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Susan M. Heathfield

Do You Hate HR?

By October 21, 2013

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In a blog post awhile back, I talked about why everyone hates HR. I had had an interesting discussion with a client, to whom I had recommended hiring an HR Director, and she asked me that question in regard to her staff. She said, "Do they 'really' want an HR Director? They should be careful what they wish for. After all, everybody hates HR."

As always, when I receive interesting questions, I share them with you. This particular post is still generating responses and comments, so I thought I'd pull it forward to the Human Resources site homepage.

A post by Joshua says:

"I've never had a positive interaction with Human Resources.

"It starts with annoyance. In the technology field, HR is the department that stays firmly mired in the 80s with everything on paper, using outmoded forms, usually with false information and always requiring signature after signature for things which are unlawful, overreaching, counterfactual or frivolous.

"It reaches into unease. HR staff feel the need to put a 'friendly face' on all interactions, empathizing and finding common ground with employee concerns. However, they do not work with other employees on a regular basis, so they're empathetic strangers. It rings false, and no bond can be established on this basis.

"But it's much worse than that. Human Resources always sides with corporate interests. If there's a legal concern, such as a legitimate harassment situation, Human Resources will act as a mock support system for the involved parties, but ultimately act to protect the organization from perceived threats which may never be released at the expense of providing a healing resolution for anyone. It can be even worse, where the interests of the employee are simply snubbed entirely for bureaucratic reasons. Human Resources claims to be the advocate of employees, wanting to nourish and invest in them, but they have no structural accountability to the employees, so it's all a sham.

"Lastly Human Resources typically oversees the sham of 'performance reviews' which try to bottle useful feedback into stilted low-utility meetings that happen quarterly. In healthy organizations these systems actually work counter to healthy communication. They stifle feedback on areas for improvement, by channelling communication into a disciplinarian session instead of food for thought and growth.

"In short HR is symptomatic of what is unhealthy in American business culture."

Do Joshua's comments ring true with you?

Image Copyright istockphoto / Mary Gascho

Comments
May 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm
(1) DeniseD says:

The thing is, I don’t think you start out hating HR. I think I took HR for granted when everything was going smoothly. It wasn’t until I had a horrible HR person that I began to be leary. At my last job the HR Manager was a total incompetent. Morale was horrible, management was worse, and our turnover rate should have been an embarassment to her. Instead of adressing the problems in real ways, her answer was to plan potlucks, send flowery emails and basically ignore the elephant in the room. She single handedly ruined my HR experience. That said, if I ever re-enter the workforce as an employee, I will never take a good HR Manager for granted again.

May 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm
(2) Currently unemployed says:

I agree with Joshua. In a work dispute, you are compelled by their rules and by other government organizations (like state Human Rights, EEOC, etc) that seem to insist that you report your complaint to HR for it to have a legitimacy. You do this only to find later that they will (of course) lie to these organizations that you ever even reported it at all. Keep everything in writing because the HR people who seemed oh, so sympathetic to you while you were in the situation will LIE-LIE-LIE even under oath that they were never informed of your problem (although you have copies of emails proving otherwise) and when they found out it was a “he said–she said” situation even if the same had also happened to other employees. After I was forced out of my company for filing a complaint of sexual harassment I read that some HR people make in excess of $75,000/year which might explain why they are such sell-outs.

May 9, 2009 at 11:23 pm
(3) ana says:

I agree! I was actually looking to see if there was anyone who’s ever had a good experience with HR because I never had and am in an unequal situation at the moment. I feel helpless and trapped. Logically this is a situation I should be able to go to HR to but they only care about the corporate needs which are usually “get rid of anyone who spills the beans”. I don’t understand why it’s easier to ruin someone then be fair and then the company wonders why the compelling feeling to sue. It seems that drastic measures are the only way to bring injustices to light because it’s to hard for corporate america to be fair in the first place.

May 10, 2009 at 8:41 am
(4) Cristina says:

Hello, everybody! I am quite ashamed of what I read about HR. I work in HR in a company in Europe and I can tell you a lot of situations in which we worked very hard to help people who were unfairly treated by their boss and I often worked late at night or during the week-end to help people in other departments meet their deadlines (with translations, building PowerPoint presentation, etc.). I asked around and my friends have bad experiences but also nice ones with the HR members in the companies they work for.
It is true that in my country lawsuits don’t often happen so we are more relaxed when interacting with our co-workers and we try to do the right thing (sometimes the senior management in my company mock HR solutions because they are too people orientated). I hope you will all get a chance to have good HR experiences soon…it is possible! :)

May 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm
(5) Robin says:

Dear, I support you. I am a HR from China.

July 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm
(6) Steven Gerson says:

Only HRs will support you people, you should get feedback from other employees, that makes the reality…

November 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm
(7) Jerry says:

That smiley face at the end of your comment sums of the existence of HR perfectly.

May 10, 2009 at 10:27 am
(8) Hershey says:

I don’t think it is about hating Hr.What I think is when you go to Hr with your concerns,you are thinking they will help you navigate the politics of an organization. What I experienced is, instead of helping you they are busy sending documentation to the Corporate legal department to ensure the company doesn’t face any litigation. My recommendation to anyone in Hr is not to engage in petty politics, but use your energy to provide training, information on career direction and other motivational factors and you will not have to contact Corporate Legal, because you will have a highly engaged workforce that will look out for the best interest of the corporation, because the corporation looked out for you.

May 10, 2009 at 11:01 am
(9) ted says:

Joshua’s description of HR is exactly my experience with most HR departments. I spent a career working for a state government and I now work for a state employee organization. Most every Department I’ve dealt with blindly errors with managers and the buracracy, even when the employee is clearly in the right. I’m aways amazed because this approach alway causes the situation to escalate. For serious situations, I’ve even seen it lead to legal, court and even federal intervention, where the state department pays dearly in the end for a situation that could have been resolved internally by the HR Department – if they had only given serious consideration to what the employee was saying early on.

May 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(10) donna says:

I’d like to hear more about what HR should be, either from people who have had positive experiences, or from people who would be willing to share specifically what HR could have done differently to not be “hated.” How can HR change the Dogbert image?

May 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm
(11) Cathy says:

I’m an HR Administator for a small non-profit and when I got here all I heard from the employees was “I’m so glad you’re here”. It was a great feeling because I knew they had been neglected for so long (they previously had no HR department, ever). I help them with insurance, pay issues, I find free benefits for them, I’ve updated all the HR systems, wrote new handbooks and yes had to tell some of them that they needed to change their ways! It is extremely difficult to serve employees and employer at the same time in some situations, but the day to day help I provide serves both the employee and the employer. For major issues it is imperitive that HR provides documentation and protects the employer from lawsuits. I believe that the federal and state employment laws protect employees and a good HR professional will stay within those guidelines. At the same time a lawsuit can put a small organization under and by doing so put many people out of a job.
The employment laws are very complicated and sometimes believe it or not will “tie” the hands of an employer who is trying to do right by the employee. I’ve had a case where an employee was very sick and would not except accomodations and would not ask for leave. We continually offered paid time off, reduction in work load, all kinds of accommodations but she refused thinking her job would be in jepardy…well guess what… she eventually became unable to do her job. Should she sue us for wrongful termination?
My employees have had to understand documentation and that the law requires all kinds of reporting, but I help them through it and they appreciate it. I’ve also tried to let them know that these laws were passed for their protection. I still get the “I’m so glad you are here” so I guess I’m doing my job. I’m sorry so many of you have had bad experiences, so if you run into a good HR person, please let them know how much you appreciate them.

