Management Consultant
Rajat Joshi
Hr Consulting ,trainer -creative Thinking
Hr Executive

Hello Friends. I wanted you all to throw some light on an ideal career path in this field of human resources. Thanks for all the help in advance...
15th November 2005 From India, Madras
Hi Orange,

Hmm..a good question in today's changing & turbulent times..

Officer---AM----M----Sr M---VP---GM----CEO

Here one has gain competencies like :-

Specialised interview methods

Training skills

Business acumen - a toughest one..!!

Have the ability to discern the future trends

Team work

Sound understanding of all the job functions

Well these above are general ones...if you really want to progress then read this article by T V Rao..


T. V. Rao

In the consulting report that created the first HRD department in India at Larsen & Toubro in the year 1975 the IIMA Consultants have outlined the following roles to the HRD function and to the HRD Managers:

• Developing enabling capabilities in individuals and the system

• Integrating the development of the people with Organizational development

• Maximizing the learning opportunities of Individuals in organizations through various mechanisms, autonomy and responsibility

• Decentralization, delegation and shared responsibility

• Balancing change and adaptation

• Building feedback and reinforcement mechanisms etc.

The HRD Function was differentiated from the Personnel Function based on the finding in L&T that creation of a learning environment through HRD tools suffers if the same group of people are to look after personnel (essentially monitoring, control, and maintenance roles) and development functions. It was integrated also into the HR function along with differentiation as a lot of development issues depended on personnel policies and both functions were required to work hand in hand. Since the time India had the first dedicated HRD Manager (L&T appointed Dr. D F Periera as DGM HRD) in the year 1975, the population of HRD Managers has grown in the country. Perhaps HRD is one area where such designations came in the US much after India had them. India took the lead. Unfortunately the growth of the role is not in proportion to the needs in this area. If any, the role of HRD Managers over a period of time has shrunk tremendously.

Today most organizations seem to use the HRD Managers for people maintenance and control roles rather than development roles. HRD roles are supposed to derive their power from their expert knowledge, networking and facilitation skills, and from the employee they serve. The HR Manager (new name for the traditional Personnel Manager popularised in mid eighties to keep up with times) derives his power from his association with policy making, implementation, and closeness to CEO. In spite of the need for competency building in a globally competitive environment real Human Resources Development has not got the attention it deserved. HRD Audit by the author of over a dozen Indian companies in the recent past have revealed that the real HRD Managers envisaged two decades ago are getting practically extinct.

The HRD roles are being reduced gradually to recruitment and retention roles essentially involving salary revisions, ESOPs, performance Appraisal and reward systems. There is very little effort made or time left for competency building, creation of learning environment and to aligning HRD with business strategies. Dave Ulrich's books indicating the changes needed in HRD roles are widely read and quoted but very little of it is followed.

It is in this context worth examining if creating a new Role called Chief Learning Manager or Chief Knowledge Manager will help Indian corporate sector.


The Davos World Economy Forum conducted a survey of how the US CEOs look at the future. The survey revealed that 94% of the CEOs mentioned that globalisation as a priority area, 88% mentioned knowledge Management as a priority area, 79% stated that reducing costs is a priority area, 78% mentioned that creating global supply chains us a priority area and 76% mentioned cross country optimisation of manufacturing as a priority.

Knowledge Management is defined by Anderson Consulting as "The systematic process of acquiring, creating, capturing, synthesizing, learning and using information, insights, and experience to enable performance".

In this way, knowledge management is the engine that transforms ideas into business value.

In another definition, KM is defined as the new discipline of enabling individuals, teams and the entire organization to collectively and systematically create, share, and apply knowledge to better achieve the business objectives.

According to some authors KM is not a HR, IT or other domain but a strategic business development issue.

Organizational learning is a parallel process: a continuous and strategically used process. A learning organization is an organization that learns continuously and thus transforms itself. There are no universally accepted definitions of these terms.

According to one estimate made by Dr. Dede Bonner, President New Century management Inc, USA there are likely to be anywhere between 50 to 250 Chief learning Officers and Chief Knowledge Officers in the world. This is growing. Some of the organizations having such titles include:

• Bank Boston

• Coca-Cola

• Ernest & Young

• Ford Motor Company

• General Electric

• Hewlett-Packard

• Prudential Insurance Company

• Sun Microsystems

• Unisys

• US West

• Pillsbury Xerox Corporation


• British Petroleum

Other titles like Managing Partner of Knowledge Management (Anderson Consulting); Director of Knowledge Management, Knowledge Coordinator, Knowledge facilitator, Knowledge leader, KM Consultant, Senior Knowledge librarian, Learning Coordinator, Learning specialist, Organizational Architect, Director of Organizational Effectiveness. Vice President Knowledge Management is also known to exist. They draw between $80,000 to $ 750,000 a year in terms of salary.

Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs) are the focal points to leverage the organizations' knowledge into tangible business results and to gain competitive market advantage.

