or needs to do to accomplish its strategy; HR will identify and improve those capabilities to implement strategy and leverage new products, outputs and outcome

Well, you can read more, and I strongly recommend Ulrich’s book for all aspiring HR managers: Human resource champions: the next agenda for adding value and delivering.

Yosie Saint-Cyr
Human Resources and Compliance Managing Editor

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Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B. Managing Editor

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 18 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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2 thoughts on “Simon Cowell in HR?
  • Yosie Saint-Cyr says:

    Yep… the point was to indicate it required more than just hiring and firing to be in HR by taking DU guidelines and applying them to SC… and showing that it takes more…

  • Mr wow says:

    Interesting as well…but to label the HR discipline of one of ““hiring and firing” role.” …and referencing Dave Ulrich in the same context is questionable.

    If I am seen as the guy that just hires and fires, not only will I fail at being an HR strategic partner to my business, but will lose the integrity of one of my important roles as employee advocate which ultimately places my strategic significance in question….unless I’ve misunderstood the context of this article…