May 11, 2009 at 2:14 am
(12) Marlene Ward says:

I have been a trainer/facilitator for the past 14 years. My biggest problem has been the “power” HR personnel have to decide on required training programmes.HR personnel are simply the inter-face, and know little or nothing about the situations requiring interventions.On the occasions when I get to deal directly with the managers requiring the training I can demonstrate how my programmes will fulfill their needs and I get the contract.

May 11, 2009 at 3:00 am
(13) Rifaat Jafari says:

Susan, About.com is a very valuable and informative service that you are providing that certainly helps me in my HR function. As for Joshua’s comments, ultimately, yes HR would have to protect, support the organisation, however a good HR executive will ensure that problems relating to safety, harrassment, unfair treatment, compensation & benefits etc. are addressed effectively and where necessary ensure a healthy environment is promoted at all levels. Where needed HR needs to counsel management. Organisational values have to be permeated down to line managers and beyond. Unfortunately, I find in my own organisation that HR gets least priority/time and so communication of HR objectives and organisational values is hampered. Mind you we are a small organisation employing less than 50. It is important for the top management to include HR in their focus and support the role HR plays across the organisation. HR issues should be discussed openly in periodic management meetings. HR is rather like the housewife who makes sure everything runs smoothly, everyone’s needs are taken care of, everyone is well fed, clothed and looked after, and yet is under appreciated! (From Pakistan.)

May 11, 2009 at 5:31 am
(14) Fatima says:

Susan about.com,i must commend you cos you are doing a great job.For me,I am just grooming myself as an HR person but to be candid HR is a very sentitive position because you are caught between satisfying employees and management which must one must ensure a balabce situation

May 11, 2009 at 8:39 am
(15) Mmabatho says:

Hi, I work for a company (in South Africa) that employs close to 160 people and we don’t have a HR department.Every line manager in the company is expected to fulfill the functions that would traditionally be perfomed by such a division. The managers are thoroughly trained in these functions, from recruitment to developing and rewarding staff through to dealing with how to release employees (e.g dismissals). This system works in an environment where all employees are encouraged (and trained) to effectively give and receive feedback. This setup works for all concerned because the line manager feels in control when it comes to hiring and managing staff (as opposed to relying on someone in HR to do it for you) and the employees feel that they can approach the relevant manager directly about issues affecting their performance. In the event that conflict arises between a manager and his/her team member, there is a grievance procedure in place for employees to report their issues and to have them dealt with, without feeling like noone is taking their side. I think the reason this system works is because of our company culture and the fact that we are a very values driven company. So, not having a HR division is not an altogether bad idea especially if you have alternative measures in place to still manage your company’s human capital requirements.

May 11, 2009 at 9:26 am
(16) Marcia says:

I am an HR Manager working in the field 15 years now. I’ve worked with some HR people who are good and some that shouldn’t be in HR. This job is not suited for everyone, and if you are not able to be objective, and fair, then it’s not the right position. It’s true, we are there to look out for the best interests of the company, but in doing so, we want to treat people right and fair. Any good company doesn’t want a reputation for tossing folks out the door when the going gets tough. A good HR Manager helps to educated and advise Department Managers in the art of good Management skills. My goal as an HR Manager is to make sure that all employees are treated with respect, given constructive feedback, and go home at the end of the day wanting to do a good job. When I’ve had to deal with big issues, I have often found, at least in my experience that it’s often the employee who will lie, or neglect to include pertinent facts when dealing with different types of cases. When I am dealing with a legitimate case, I make it a point to make sure that decisions are based on facts and that everyone is heard. I pride myself on trying to do the right thing based on the facts of the case no matter who that may work in favor of.

May 11, 2009 at 9:46 am
(17) Sandy says:

Wow – what a way to start my morning – hearing how much some employees hate HR! I have worked in HR 30 years. HR is only as good as the leadership and management of the company/firm. There are bad HR folks, bad bankers, bad doctors, etc. There are also good HR folks, good bankers – you get the picture.
And yes, we work for the firm – and guess what, so do you. If we all work toward the common goal of making our firms the best they can be, we all reap the benefits. That means accepting responsibility for our performance and our interactions with everyone in the workplace.
Unfortunately, all too often, HR is the messenger. Much of the “good” we do is done in private; the grapevine sees the policy changes, etc and looks for some one to blame.

Our success in the work place is a shared responsibility. If we all work toward a win-win, it is much more enjoyable for everyone.

Wish I could write more, but I have to deal with the co-workers arguing over the placement of the candy dish.

May 11, 2009 at 10:23 am
(18) tonyS says:

HR is mostly a sham to protect the corporate interests. My interactions with them in the past have been nonsensical and useless. They look you in the eye and try to put the positive spin on things that shouldn’t be regarded as positive, and they’re only there to help you if you’re a manager with a rock solid case for firing a “bad” employee.

May 11, 2009 at 11:19 am
(19) Rudy A. Espinosa says:

I am a former business owner, labor union president and business agent with fifteen years of direct interaction with HR reps over various employee issues. As an employee advocate, I can agree on many of the issues that the previous commentors have disclosed. Whenever a new HR manager or HR rep came onto the work scene, it was my job to undo all the combat training they had received and instill common sense and basic employee respect into issues that varied far and away from anything they had ever been taught — teaching them that theirs was a people business. Reverse-training educated HR reps without people skills can be a frustrating thing to go through.

May 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm
(20) FMWalker says:

Wow! I have been in the H.R. field for many years. I have a board in my office with lots of thank you notes from staff members who were having difficulties with management and or other issues in the organization. No matter what company I work for, I know each employee by name, I know what they do, thier length of service and for most employees; I remember the names of their spouses and children.

I am usually hired when the prior HR department or manager has performed poorly. I am very upfront with management about the role I intend to have in the organization and confident about the changes I will bring. What makes me different from most HR professionals…. education and training!!! I have an MBA and a Masters in Org Management and Development. I was a recruiter and corporate trainer for years before becoming an HR Director.

Education plays a key role in how well your HR department does its job. Human Resources has been a department in which the office manager becomes the HR manager or someone has just been doing the job for a long time, or it can be the owners wife who has been helping out for years and has “grown” into the position.

Additionally, many HR professionals are still maintain the “service” mentality. Those who are there to serve the corporate entity, plan parties and provide empathy to employees without being upfront about their motives.

These are the HR managers and directors who are hoping that the corporate big wigs will automatically accept them as equals at the table. It reminds me of the woman who waits years for her live-in boyfriend to pop the question. Today, HR must arrive at the table with metrics in hand, confidence, statisics, industry trends and solutions demonstrating how they ARE a strategic partner.

There is a very fine line between being pro corporation and pro employee, straddling that fence is very difficult. HR professionals know that they must follow the law and be fair. There are times that either or both sides won’t like the decision, but it is important that both sides understand that the decision was fair and you can dempnstrate that by using the tools of the profession.

