How HR Earns Revenue

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When people think about HR, they usually see it as a business function that is necessary but doesn’t contribute to the top line. With a more holistic view of what HR does and can do, that opinion could change very quickly.

Here’s how HR can contribute to the revenue of your company.

Build an attractive culture

It’s no secret that higher-performing individuals contribute to a company’s revenue generation. 

With our currently low unemployment rate and resulting competitive talent market, you’ll have to win talent using more than money. Company culture is one of the best ways to do that. 

In fact, “46% of job seekers cite company culture as very important when choosing to apply to a company.”

People with amazing talent don’t settle for working somewhere they don’t enjoy. HR can win those revenue-earning employees by creating a company culture that they’ll want to be a part of.

Granted, in this case, HR isn’t directly earning revenue. They’re putting the company in a state where they’re more able to earn revenue, and that’s good enough for me.

Evaluate and hire the best candidates

Attracting top talent isn’t enough to generate revenue if a company can’t spot talent when it walks through the door. 

Evaluating hundreds of candidates is a difficult job, and doing it well is critical for company success.

Estimates of what a bad hire costs are all over the place, but the US Department of Labor puts it at more than 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings. These kinds of mistakes both add lines to the expense report and don’t contribute to the earnings report. 

See also  Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience Platform Delivered 449% ROI

Negotiating the perfect hire, on the other hand, can be exactly what a company needs to significantly increase its earnings; that’s HR’s job. Good HR tools can help, but expertise and experience increase your chances of success.

Discover the root causes of revenue walls

There are “walls” to sources of revenue in every company, and each of these walls has a facade. For example, it may seem like your marketers are not creative when they actually just feel unsafe trying something new.

Teaching creativity is very difficult. Helping people feel safe to take risks is easier, and it’s something HR can identify and do.

The root causes of revenue walls are often a people issue, and who better to solve people problems than HR?

Forbes contributor Sandy Ogg wrote a wonderful article about how the person isn’t always the problem. The entire article can be summarized by this one quote, “The design of the role is as important as the talent you put in it.”

As the designers of roles, HR can see behind those facades, get to the root problem, and solve it.


HR may not get it’s deserved attention in strategic conversations, but here’s to proving HR’s worth as more than paper-pushers. Here’s to the profession that doesn’t just spend money to solve people problems, but earns money by solving people problems.

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HR Tech Guy

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