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I fired the entire HR department...

Dan_Cardone

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I'm currently in a long term consulting contract with a CEO of a medium sized company. One of the big areas he wants to focus on is getting his company culture right and instilling strong transparency and accountability for each and every employee. He wants to facilitate an environment where the real "rockstars" can rise to top and the lesser talent is weeded out and replaced.

One of the ideas I eventually came up with was firing the entire HR department and replacing it with a new Employee Development Department.

Some members of HR were invited to stay and join the new EDD, others were not.

His ultimate goal is to have a "rockstar" in every single seat in every single department of the company.

Every. Single. Seat.

No "B Players" allowed in his company from here on out.

So, what did we agree a "rockstar" is?

We settled on a pretty decent definition: A rockstar is someone who is within the top 5% of the talent pool at the compensation level offered.

Many things in his company has been revamped to make this a reality, one of which is letting go/reassigning of the HR department.

What are the functions of HR?

"The human resources department handles many necessary functions of your business. It is instrumental in providing labor law compliance, record keeping, hiring and training, compensation, relational assistance and help with handling specific performance issues. " - Source: Chron.com

What is the function of the new Employee Development Department? (Side note: I really wanted to call it the Rockstar Development Department...)

Simply Put: "The primary function of the new EDD is to coach top talent through intensive mentoring, reimbursed off site training, and 24/7 access to top performance based therapist."

My client is investing A LOT of money into this new idea. In addition to providing coaching and many paid opportunities for self learning, the following is being implemented:
  • Employee compensation will be tied into hitting certain objectives and hitting key metrics.
  • The entire interview and hiring process is being completely reworked.
  • Implementing a "60 day test drive" period designed to "aggressively" weed out lesser performers.
  • Revamping the company culture to be more aligned with values such as: Energetic, Competitive, Fearlessness, and Selflessness.
  • Replacing two members of the leadership team with current employees more aligned with the new company vision.
  • The marketing and sales team will now be responsible for finding, attracting, and selling Rockstars to come join the company.
  • Developing an Employer Value Proposition which outlines the value a prospective employee gets from working at the company.
  • Resumes will no longer be accepted and the "Apply Here" button will be removed from the "Careers" page. Interested prospects will be instructed to send a short video instead.
Its still a work in progress but I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

Thoughts?
 

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Tossek

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Oh dear, I hope that you still keep an eye on character. Many top employees are arrogant and if the mass is built to stab each others back to show that they are the best. Well, hell brakes lose.
 
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Dan_Cardone

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Oh dear, I hope that you still keep an eye on character. Many top employees are arrogant and if the mass is built to stab each others back to show that they are the best. Well, hell brakes lose.
Correct.

This is why we are implementing a system that has intense accountability and transparency.
 

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As someone in HR, this is very interesting in theory. I'm existed to hear more once you have more updates. How large is this organization regarding number of rockstars? HR although has made leaps and bounds in the recent years with implementing technology, there is still a lot of admin work. Is your new dept still going to handle those types of requests?

There are mandated trainings by law that companies of a certain size need to implement- sexual harassment training is just one of the many on the top of my head coming to mind. Will programs like these still be in place for your client?



Will edit later when I think of more questions.
 
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Dan_Cardone

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As someone in HR, this is very interesting in theory. I'm existed to hear more once you have more updates. How large is this organization regarding number of rockstars? HR although has made leaps and bounds in the recent years with implementing technology, there is still a lot of admin work. Is your new dept still going to handle those types of requests?

There are mandated trainings by law that companies of a certain size need to implement- sexual harassment training is just one of the many on the top of my head coming to mind. Will programs like these still be in place for your client?



Will edit later when I think of more questions.
We haven't quite solved everything just yet but he has said he intends to outsource much of the compliance training to outside companies.
 

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Sounds innovative! I know I don't have all the details, but here are my impressions. Maybe worthless.

1. Sounds like the CEO is a former sales manager. Sales is critical, but not everyone in the company needs to be a "rockstar." Sales people need to be rockstars. Lots of important functions in a medium-sized company can be performed by reasonably diligent people who do good work and just want a steady paycheck.

2. Actually, to speak plainly, having every seat in a medium sized company filled by a rockstar sounds kind of idiotic as a goal. Like 10x Dilbert.

3. There are a lot of functions that happen within the HR department of a medium-sized company that are boring, but legally required. They don't need to be done by rockstars, but they do need to get done. I'm having trouble imagining what a "rockstar" HR functionary even looks like.

I hope the company managed continuity with paperwork, training, etc. when you fired the HR department.

4. But I strongly suspect it didn't, given the video-only resume format. (Look into applicant tracking, EEOC compliance, etc.).

5. The video-only resume format will repel a lot of top talent, especially more introverted types. Again, I strongly suspect that the CEO has a sales background and is looking for "rockstar extraverts who are just like me." Not necesarily the best formula for corporate success, depending upon the industry.