May 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm
(21) small company hr says:

I work for a small start up company as the HR Administrator and while I can appreciate that there are many jaded and inept HR people working, there are also those of us, who are trying to give a new face to HR. I do work very hard to be a mediator between the executive team and the employees at our company, often times I am not heard or ignored, but employees still lump HR in as the bad guy. Companies and their management teams set the tone for your company culture and I believe that culture will also guide what type of HR department the company will have. So don’t blame HR for something that may really go beyond them and be somewhat out of their control.

May 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm
(22) Former HR Trainer & Supervisor says:

The challenge is that HR has the responsibility of executing policy and procedures, so even when you are someone who wants to be “pro-employee” it is very difficult. The type of people hired for HR positions are rewarded for those qualities that favor rule dispensing and attention to detail, so when it comes to tapping into HR for big picture, disputes with gray areas, finding HR employees with those skills is challenging. So HR gets a bad rap. They are hired for one thing and often required and rewarded to do another.

May 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm
(23) HR150 says:

I am at my HR best when I am caring and honest with the employees. I stake my reputation on being sincere and fair and following through, trying desperately to protect the best interests of the employee and the company. If I don’t have an answer or need to do research on something, I will admit it 100% of the time; I think our employees trust me because of that. There was a time when I would walk in a branch office and people would whisper, wondering who’s getting fired. Now I show up to pleasant greetings b/c they have learned over time that I come for good reasons as well as bad reasons. One portion of my job is to have a sympathetic ear to employee concerns and complaints while agreeing to do what I can as their advocate; another portion of my job is to counsel management when a particular course of action/inaction could land us in trouble. Not all HR departments are fronts for an inflexible corporate attitude and I apologize on behalf of the good folks in my profession for any unfortunate encounters any of you have had in the past with a poor HR rep. Please don’t stereotype HR staff in general b/c of a few bad apples.

May 12, 2009 at 11:17 am
(24) K. Wallinger says:

Joshua needs to remember that he is employed by the company, and the ultimate goal of HR or any department or division (including his own) is to work for the best interests of that company. In good companies, those interests more easily (ethically, legally, etc.) coincide with those of the employees and vice versa, but to expect an HR department to simply “take the side” of an employee is ludicrous. Joshua, imagine yourself as the head of your own small company. Your one employee disagrees with you on a point that can make or break you. Whose side would YOU take?

May 14, 2009 at 2:57 pm
(25) HR person says:

I believe that employees and managers alike need to realize that the HR function exists for the best interests of the company. Period.

Before everyone gets upset by that statement, I also have to remind you that it’s in the best of interest of the company for its employees to be motivated and do their jobs well. That’s why HR people pay attention to pay levels and benefits and employee relations and training and the list goes on.

Remembering that HR’s job is to protect the interests of the company, answer these questions … Should an HR person be concerned about keeping the company out of legal harm’s way? absolutely! Should an HR person be courteous and helpful? Without a doubt. Should they be a skilled professional? Yes.

If you want to an employee advocate who is not focused on the company, then you should turn to your union steward.

May 14, 2009 at 3:26 pm
(26) KMH says:

HR is the marriage/family councillor in the relationship between the Employer and the Employees. We can sympathize, empathize, inform about legal and illegal aspects of the relationship. We can make recommendations about how the relationship can be healed, or if it needs to end before it gets even worse. Or if the parties need to start seeing other people. Or stop that. Some relationships need us more. Some need us less. Sometimes there are kids – subordinates – to deal with. Sometimes there are the crazy aunts and uncles (like that nosy supervisor down the hall) who insist on getting involved. And sometimes there are people who have no idea we exist because they don’t need us. Until they do need us. Yeah, there’s paperwork. Yeah, some of it is just plain stupid. Common sense would take care of a lot of these issues. And, if sense were common, more people would have it. There’s paperwork because someone somewhere did something that needed to be documented. Think of it as filling out the insurance forms to see the councillor. It’s dumb and some of it doesn’t apply to YOU, but it has to be given to everybody. We have a policy that says you can’t bring explosives to work. Duh. But it’s there for a reason. I put candy in my office so staff can come in and “get candy” – instead of talk to the HR guy. I help a lot of people that way.

Or, to look at it a different way, my job in HR would be a lot easier if it wasn’t for all these darned people!

May 16, 2009 at 10:38 am
(27) Elizabeth says:

HR has been a place of ruin and misuse of power. Most people get into these positions by internal default and know nothing about business management, solving employee problems, or mediation issues. They become trained robots who answer to management and sell out their employees when someone comes to them with a complaint. I have learned to keep my mouth shut and undo no circumstances EVER TELL HR anything. It WILL come back to haunt you…guaranteed!

September 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm
(28) Jus Me says:

i totally agree. the funny thing is i use to work for HR a few years ago now i work for the same place in a different dept. well when i worked in HR the “Boss” didnt act the way she does now how sad it is to see good people trained into selling out there employees..

May 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm
(29) Neighborcat says:

14 years as an engineer in various manufacturing industries…

Short version: The buck stops at the corner office.

I have never had any dispute with an employer, and yet I’ve not had any trust whatsoever in any of the HR directors I’ve come across simply as a result of observing their actions. Please note I say *HR directors*, not the departments.

BUT… as with anything and everything in business, responsibility has to be placed at the very top.

HR Directors don’t run companies, and if the presidents and CEOs who do run the company reward directors of any department for being untrustworthy, I’d expect that’s what will happen.

Gaining and keeping the trust of valued employees is not incompatible with protecting a company’s interests, rather, it is essential. A narrow focus on rules and protocol to “protect the company interests” is short-sighted. The cost of workforce distrust won’t show up as a line item on any ledger, but I guarantee it costs a great deal.

In order to gain trust:

1. Know the workforce and what they do, and I mean the gritty details of their jobs, not just their titles or pay category. I don’t care if you remember my spouse’s name, but you better know what I do and the value it brings to the organization.

2. Protect good employees, get rid of bad ones. Everyone has to be equal under the law, but internal rules can be bent, and your workforce knows which are which. They also know which employees carry their own weight, which ones weigh everyone else down, and they watch how both types are treated.

3. When dealing with upper management, other directors and above, be the advocate for the ability of the workforce to feel pride in their work. Pay will bring the most disinterested of your workforce to work, but only pride and satisfaction will bring their best efforts.

NC

June 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm
(30) Brian Jensen says:

Susan, Great post about a great article. Your comments and the Fast Company piece resonate big time with my own mantra about Truths HR People Never Say. Great job.

June 22, 2009 at 2:30 pm
(31) Peter Bryan says:

I work for a large corporate organisation in South Africa that has a fairly large HR department. I find that most of the HR people are approachable, but that is where it stops. Once the issue at hand results in a meeting they become patronising, condescending and can not understand the views of the staff concerned as they have no experience with the specific job at hand.I do believe that HR could offer a far better service if they took some time to move around the organisation, get to know the staff and understand what they are doing instead of sticking to themselves or relating mostly to management. Listening to concerns of staff has saved many companies over the years. Concerns create an awareness and should never be
confused with winging or moaning.

August 4, 2009 at 11:00 am
(32) hemp says:

ok ….here goes i went for a job interview …sat through 3 interviews ended up getting the ”offer”
asked HR for the whole employee benefit package to look over , HR responded that my supervisor would go over them ,after i signed the employee / employer
agreement form . is that normal practice ???? i ended up not taking the job …plus there were other red flags ….

