The Four Cs Make Their Way to the Human Resources Field




If you’ve ever been shopping for diamonds or paid attention to anyone getting married, then the phrase "The Four Cs" isn’t a foreign concept. In the diamond industry the four Cs stand for the clarity, color, cut and carat weight of this precious gemstone. But human resources also has to deal with four Cs during the work week. These important ideas include:

  • Communication
  • Clarification
  • Commitment
  • Credibility
Whether you’re working in a recruiting role, a payroll and benefits role, or in more of a generalist role, you undoubtedly have to deal with not only your communication style, but the communication style of your peers, subordinates and upper management. It’s critical that HR works to ensure communication throughout an organization because without clear communication, offer letters can be drafted incorrectly. Benefits that aren’t explained correctly can result in employees with poor attitudes. The examples are endless.

Simply put, if you do any type of Internet search on the general census of employees toward HR you’ll quickly find that many employees lack respect for our industry, mostly because of perceived false promises. We might feel we were delivering clear messages, but in fact we were not clear in our communication. It’s imperative that when we communicate, we make sure that those affected understand what we are looking for. This way, we, like a well-thought-out marketing initiative, can alleviate any headache of the wrong message being heard.

Clarification is a second C that should be on the top HR professionals’ minds. I’ve found this to especially be true in the case of recruiting efforts. Hiring managers and team members may have specific ideas about certain types of individuals needed to fill an open position, and many times there are different opinions that come into play. Getting these two camps into agreement may take many conversations; and clarification is key prior to interviewing candidates in order to streamline the whole process and to ensure the right pieces of information are gathered.

Without commitment, HR would certainly be lacking. It can come into play when dealing with an employee’s welfare, the company’s bottom line or keeping the trust and respect of management. Regardless of what area commitment is found, how HR deals with it and works within its constraints is of utmost importance when assessing our performance within an organization.

Finally HR needs credibility. HR is notorious for being the department within organizations that immediately says "No," and things like "It’s against our policy." How often have we hidden behind rules and regulations without completely understanding that our audience was not even aware of their existence? It’s easy to talk about reasons why things can’t be done, but taking the opportunity to inform and educate is more often a missed opportunity.

HR as a whole should continue to hold tight to the rules that make their organization workable, but at the same time look for the unforeseen training opportunities to gain credibility with their employees, peers and management.

Keeping the four Cs in mind will not only aid in bonding HR as an industry, but will also continue to propel our focus into closed-door business strategy sessions where it will ultimately have the most impact.