Meet Our Advisory Board: Jack Bucalo

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Erick Barnes

Jack Bucalo joins HR Exchange Network as a featured columnist and member of our Advisory Board.

Bucalo retired in 2005 as the Corporate SVP Human Resources, Executive Development and Service Excellence at Fiserv, Inc., a $4.1 billion/22,000 employee/Fortune 500 and 1000 international company. In addition to typical HR functions, he was responsible for Board recruitment and compensation, executive development, and merger and acquisition support.

Throughout his career, Bucalo held various HR and management positions at Verizon, Zenith Electronics Corporation, AT&T, Nichols-Homeshield Aluminum, and John Crane International.

He was kind enough to take some time and answer a few questions for us. Be sure to join our growing community on HR Exchange Network and catch all of Bucalo’s articles and insights.

HREN: How, and why, did you get started in the Human Resources field?

Bucalo: I had an aptitude for business, helping others, and leadership.

HREN: When thinking about challenges you experienced in your career compared to those HR executives face today, what has changed and what remains?

Bucalo: The biggest challenge hasn't changed – having the CHRO being considered an equal business partner to the line and finance executives.

HREN: What are the major challenges HR departments currently face?

Bucalo: Understanding the company's financial, operating and strategic objectives AND connecting some innovative HR services to those objectives annually.  Typically, it is perceived as an administrative function with little direct involvement in the business.

HREN: You remain very active in the HR community, so what are the main trends you’re seeing – good, bad or ugly?

Bucalo: Increased use of software, which is good because we can do things more effectively and efficiently.  However, the bad part is that HR spends too much time on these matters at their desks and do not go out into the BUSINESS to find out what is happening in Sales, Manufacturing, IS, etc.

HREN: What future issues would you consider important for HR executives to begin preparing for today?


1. Living with reduced resources – which has been the case since 2008 – so we have to do more with less.

2. Greatly increased amount of team projects and their implications in compensation, training, performance review, etc.

3.  The near obsession with software that keeps HR from understanding how to better serve the business needs of the CEO and line execs.

HREN: Do you have any advice or wisdom to share with professionals in the community, especially those early in their careers who hope to find the longevity and success you’ve achieved?

Bucalo: Get some line experience so you can learn how hard it is to design a good product/service, manufacture it in a quality and cost effective manner, sell and service it effectively to your customers, strategically align the company to your customer's future needs, etc.