An increase in process-driven policies and off-shoring HR functions means HR professionals are in danger of losing their close personal relationships with employees, according to SAP chief HR officer for central and eastern Europe Kara Walsh.

Walsh is due to speak at the Art of HR conference in Dubrovnik between 13 and 16 November 2014 on the relationship between art and science in HR strategy. She told HR magazine “the balance between the two” is the most crucial element to consider.

“The science piece is about the ‘what’ and the artful side is more concerned with the ‘how’,” she said. “The art is about getting the best out of people, which requires a lot of creativity.

“The majority of people get in to HR because of a strong people focus. I don’t believe I would be successful if I didn’t put this focus and these skills into action.”

Walsh said off-shoring HR departments overseas and taking them away from the heart of the business risks disrupting the balance between art and science.

“By doing this you risk things being very process driven and losing the human side of HR,” she said. “Science is very important to underpin everything we do but people can’t hide behind it. Ultimately if you use both elements effectively they’re not at odds with each other.”

HR magazine is offering a complimentary pass to the Art of HR conference. To qualify, take part in the Art of HR survey, exclusive research that will appear in the October issue of HR magazine.