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HR Trendsetter: Karl-Heinz Oehler, Managing Director, Denison Consulting Europe

picture of Karl-Heinz Oehler
Audio: Karl Heinz Oehler on the top challenge for HR professionals in 2015.

The best consultants are those who have “walked the talk,” and Karl-Heinz Oehler certainly fits that description. Before joining Denison Consulting Europe in Zurich, he served as vice president of global talent management for Hertz Corp., where he led employees through a major change after the company was sold to a private equity firm in the mid-2000s. “We needed to take a hard look at people and processes and streamline everything,” he says.

A frequent speaker at HR tech conferences, Oehler has always been a proponent of involving HR in data-based talent decisions. He overhauled Hertz’s recruitment process by integrating an automated Web-based system, developing targeted tools based on profiles of 47 job categories. He also instituted 30-, 60- and 90-day reviews to make sure new hires were on track to deliver solid results. Over three years, turnover fell by 37 percent. —Desda Moss

Key Trend for 2015

Companies are investing in talent acquisition systems. They’re recognizing that a lot of time is being wasted getting talent on board, when there are already tools out there that can help organizations.

His Advice

Understand that HR is service-oriented. The way to show your intrinsic value is by recognizing the interdependencies between HR and other business processes in order to align services accordingly.

How He’s Making a Difference

I love sharing what I’ve learned in my career. Today, things are changing so fast and people are so vital to the success of a company. The challenge for HR is the same as it has always been: to become business-savvy.


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