Obviously, I could be entirely wrong on all this.

These are just my initial thoughts based on my own limited corporate experience.

I hope it all goes well for the company.
 

welshmin

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I'm currently in a long term consulting contract with a CEO of a medium sized company. One of the big areas he wants to focus on is getting his company culture right and instilling strong transparency and accountability for each and every employee. He wants to facilitate an environment where the real "rockstars" can rise to top and the lesser talent is weeded out and replaced.

One of the ideas I eventually came up with was firing the entire HR department and replacing it with a new Employee Development Department.

Some members of HR were invited to stay and join the new EDD, others were not.

His ultimate goal is to have a "rockstar" in every single seat in every single department of the company.

Every. Single. Seat.

No "B Players" allowed in his company from here on out.

So, what did we agree a "rockstar" is?

We settled on a pretty decent definition: A rockstar is someone who is within the top 5% of the talent pool at the compensation level offered.

Many things in his company has been revamped to make this a reality, one of which is letting go/reassigning of the HR department.

What are the functions of HR?

"The human resources department handles many necessary functions of your business. It is instrumental in providing labor law compliance, record keeping, hiring and training, compensation, relational assistance and help with handling specific performance issues. " - Source: Chron.com

What is the function of the new Employee Development Department? (Side note: I really wanted to call it the Rockstar Development Department...)

Simply Put: "The primary function of the new EDD is to coach top talent through intensive mentoring, reimbursed off site training, and 24/7 access to top performance based therapist."

My client is investing A LOT of money into this new idea. In addition to providing coaching and many paid opportunities for self learning, the following is being implemented:
  • Employee compensation will be tied into hitting certain objectives and hitting key metrics.
  • The entire interview and hiring process is being completely reworked.
  • Implementing a "60 day test drive" period designed to "aggressively" weed out lesser performers.
  • Revamping the company culture to be more aligned with values such as: Energetic, Competitive, Fearlessness, and Selflessness.
  • Replacing two members of the leadership team with current employees more aligned with the new company vision.
  • The marketing and sales team will now be responsible for finding, attracting, and selling Rockstars to come join the company.
  • Developing an Employer Value Proposition which outlines the value a prospective employee gets from working at the company.
  • Resumes will no longer be accepted and the "Apply Here" button will be removed from the "Careers" page. Interested prospects will be instructed to send a short video instead.
Its still a work in progress but I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

Thoughts?
I endorse anything hurts HR. Biggest rent seeking assholes.

Let us know what the results are like, will be tough to keep egos in line but with the right motivators this could be huge. Looking forward to the case study.
 
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Dan_Cardone

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Sounds innovative! I know I don't have all the details, but here are my impressions. Maybe worthless.

1. Sounds like the CEO is a former sales manager. Sales is critical, but not everyone in the company needs to be a "rockstar." Sales people need to be rockstars. Lots of important functions in a medium-sized company can be performed by reasonably diligent people who do good work and just want a steady paycheck.
You called it right. He was a sales manager at another company for several years.

When he first came to me with this idea I actually thought he was a bit "overboard" but he is extremely set on this happening. I believe his exact rebuttal went something like this: "You don't find a rockstar quarterback and fill the rest of the team with B-grade talent. Thats no way to win a Superbowl."

I don't watch football but I got his point.

His plan is to implement this one department at a time. He has already removed two people from his leadership team, filled one spot with someone he feels is more aligned with the new company vision and last I herd is close to filling the second spot.

Next is the sales team then the marketing team and then will go from there.

2. Actually, to speak plainly, having every seat in a medium sized company filled by a rockstar sounds kind of idiotic as a goal. Like 10x Dilbert.
Its an interesting (and ambitious) experiment, for sure!

3. There are a lot of functions that happen within the HR department of a medium-sized company that are boring, but legally required. They don't need to be done by rockstars, but they do need to get done. I'm having trouble imagining what a "rockstar" HR functionary even looks like.
His plan is to outsource many of the traditional HR task to an outside company that specializes in that.

I hope the company managed continuity with paperwork, training, etc. when you fired the HR department.
The new EDD department (made up from the former HR personnel) is still handing all traditional HR work during the transition. At least, that was his initial plan. The CEO met with his leadership team yesterday and will continue meeting with them today to hash out more of the details.

4. But I strongly suspect it didn't, given the video-only resume format. (Look into applicant tracking, EEOC compliance, etc.).
Not sure on the status of that. I do, however, know that changing the way interested prospects must apply is a big priority and making the change I outlined was one of the things he was bringing up with his team in the meetings.