August 24, 2009 at 7:58 am
(33) Lora M says:

Good morning: I’ve got a question that is burning a hole in my sense of common sense and for the life of me, I can’t figure it out, so any input from the greater populous would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
I want to change careers, and move myself into an office, a regular 8 to 5, instead of being in the field of inconsistent and on again, off again work schedule of being self employed.
However, I can’t seem to get past the H.R. person.
I’m terribly secure with who I am and they aren’t.
I have 3 years of formal education and 7 years of informal education, (though I don’t put down this informal), am a quick learner, meet all obstacles head on and find learning an adventure to becoming a better person.
Yet, in most cases I feel like I’m having a conversation with a kindergartner, (H.R.) and can’t for the life of me figure out how to get past them.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you again,
Lora

October 4, 2009 at 6:54 pm
(34) CareyD says:

I’ve had terrific HR departments in previous organizations and now am in a smaller company – 500 employees and don’t have that luxury any longer. I went to HR with a concern only to be advised after I shared the concern that she tells the CEO everything. It was an employee relations problem and nothing to do with management yet still the CEO was updated on it. We have all now been told that either directly by her or by the others who have experienced it. She is not an employee advocate, but rather is so far up the CEO’s and VP’s butt, she should check for polyps.

October 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm
(35) JJ says:

It is great to read all your well written and thought out input. I am currently a grad student in HR. It is just as fuzzy in here. Some prof’s are tired, you can tell that their HR career took the life right out of them, and can only teach the stuff. Some love their job, and teach at night. The problem is, they all want us to learn the strategic end of HR, so we will be invited to sit at the table, and I am not getting the impression that HR people sit at the table much. Are the graduate programs preparing us for a pie in the sky kind of career, and then when we get out there, it is paper pushing and head complaint dept. There are so many people in the career that do not have a HR degree, is this the problem. I am learning about a lot of bad managers that we have to look out for, and about a lot of employee problems that we ourselves could be sued over if we are not careful. We are learning all the laws, so to treat everyone fairly, but the common answer for most situations is… “it depends” pick your poison, each solution is going up against someone’s rights.. who do you want to tick off more, management or employee’s or the law. It is all very confusing, and I wonder what the real job is acturally like. Is it stressfull, or do you have nice people mostly, or is the top managers trying telling you one thing and asking for something else.. or does “it depend”.
Any comments are helpful.

October 12, 2009 at 10:23 am
(36) Elizabeth says:

I believe that the field is hampered by those who call themselves “HR” and do not have formal education or training to do the job. I’ve dealt with these people and hate when they claim to be “HR”, when they are really an administrative assistant who is trying to do HR. I have a BS in HR Managment and a MBA, I rely on my education and my 12 years of experience.
I go home every day worrying about situations at work. I put my heart and mind into this job and take immense pride in what I do. My toughest challenge: managers and employees who come to me for advice and then they don’t do what I’ve recommended. They always come back later wanting me to clean things up. In my role as Director of Human Resources I deal with craziness that would send most managers running after a week. A large part of my job is just keeping people calm.
With that said, I wouldn’t change careers for anything and I know this is what I was meant to do.

October 12, 2009 at 11:14 am
(37) Sasha says:

I have been at companies where there were “bad” HR representatives and companies where there were “good” HR representatives. I believe one poster said it all – “Your HR department can only be as good as the executive management.” Yes, employees need to understand that ultimately your HR rep works for the company as do you. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel comfortable going to your HR department with an issue and expect it to be handled fairly. I have worked for companies with hatchet HR reps. Everyone dreaded seeing them and they really weren’t advocates for anyone but the company. You couldn’t expect to be treated fairly or your situation handled humanely. It was all about the company’s legal protection.

Now, I am with a company who put the Human in Human Resources. Since changing directions in my career, my HR Director took me under her wing and has mentored me. She explained the processes of our company, which I’ve always believed are fair. First, she says when a manager comes to her asking to let someone go, she has a checklist they must complete to ensure it is not just someone pissed off at an employee. Every effort is made to ensure there is no other alternative to letting an employee go. Additionally, if an employee has a complaint about a manager, then information is compiled discreetly before any steps are further taken. The ultimate goal is to have a happy, productive staff all around. Of course, not all situations have a happy ending but what I appreciate is that every recourse is utilized before a decision is made.

Although we are not a large company, with less than 400 employees, our HR department pretty much knows each person and whether they have a family, are married, etc. Employees understand that when they approach our HR department with personal or company issues, it remains confidential.

When issues arise of which they question, do they contact our legal counsel? Of course. They want to ensure they are not only protecting the company, but the employee as well. That is one reason why counsel is retained.

It is very unfortunate that many HR representatives are unable to do their jobs effectively. I think it is because a lot of them cannot distinguish between personal and business. They get defensive when confronted with issues and take it as a personal affront.

I am pleased to be associated with such a caring company. And one day when I grow up, I want to be just like my HR Director!

October 23, 2009 at 11:10 pm
(38) So Far So Good says:

Eh…I have to agree with the article. I have never, ever, not once in my entire career, had a positive experience with HR.

In one example, I was in the darkroom at work when a male employee came up behind me and ground himself against my back. I told HR, who then called the male employee in and asked him about it right in front of me. Then I started getting micromanaged to death and getting called in until I looked at each new workday with dread and finally left.

In another example, our VP wanted to make budget cuts and decided my position was no longer fiscally justifiable. Instead of being fair about it and working out a way for me to leave gracefully, he put me on probation without any basis for doing so. There were outright false claims of acting out in the workplace. My manager who sat in the initial HR review with me even whispered “I’ve never witnessed any of this behavior from you”. I was told I had to sign the write up anyway.

I don’t know about anyone in HR, but I was always told that the burden of proof is on the accuser. If HR is going to be effective in this scenario, they have to learn that there are 2 sides and be savvy enough to read between the lines and make sure all are treated fairly. I was completely confident that my VP was lying (he has since been fired) in order to circumnavigate the process of laying someone off and save the company some dough.

When the probation didn’t provide the results he wanted, he told my boss that he “didn’t do it right” and to put me on probation again. HR acted as an extension of him and enabled his harassment by allowing this behavior without any documented instance for why it was a valid course of action.

THIS I KNOW FOR CERTAIN:
You will never be treated “fairly” by HR. If you are being mistreated or harassed, you’ll be making waves by saying a peep. All going to HR does is flag yourself as someone who needs to be swimming with the fishies, not helped out.

Try it. Go to HR and let them know that there is anything slightly out of the desired norm and watch how fast you get on the radar and drummed out of town.

December 8, 2009 at 9:07 am
(39) jeremy says:

Human Resources – even the name HR give themselves hints at their biggest problem. This function used to be called Personnel, if you remember, which is good, implies I am valued as a PERSON. Human Resources – is an utterly impersonal term which confirms the large majority of peoples’ experiences of this function, namely it is also utterly impersonal, we are not people, we are resources to be milked like cows on a farm, or moved around like unwated furntiure.