Chief Learning Officers are the focal points to leverage an organization's learning into tangible business results to gain competitive market advantage.

These positions are new, the responsibilities are evolving gradually and duties vary among different companies.

Sample of responsibilities for CKOs and CLOs include:

• Strategic planning at the highest levels of the company

• Ability to integrate diverse groups and work across all functions; develop the culture; build awareness of knowledge management or organizational learning.

• Design and implement a knowledge and or learning infrastructure to tie together corporate databases, employees' tacit knowledge and paper files.

• Consulting activities, organizational effectiveness

• Work closely with CEOs

Hope this helps..


17th November 2005 From India, Pune

The ideal career path in the field of HR is a bit of myth.

For an individual, there is always an appropriate career

path in the field of HR, which is a product of






-knowledge development

-skill development

-potential to absorb

etc etc.


The starting block is

-what is your motivation in the HR field


-jack of all trade, but master of none.

Even this will not lead you anywhere, because

even as a generalist, there is expectation that the

generalist would have expertise in 2/3 areas.

IN most large organizations, as people move up

the ladder , say

HR executive>HR manager>HR group manager>

HR general manager> HR director >VP HR

these HR persons tend to lean on 2/3 specialized

areas, for example it could be

-strategic HR planning/ manpower planning

-recruitment/selection/ HR planning

-recruitment/selection/ compensation development


-manpower planning / performance management

-strategic HR planning/workforce management

-manpower planning/ industrial relations

etc etc.








DO you want to work within an organization

for the rest of your life?


Do you want to work independly in your

area of specialization? like

-recruitment/selection specialist

-head hunter

-strategic hr planner

-manpower planning expert

-compensation specialist

-industrial relations specialist

-training specialist

-management development specialist

-performance management expert

-staff motivation expert

etc etc


Even as a generalist, you can go independent


where you employ specialists on contract basis.

The success in the HR FIELD comes from,

not by choosing the ideal career path, but by

-building knowledge based relationship with internal

and / or external customers.

-making HR strategy robust

-making HR strategy transparent

-evolving HR model tailored to each operation

-providing the real expertise

-providing creative ideas

-facilitating real oucomes

-providing collaborative solutions.





20th November 2005 From India, Mumbai
Hi Leo,
I am a HR Generalist working with a Software company with 2 years of experience. Need your advise.
I am good at recruitment and selection, T&D , Performance Management , employee relations. What should be my career path. I love what i am doing, whether it is a HR budget or anything and everything in HR.
In an years time, what do you think should be my career map or path? Which area has more growth, challenge?
Can you please advise me.
10th September 2008 From India, Pune
People with good interpersonal skills, who likes to socialize, are generally the kind attracted to this career because HR is all about managing people. This is just a personality trait which makes a person suitable for this profile, apart from this there are various other reasons which can inspire someone to either take up this vertical or to make a shift to Human Resource Management. One major cause for this attraction is the boost in the job market of HR. In US in fact the unemployment rate for HR professionals is about half of the national unemployment rate, hovering around 4.5 percent. Employment of HR managers is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average of all occupations. Mentioned below are positive market and job growth trends which lures a lot of candidates to take up a career in HR.
From WHS coordinator to talent manager, HR positions can be found across all industries, mainly in medium-to-large companies. If someone wants to work in-house, they’ll be able to have their pick of employer from private sector companies, including banks, retail, tourism, construction and law firms, to not-for-profits and government.
Some companies choose to outsource their HR processes, making HR and recruitment consultancies another big source of employment.
HR is diverse and challenging
A lot of jobs fall under the umbrella of ‘human resources’. But a quick look at some of the roles and responsibilities involved in HR would tell that it’s a multifaceted industry where they can work as either a generalist or a specialist in a specific area.
Their day-to-day tasks can take them from recruiting talented people, to facilitating training and development and changing management strategies. HR is such an expansive industry, the scope for career diversity and expansion is enormous.
Opportunity play a vital role in the direction of an organisation
As an HR professional, they are in a position to make a real, palpable difference. They could change recruitment and training methods, create new communication channels, implement incentive strategies to drive good performance, facilitate close working relationships across the business, and boost productivity and profits by ensuring the wellbeing of the staff. All this and the major contribution made in the functioning of the business brings in a sense of achievement and professional well being.
How can one build a career in HR: An HR qualification can take you beyond HR
A tertiary HR qualification assists in developing the fundamental HR skills and increase the chances of getting a job. Grasping the theories and methodologies of human resource management will help in deciding whether you’re more inclined to specialize or continue to hone your generalist skills.
These days there’s a creeping movement towards integrating an understanding of HR practices into management itself. HR knowledge, skills and qualifications are becoming transferable to other roles – not just those labelled as HR. If you’re looking for a career in management down the track, your experience and qualifications in HR are going to be valuable assets. Certifications could be one way of enhancing this knowledge and adding to your qualifications HR Certification Institute, Talent Management Institute, Association for Talent Development are some bodies people actively take assistance from to build a career in HR.
28th January 2019
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