3 Things CIOs Need From HR Leadership

CIOs and HR leadership may seem like an odd couple. After all, IT focuses on the technical infrastructure and HR focuses on the people infrastructure, and never the two shall meet, right?

Not so fast.

As HR teams are increasingly relying on technical solutions to help manage everything from their hiring to their performance management, a good relationship with IT can help ensure these are implemented correctly. In return, CIOs are increasingly relying on HR to help with challenges ranging from recruiting to managing employee technical needs.

CIOs rely on HR to help with challenges from recruiting to managing employee technical needs Click To Tweet

If you’re ready to step up to the plate and start building a stronger partnership with your CIO, here are a few things they could really use HR’s support on.

1. Benefits That Make the Company More Competitive for Recruiting

Hiring strong IT talent is one of the biggest concerns for today’s CIOs. In a world where companies will swipe up new bootcamp graduates for a $65K starting salary and Amazon could move into a new city at any moment, swiftly adding 55,000 competitive job openings, CIOs are worried about staying competitive — and need HR leadership’s help in surveying the marketplace and advocating for eye-catching salary and benefits.

CIOs are worried about staying competitive — and need HR leadership’s help in surveying the marketplace and advocating for eye-catching salary and benefits.

“Whenever I’m trying to hire somebody, I’m selling them,” explains Dustin Bolander, co-founder of Technology Pointe and outside CIO for 20+ companies across Texas.

“‘Look at all this cool stuff we’re doing, look at how nice of a place to work this is, you don’t want to to work at these other places because they don’t have A, B, and C.’ It’s a job seeker’s market right now, and you want HR to be right there next to you selling them.”

Bolander says this also means that HR might need to reconsider some of its hiring requirements that are preventing good candidates from being considered. One common one that stands out to him: requiring a college degree. “I understand that that may be the HR rules, but by enforcing these rules you’re artificially reducing your potential hires,” he says, citing the fact that many of his best IT people don’t have degrees.

2. Help Fielding Employee Tech Needs

One of the roles of IT is making sure employees are equipped with the proper technology to do their jobs, but often HR is the first place people go to voice their needs or complaints.

“HR is soliciting a lot of the feedback from employees and some of that inevitably ends up being technical things they need: our document management sucks, computers are old and slow, I wish I could have a Mac that works, things like that,” says Bolander. It’s critical that HR and IT leadership work together in addressing these requests, especially in a world in which, according to the a Future Workforce Study from Dell EMC and Intel, 42 percent of millennials would consider quitting a job if the technology given to them is substandard.

42% of millennials would consider quitting a job if the technology given to them is substandard Click To Tweet

Of course, IT won’t always be able to say yes to these asks — another part of their job is managing budget and making sure any new technology is safe for the company to use. In those cases, Bolander says he likes to play “good cop, bad cop” with the HR team, swapping off who delivers the news so no single department gets too much of a reputation for saying “no.”

3. Processes to Keep Compliance Running Smoothly

Especially in larger companies, CIOs generally have to deal with a lot of regulation and compliance requirements that involve following very specific processes. “For example,” Bolander says, “a new employee gets hired, this paperwork has to be filled out, then these system accounts are created, and then we have to audit these every quarter.”

For CIOs who are better at technical processes than organizational ones, a process-oriented HR team can be a godsend.

While these processes involve IT, the function may not always be the best to drive them, and HR must take the lead. “While half of us are very process driven, the other half of us — myself included — are bouncing off the walls,” says Bolander. For those CIOs who are better at technical processes than organizational ones, a process-oriented HR team can be a godsend.

“HR is good about keeping us in line and on task and making sure things get done start to finish,” Bolander says.

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