I am not suggesting that we workers felt like we were treated any differently before the rebranding of personnel into the hateful HR than we are treated now, far from it, however the new name HR merely confirms what we all knew already – this function is present to protect the company, not the worker, and the new name shows us just what employers really think of their workers – not people, but merely “a resource”.

I say to all workers reading this, just remember this truth, your employer is NOT interested in you as a person, in your needs, desires or ambitions, they are only interested in you as long as you toe the line, keep your mouth shut and work hard, and it is this purpose that HR is there to fulfill, so do not be fooled by the platitudes and propaganda from those representatives of this so called “profession” above.

I realise not all people in that profession are as cynical and awful as I make out above, however those that are not are very much in the minority, and it is the rest of your profession who give you a bad name – change profession into one less hated, say politics, journalism or a lawyer.

December 9, 2009 at 7:40 am
(40) Belinda says:

i have never had a good experience with HR. I find they are either incompetent, or power hungry. I had an HR person so completely mess up my exit paperwork that I had to wait over 40 days for my final paycheck. I called every business day to resolve the issue. My complaints were either met with more imcompetency or false sympathy and no action. It was maddening as no one could help me but HR and there was no one to complain to or get help from as HR seems to be an entity unto itself with no checks or balances and no accountability.

I also had an HR person threaten and bully me after an incident on the job for which I easily could have sued the company. My boss as intoxicated and was verbally abusive to me in front of several people, some of them clients. It was frightening. HR saw me as a threat and intimated me with emails and pestering phone calls, even late at night and early in the morning while I was on disability leave. The HR director told me several times that she was going to have my disability payments stopped because I was faking illness. She said that she won’t be happy until I am forced to go back where I came from which is out of state. They then realized that I was not protected by family leave act and fired me while I was still on disability. I was so glad to be away from them.

I have always thought they were giving me a bad reference also because For several months after I was okay to go back to work I was getting interviews that seemed promising but then the doors were slammed in my face. I took that job off my resume and as soon as I did I was hired at my new job where I’ve now been for 4 years with no problems.

I will never trust an HR person ever. They are no their for the employees. They are there for their big fat bonuses they get from the company. That’s all they care about is themselves and no one else. They have too much power in companies and no one keeps an eye on them. It creates a perfect situation for corruption and I think it’s to the detriment of the company.

December 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm
(41) Glenn says:

HR is like a hospital’s marketing department – a place for suckups, incompetents, the lazy, the power hungry, and the well overpaid and generally useless – my last corp. employer hired HR staff and managers who had less education and less experience than I and paid them 3 times as much – Think that’s shallow or shortsighted, I also temped in a HR office. I’ve also experienced interactions similar to those of previous commenters. What’s really funny is when HR interviews someone and insinuates the applicant is a jobhopper and quite often the HR interviewer has held more jobs in a shorter time frame. Oh, if you meet with a female HR person, she’s probably anti-male and/or anti-white. I’m college educated, very good experience, white, male, and a vet so I’m first on their “nope, he just won’t do” list. I wonder if today’s HR staffs are the children who loved to tattle?

May 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm
(42) Spocksdisciple says:

I personally don’t trust nor do I sympathize with HR, I’ve never had any positive experiences with them and see them as an active impediment in the work world.

The problem here is that HR used to be strictly the personnel department, as such it’s function was strictly limited to managing the payroll and benefits for the company’s employees. However, when HR was born in the 1980s with a greater emphasis on organizational issues and management they got carried away. Many HR departments today are fiefdoms and semi independent states within the corporation. They have absolute police powers and in quite a few instances act as the Gestapo for management.

The problems I’ve recently had with HR is in the area of hiring, especially in the technical fields such as Oil and Gas. HR doesn’t know or care about the background of the applicant, all they know about is their “mandate” to hire whom they think fits with the organization. So they apply simplistic measures when screening candidates but take these measures to an extreme.

One such measure is the graduation GPA of the candidate for an entry level position, most companies look at GPA as one measure and most technical managers understand not to overweight this qualification. In many instances I’ve seen this abused to the point of being absolutely ridiculous. I’ve had discussions with inside technical managers who mention off the record that they would be happy to hire good workers who only had a 3.0/4.0 GPA(ie B average).

However, when HR becomes involved in setting the qualifications they get GPA inflated to extremes. One midsized Oil and Gas Company had an unwritten GPA cutoff of 3.6/4.0 which is considered first class honours or cum laude, this cuts down the pool of qualified candidates to maybe 5/100 applicants. The problem here is that more isn’t better, sometimes very high GPA students are not the best suited for the job but HR insists they know what is best for the company. Tech manager complain that sometimes these types of candidates don’t workout well because these people are too bright, the get bored of the entry level work and are too ambitious for the position they’re in, but HR doesn’t consider this to be a problem.

This applies to other measures such as technical certifications and personality profiles, these types of screenings don’t do anything but leave the impression that HR doesn’t know what it’s doing but simply sets the bar as high as possible.

As for other comments about trusting HR in one word: Don’t, they are not and have never been advocates of the employee, their function is akin to that of the secret police in totalitarian societies. They are there to monitor the behavior and compliance of the employee with company rules and regulations; they are there to protect the company from any potential liability and to dispose of the apparent troublemakers or those who would cost the company significant amounts of money.

They are not employee advocates and are therefore not to be trusted. I treat HR the way I would treat a nosy cop, I mind my business and keep my mouth shut around them. I don’t squeal on fellow employees nor do I share information with HR under any circumstances. I’ve seen what happens to people who are only suspected of doing something which infringes on the corporation rules. Summary judgment followed by dismissal; HR make good executioners and you can bet the type of person who gravitates to HR like the power they have over other employees.

Remember, they’re the enemy and should be treated as such.

June 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm
(43) PB says:

HR departments are invariably populated by vacuous windbags (almost always women) who’ve never done a day of real work in their lives, and probably never will. They do nothing other than create impediments to the real business of actually running the business. Besides that, they spend their time doing ridiculous nonsensical tasks that achieve nothing – they need to occupy their time to justify their existence. I work for a company with over 1000 employees – number of HR staff? Zero. It’s pure bliss.

June 9, 2010 at 9:20 am
(44) Doug Leary says:

I think one problem is the name itself. How did something that used to be called the Personnel Department acquire a name as utterly dehumanizing as “Human Resources?” It amazes me that the term has become so widely accepted. Might as well call employees “labor units.”

August 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm
(45) Horrid Reapers says:

After having a bad experience with HR at one company and being unjustly fired I have learn’t never to go to HR with any kind of complaint regarding workplace relations or management. Best rule: if it can’t be resolved with your immediate manager, change departments or leave the company.

December 3, 2010 at 7:30 am
(46) THADDEUS says:

Joshua’s opinion of HR is an unfortunate one in that he had a bad experience . The HR clarifies issues to balance the people and the management. HR look at why things happened and not only how they happened. As Hershey says, HR truthfully help to navigate the politics of the organisation but documentation is necessary with the thought that the person who need the assistance could have other intentions. The HR must be on guard.
The truth is that, the HR built people to get the best out for mankind. DON’T HATE HR

December 3, 2010 at 10:01 am
(47) THADDEUS says:

I want to suggest that SPOCKSDISCIPLE should have a rethink of his opinion or view that the HR should not be sympathised with nor be trusted . If I may ask, is it wrong for the HR to “monitor the behaviour and compliance of the employees with company’s rules and regulation”?
That the HR protects the company from any potential liability is credit that can not be overemphasised . If I may ask SPOCKSDISCIPLE; Who is the COMPANY? It is only disloyal and greedy staff that THINKS THIS WAY.