5. The video-only resume format will repel a lot of top talent, especially more introverted types. Again, I strongly suspect that the CEO has a sales background and is looking for "rockstar extraverts who are just like me." Not necesarily the best formula for corporate success, depending upon the industry.
A 100% valid concern! I'm not so sure he is dead set on using video but rather is interested in changing the application process to "weed out" those without serious drive. I'll hear back from him tomorrow and learn what, if anything, they came up with to address that.
 

Brewmacker

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Sounds like a really great idea, one to focus on and employ from start-up to success.

Our company recently went through such a change to get rid of all the dead wood, or non-essential roles as the company liked to call it. We lost a lot of good people in this process and a lot of the dead wood is still here.

I am not sure about your legal system where you live, more specifically employment law.

Here in Europe this is an extremely expensive route, especially when having to offer volunteer redundancy packages or forced redundancy packages. I mean in the 10's of millions euros to effectively remove 7-8% of our work force. We are a billion euro company so this has little impact even in the short term, and significant benefits in the long term.

If the HR department you are firing are contractors with temp employment rights, then happy days, getting rid of contractors is the easiest way. Just be careful with full time employees.


Also word of warning, HR are crafty little buggers. They know very well all employee rights, and the contracts actually better than most people in the company, and additionally if they are backed by a works council this could be a difficult negotiation.

I know in New York state you have the right to quit a job or fire someone as you please with out a reason or warning. Pretty savage if you ask me but also pretty handy :)
 
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Dan_Cardone

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Just an update for anyone who may be curious...

The HR Department has been split into two new departments, 1) The Employee Development Department (EDD) and 2) The Customer Experience Department (CXD).

The EDD is responsible for training and coaching.

The primary mission of the new CXD include:
  1. Enhance the customer experience from the beginning until the end and beyond. This includes improving the website, how leads are handled, how customer service is performed and handled, customer follow up, etc
  2. Increase referrals and repeat customers.
  3. Create raving fans.

Traditional HR duties have been outsourced to an outside company.

The marketing department is now responsible for finding new talent and the EDD will handle the training.

A new initiative being considered is to have one hour each week, for all employees, dedicated to strategic thinking. The employees will be sorted into small "focus groups" and be given a paper with 2 - 5 questions related to the weeks topic. Within that hour they are tasked to come up with answers to each question as well as to write down any follow up questions or ideas they have as a result.

The focus groups will be comprised of one person from each department for each group.

The CEO is also working closely with his team to implement a new compensation structure that would tie monetary rewards with hitting goals.
 

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Kevin88660

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I'm currently in a long term consulting contract with a CEO of a medium sized company. One of the big areas he wants to focus on is getting his company culture right and instilling strong transparency and accountability for each and every employee. He wants to facilitate an environment where the real "rockstars" can rise to top and the lesser talent is weeded out and replaced.

One of the ideas I eventually came up with was firing the entire HR department and replacing it with a new Employee Development Department.

Some members of HR were invited to stay and join the new EDD, others were not.

His ultimate goal is to have a "rockstar" in every single seat in every single department of the company.

Every. Single. Seat.

No "B Players" allowed in his company from here on out.

So, what did we agree a "rockstar" is?

We settled on a pretty decent definition: A rockstar is someone who is within the top 5% of the talent pool at the compensation level offered.

Many things in his company has been revamped to make this a reality, one of which is letting go/reassigning of the HR department.

What are the functions of HR?

"The human resources department handles many necessary functions of your business. It is instrumental in providing labor law compliance, record keeping, hiring and training, compensation, relational assistance and help with handling specific performance issues. " - Source: Chron.com

What is the function of the new Employee Development Department? (Side note: I really wanted to call it the Rockstar Development Department...)

Simply Put: "The primary function of the new EDD is to coach top talent through intensive mentoring, reimbursed off site training, and 24/7 access to top performance based therapist."

My client is investing A LOT of money into this new idea. In addition to providing coaching and many paid opportunities for self learning, the following is being implemented:
  • Employee compensation will be tied into hitting certain objectives and hitting key metrics.
  • The entire interview and hiring process is being completely reworked.
  • Implementing a "60 day test drive" period designed to "aggressively" weed out lesser performers.
  • Revamping the company culture to be more aligned with values such as: Energetic, Competitive, Fearlessness, and Selflessness.
  • Replacing two members of the leadership team with current employees more aligned with the new company vision.
  • The marketing and sales team will now be responsible for finding, attracting, and selling Rockstars to come join the company.
  • Developing an Employer Value Proposition which outlines the value a prospective employee gets from working at the company.
  • Resumes will no longer be accepted and the "Apply Here" button will be removed from the "Careers" page. Interested prospects will be instructed to send a short video instead.
Its still a work in progress but I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

Thoughts?
I get it.

Reminds of me of Goldman Sachs and Huawei. They routinely grade their staffs and weed out the weakest.

One necessary ingredient is rock star level of compensation. 6 digits basic package with share options.
 

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