June 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm
(48) IT Admin says:

In some companies you might be right, but when you have a HR manager that is constantly telling employees ( Its work or school, and If you are not available to have a flexible work schedule then maybe you should find another Job) is not just wrong but in most states its illegal. To sleep with the Director of Ops to get the HR job, and then term them over it once they have it is just “BAD” ( there is no way you can tell me that HR isn’t BAD “It is only disloyal and greedy staff that THINKS THIS WAY” )

Some HR staff think that they are Gods in the work place, and they need to be sent back to earth in a blaze some times. It never good when the HR Manager goes to the VP and says “they can not approve anything without the HR managers approval”. One more thing, don’t tell me that this is not true, this is my HR manager and she is a total nightmare and every one is afraid of her.

December 8, 2010 at 2:25 am
(49) UGBOKA says:

The only thing that will save HR from this harassment is to have a standard professional ethics to regulate its operations just like other professional bodies.We have a lot of people who are in,but not qualified to be in or head the HR department.

December 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm
(50) spocksdisciple says:

Thaddeus,

“As Hershey says, HR truthfully help to navigate the Uu>politics of the organisation but documentation is necessary with the thought that the person who need the assistance could have other intentions.

“If I may ask SPOCKSDISCIPLE; Who is the COMPANY? It is only disloyal and greedy staff that THINKS THIS WAY.”

“The HR must be on guard.

Spoken like a true believer and gatekeeper, HR believes itself to be the ultimate arbiters and guardians of an organization. When in fact most of the time they do not and will understand why HR is viewed in such a dim light.

So anyone who speaks out against modern HR and corporate practices are disloyal and greedy? Now we know how you think and this illustrates precisely the point I’m trying to make about HR.

December 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(51) spocksdisciple says:

Loyalty as judged by HR? Sounds more like what the thought police would sound say.
And no it isn’t wrong for a company to address disciplinary and other problems which happen with employees. The issue here is that HR wants to be proactive, so they come up with criteria they try and match to employee performance appraisals and reports.

One matching keyword is all it takes to trigger an investigation of an employee.
If things don’t “smell” right HR has the power to summarily dismiss an employee without right of appeal and employees are almost never told why (they’re not owed an explanation unless it’s a protected union position).

Disloyal and greedy are terms used by HR types who think they’re the sacred guardians of an organization, who knows whats best for everyone.

My statements stand, precisely because of your statements above, don’t trust HR no matter what. They are not your friends, you are viewed with suspicion if you bring up any problems and are viewed as a liability to the organization (ie potential troublemaker).

HR are the police enforcers of management, in a perfect and fair world the definition of a company would include all employees, in today’s world the definition of a company are the shareholders and the executive management, but not the rest of the employees, who are viewed with suspicion.

Thank you Thaddeus for illustrating why HR has as bad a reputation as it does.

December 29, 2010 at 10:43 am
(52) Bob says:

HR?!? I am president of a recruiting/ head hunting agency, and work with HR on a daily basis when I acting in a recruiting role myself.

Fortunately I get to see all sides, from managers, to employeesto HR.

I have never seen HR act in any capacity other than to prevent the company from being sued or protect the company against liability. HR would not exist as a profession if the government did not have laws and regulaiobs on the books that require require internal oversight.

In other words, they will never generate money for the company, and if the government deregulated the employment market, they would all be out of jobs.

On the recruiting end, 90% of HR professionals are grossly incompetent and most managers I speak with complain about them ad nauseum. They just can’t say so publicly because of office politics.

Just my years of experience.

January 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm
(53) Mary Beck says:

As we can see by all these comments, HR employees are considered to be the pig swill of the workplace. They are morally corrupt, spend most of their day in the coffee shop or shoe shopping and the rest of the day teasing senior managers in an attempt to justify their inflated wages. The few minutes each week that they work on recruitment consists of throwing a pile of CVs down the stairs and choosing for interview the CVs that land closest to the bottom of the stairs (closest to the storage area for all the shoes handbags they buy with their inflated wageswhen abusing flexitime/lunch breaks).

As a union representative, and as an employee I have only ever met women who work in HR. I wish incompetent, morally corrupt men of low intelligence had an identifiable department like women to where we could identify and mock them.

Sadly the HR industry reflects extremly badly upon businesswomen, which is very unfair. HR damages business women’s reputation.

I NEVER thought I would experience the sort of fraud, harrasment, collusion, manipulation of figures and pure, overt incompetence that HR departments I have worked with deal in.

You can get a degree in HR now, and can get chartered! Chartered in HR!!! A disgrace to chartership I would say.

February 15, 2011 at 5:49 am
(54) Lauren T says:

I am a HR Manager and let me tell you this job is not fun. I hate it more often than not and here is why . ..

I try very hard to champion the cause of the employees I support but doing so in the face of immature HR minded business leaders is extremely difficult. Dave Ulrich’s model advocates a strategic HR function but in reality it is the very same immature HR minded leaders who profess to agree with Mr Ulrich that expect HR to arrange fun days, run endless statistical reports to monitor compliance to company policies and make pretty flowery posters to make the office look festive. One can only champion the HR crusade for legitimacy as a contributor to business success for so long before you yourself loose your will to continue and revert to a mere administrator. Employees expect HR to know everything and to “look after them” but who looks after the battle weary HR professional who listens to everybody’s problems and tries their best to offer support and guidance, engages in a continuous battle with business leadership to do right by employees and who very often don’t agree with the very same company policies that they have to enforce because like you, dear HR haters, they are also employees of the very same organisation. If people out there hate HR, I suspect that their expectation of what HR should be doing is distorted. Do you know that an employee once asked me in my capacity at HR what colour he should paint his apartment!

May 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm
(55) Desiree J says:

Lauren, I share your sentiments exactly as you have it. I am an HR Manager myself and there are days when I wished that I had chosen another career. There are days when I feel that I am more of a Psychiatrist than a HR Manager. I am drained to the capacity having to deal with the coporate managers who feels that HR should always be working for the benefit of the company even though you are trying to prove to them that everything has to be coordinated effectively so that alll can benefit including HR.

August 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm
(56) Belinda says:

Lauren I have been in HR for 25 years and I like my job for the most part…and I absolutely agree with everything you have stated…I beleive its employees misconception of the duties of HR as well as the executives…they also refuse to see that part of our job is to ensure that employees rights are not violated…not make things fair…who said things must be fair…?

May 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm
(57) Geoff says:

In my first interactions with HR, it was as a Computer Science major just out of college. What I gathered was having non-technical people in a technical company’s HR can be somewhat problematic.

However, it wasn’t until I was put on the evil that is known as PIP did I come to not like interacting with HR. Not to rehash what is all throughout the post on Performance Improvement Plans, but I pretty much knew I was toast. And as everyone said, HR isn’t there to help you but to help the company.

Is that true? I don’t know what was going on behind the scenes. I have no idea if they were trying to help me. But at the end of the day, you don’t like dealing with HR.

What would help would be some honesty. They should tell us “when push comes to shove we will side with the company.” We both know it. I think people would like HR a lot more.

When I was at a defense contractor, they would come out and say “don’t blame this on us” in regards to benefits changes. I liked them.

May 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm
(58) Mark says:

I hate HR because it’s so discriminatory when it comes to hiring for HR professional positions. I have a Masters in HR and in the ensuing 9 years since I earned that degree I have not had one single interview for a C-Suite level HR position. When you see the staff directories that are posted online they are almost 80% or higher female.
That’s why I hate HR, women discriminate against men when it comes to hiring for HR positions.

July 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm
(59) Manoj says:

I Hate Hate Hate HR. they know nothing and they pretend as knows everything. they always has “Commanding and Controlling Attitude” and then they will grade other’s attitude (Funny ha). i feel like $#$$@ if someone talk about my attitude…

July 6, 2011 at 9:17 am
(60) Curt Banks says:

In my experience, i believe females are not fit for HR and I work for a company, where there is no HR team. its all managed by Managers and Administrative Office. if something related to legal issues, we have a legal dept. tho I’m a Sr.Manager i see there is no need of HR for a company.

August 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm
(61) Belinda says:

Well …..I am an HR Manager, and I can’t honestly say I dont agree with some of the comments. But I think what people are forgetting is the HR department is a resource, not necessarily to make all wrongs right or make things fair, where is it written things must be fair? Also consider your expectations when you go to HR are they realistic? HR is not your parents. HR’s purpose is to hire, train, encourage and create a means for career growth which will ultimately impact both the employee and the company positively. But lets get real for a minute…HR people are employed by the same employer and it is part of our job to minimize litigation when at all possible. The best way to accomplish that goal is to COMMUNICATE, clear concise and truthfully. Unfortunately some if not many HR people feel they should sugar coat the message. I beleive this is when employees lose confidence in HR.

September 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(62) Crystie Cruz says:

I have to say that everything that was said about the TRUTH about HR I have to 100% agree. Any HR that is hired by the company always sides with the managers, supervisors or directors of that company and all others basically is ignored. You either have to look for another job or transfer to a different department. Which now leads to me ask this question, cant the state that you live in pass a law that an HR is outsourced and now hired by the company so there will be equality in the workplace?

December 3, 2011 at 7:27 am
(63) mrfr0sty says:

HR in my experience do nothing except screen CV’s based upon a checklist. They seem to lack any knowledge in the actual required skill-set. Within IT, ‘paper-based’ qualifications such as degrees, or other academic qualifications serve no purpose in an IT environment where knowledge becomes obsolete within 6 months.

As an IT manager, I have had to ‘educate’ many HR personnel on how to screen CV’s. So much so, that I might as well do it myself.

I attend many IT conferences and seminars on the latest technological advances and required skill-set for IT departments, yet have never once met an HR rep there.

It seems, through a general lack of pro activeness, or interest, they have relegated themselves into ‘admin’ staff.

January 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm
(64) Chris says:

The best HR dept ever came across was for Motorola. They had the best people. So kind and friendly. Always seemed like an open door policy. Great benefits office too. Took them for grantit. Never come across anything like it since. The place I work now you have to make an appointment to meet with someone.

January 23, 2012 at 11:08 am
(65) valeriano says:

No serious company really needed an hr.

January 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm
(66) Respect says:

Wow! I have been working as an HR Manager for about 5 years and I am looking to back into Payroll only. Once I was told by my pool guy (HR) is a fake position, because no matter what we think is right or wrong the owners are always going to have the last word. Sorry to say but it is true. I once had an owner tell me (I don’t mind paying a couple of fines – this is my company and the employees will do what I say.) I left that company soon after! The company I am at now has been the best company so far when it comes to pay, and benefits, however as far has making you feel at home, not exactly. HR can only be right when it comes to federal and state law/compliance, but when it comes to fairness, nothing we can do. Owners are going to do what they want. Unless the company is in out name! Can’t wait not to be HR no more!

January 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm
(67) Elizabeth says:

I agree with most of the disgust about HR. Honestly, one of the biggest impediments to getting hired is the department itself. I’ve never gotten a job going through the HR department, only through networking and finding a manager directly who was interested in me.

There’s a study that proves that we tend to associate and hire people who are like us. What that means for the rest of us is that mostly incompetent, poorly trained, poorly educated, young people a year or two out of college are inclined to hire others like themselves.

I also agree that HR is no friend to the employee. There is no way in hell any HR person will actually assist in resolving an issue that might damage the company. Anyone who works in HR and tells you otherwise is a liar. I tell friends constantly that when facing a work issue they need to document everything, contact a lawyer, then contact HR. They’ll still lose their job in the long run but they’ll have built a foundation for a legal settlement.

I’ve also hired people not directly using the HR department. I find them useless at spotting true talent. As a manager, I despise them and find they uselessly muddy the hiring process. I also find it interesting that when there are layoffs, HR never seems to shrink, it just grows bigger and bigger like the monster in “The Thing”. Every feasible chance I get, I try to discuss with senior management about downsizing the HR department’s responsibilities and staff.

February 2, 2012 at 8:58 am
(68) vanessac says:

My husband works for a large, multi-national company and has for over a decade. He works with a woman who has demonstrated that she is clearly unstable: sobs at work over issues at home and issues with anyone who criticizes her. She stomps into HR to complain about people. Initially, she befriended my husband who was her supervisor. He noticed she was making a huge amount of errors and had to point that out to her. She went ballistic and wrote emails to everyone in the department about him being cruel to her. Months later, she was still fuming about my husband. She then told someone that she wanted to kill him and described how she would do it. He told my husband what she said. My husband went to HR and said this is a safety issue. They treated him like HE had done something wrong – total cross examination, asking him what he did to cause her to say this. They refused to move this woman away from him, so he had to endure her wrath on a daily basis. Now the company is laying some people off. My husband is being laid off after getting the highest performance reviews for the past 10 years. Lesson learned: HR is NOT there for the employee.

May 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm
(69) Stuart says:

HR are an internal anti-union basically designed to protect the company from its employees.

I’m trying not to be sexist here, but in my experience it’s basically a dumping ground for female employees who aren’t good at the nuts and bolts of whatever the company actually does, but are good at err…. sending emails and talking about people behind their backs.
Useless male employees don’t have such a safe haven available to them. They just get fired.

HR is the ultimate soft option: “Which would you rather do, weld this girder/crunch these numbers/write this technical manual/move that big pile of boxes OR sit down and talk about other employees lives all day?”

The reality is, it’s a job that has a lot of women in it… because it has a lot of women in it. It’s self-perpetuating.

May 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm
(70) Joy says:

Stuart – Sorry man… totally sexist and wrong on so many levels. I know LOTS of men that fit into the same category of person that you are describing.

However, HR is useless at best in my opinion. At their worst, they are power hungry, demeaning, counter-productive, and sneaky. My advice is to nod and say hi when you interact with them. Put a smile on your face always. And never tell them anything. RUN!

We had a situation at my office where an entry-level employee gave a colorful exit interview. She was only at the company for a year and change. She was known as a gossip, and was an average employee who completed her work but didn’t go above and beyond her work. HR took the colorful commentary and brought it to two separate executives. Essentially halting production as the executive passed the information to their employees. A string of pissed off people. HR sucks. Whatever you do … tell them nothing.

June 3, 2012 at 7:58 am
(71) saumya says:

The situation is horrible here in India. I completed my MBA in HR last year. This used to be a common topic of discussion during college days. and still is. After searching for a job since the past 1 year, I have lost faith in HR professionals. I side with others now. The HR guys are actually worthy of being hated. I have had horrible experiences since the past 1 year. Very few were good HR professionals. Rest were a blot on the HR professions. Most of the interviewers were downright condescending, judgmental, pessimistic losers who said whatever came in their mouths. Sadly, I have realized that only 5% or maybe even less are genuine and good hearted – rest all are a bunch of jerks. They don’t even treat people from their own fraternity well. What else can you expect from them? In India, HR professionals are highly ill equipped and incompetent. They don’t even know how to do an interview. I hope the situation is much much better abroad.

June 13, 2012 at 8:32 am
(72) Aristarkhos says:

I respect Saumya for realising what the HR field is filled with today in India. The whole department is filled with a bunch of chameleons who change their colour to suit the occasion.

Enough evidence and proof of their inability to function in the role entrusted to them has been given in this comments thread already. I don’t even need to say anymore, except that when I am told HR is working towards a “happy employee” program, I cannot help but laugh out loud. Because it means THEM going on offsite meetings to brainstorm and upload pictures to Facebook. In the end the smiles are on their faces only. Not the employees.

Employee satisfaction programs involve anti-productivity drives like cricket competitions, face painting, office decorating crock – all that does is make some poor folks feel like they are part of a fun family. That’s probably because most of us live most of our lives at the office itself. Unfortunately, when push comes to shove, the HR will be the last one to make you feel like family.

June 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm
(73) Dorothy douglass says:

Hiring NON-HR professionals continues to set the profession back. How can we be strategic partners in the organization without credibility? And how does one establish credibility without making solid, informed decisions – good ones, bad ones. If executives then do not support those decisions, what is the point of having a formal HR department?
HR gets the rap of being mostly tactical, mostly bad guys – who do you call when you have an employee problem? HR. Who do you call when you want to fire someone? HR. Who do you call when you hired someone, and forgot to tell HR, hence, there were no interviews, no references, and heaven forbid, any background checks. And then that employee turns out to be a dud. Yep, HR gets the call. And when there’s an employment legal claim, and the recommendations HR had been making to management that fell on deaf ears were ignored. HR still gets the majority of the clean up work. Shame on companies for not putting HR into a position for success, and supporting the qualified HR professional and their decisions. Until HR gets to be in a proactive mode, HR will continue to be hated.

June 26, 2012 at 7:00 am
(74) M.Mohiuddin says:

If someone from the status of front desk clerk becomes the HR head, what can we expect from that guy? HR function is an ethical approach with sociological and psychological practices.This types of person never tries to be an associate of people working in the organization because of lack of their conception, education, and moral teaching. Therefore, to save their skin, they create a distance abusing people in different ways. These people are so dangerous that they even can polish the shoes of the top personnel of the organization even his wife and children and that is why the top management like them very much. But, the times coming when the working people will get conscious of their rights.The professional HR should extend all assistance to the people so that they can differentiate the right things of HR.

June 27, 2012 at 8:44 am
(75) Embittered says:

Do I hate HR? This phrase from Josh’s post summarizes the primary purpose of any HR “department”:

“Human Resources always sides with corporate interests. If there’s a legal concern . . . Human Resources will act as a mock support system for the involved parties, but ultimately act to protect the organization from perceived threats.”

Wow. You have to be blind to not see how true that is.

They are NOT employee advocates; after all, their own livelihood depends on the company for which they work. Better to quell a problem or complaint before any “perceived” threat evolves into a legitimate claim, or better yet, transfer the “troublesome” employee away from his home and family at his own expense, citing “performance issues,” “incompatibility with (bullying) management,” and of course “you’re lucky to still have a job.”

No, more accurately HR staff are dumbed-down paralegals and glorified paper-pushers, ensuring all adhere to the policies in the company handbook, holding management’s hand during lay-offs (on whose side of the table are they typically seated during a layoff meeting?), and ensuring those “you promise not to sue” forms are recorded in the employee’s personnel file upon termination. (“Whew! No risk of a retaliation claim from that one. He’s SO stupid!”)

Amid their short-sighted schemes to protect their own livelihoods and further their personal interests, the Baby Boomer generation forgets that the rest of us, on whom they trod, will one day be setting the standards for professional policy and conduct, as well as retirement benefits. Rest assured you will be treated in-kind.

July 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm
(76) Maybe One Day says:

Many of these comments are why I want so desperately to be in the HR profession. I feel so badly for all these bad experiences with Human Resources. I can also say that I have had similar experiences with some HR professionals in the past, but I don’t feel it’s a useless function, and I’ve never hated the HR profession. But like every type of job, there are horrible and horribly unqualified people working in the HR field.

The job, in my estimation, is to walk the fine line between employee advocate and company guardian. I would find that hard, yet very rewarding work. Even if it’s thankless, an HR professional has to understand the key role they play. Employees are the lifeblood of any organization…but yes, we live in an extremely letigious society and companies do need protection.

But it’s in a company’s best interest to take good care of its employees. Sometimes it’s hard for high level executives to see that because they’ve got so much on their plate…that’s when it’s the HR Executive’s job to remind them of that fact.

At the same time, HR can’t make you like your job. Only you can make that decision for yourself. HR can only provide you with the tools to give you the opportunity to be successful. Sadly, many people think the company owes them something and begin to look for ways to get that something they believe the company owes them. That’s where HR has to come in to protect the company.

July 6, 2012 at 7:26 am
(77) Someone says:

I know that HR is there to protect the employer but part of protecting the employer is dealing with employee-problems fairly. That way, it won’t end up in court. Legal cases cost money and can result in bad publicity for the company.

In my 20 year career, I have seen the damage that HR can cause. When employees go to HR for help, too many HR professionals use questionable methods to stop employees from progressing with genuine complaints. I’ve seen HR staff falsify meeting notes and make unfounded allegations against innocent staff just to get them to drop their complaints. In one company where I worked, a serial bully forced at least 8 hard-working staff out of their jobs, HR was aware and protected the bully who was a manager. Some of those staff took their cases to court – and won.

The HR profession needs an overhaul so that it gets rid of the spineless and unethical ones amongst them. I don’t understand why HR is so obsessed with being seen as strategic when they are unable to get to grips with their core function of dealing with employees. At the moment, HR is seen as a hindrance, rather than a help. If staff don’t trust the HR team, then there is no need for that team to exist within the company.

July 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm
(78) Sherry C. says:

One of the functions of an HR department is to prevent the company from being sued for things that it should legitimately be sued for. Other functions could be to assist with benefits (although as of late I have noticed they just tell me to call the benefits company directly, so I guess this doesn’t really count anymore) and hiring staff, although, with the bad economy, HR is using this process to justify their jobs, so it has become a comical labyrinth of multiple pre-, post-, and everything in between phone interviews and re-interviews and pre- and post- a whole bunch of other things, all with a person who has never one done the job that I am interviewing for in any capacity.

July 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm
(79) STAY AWAY FROM HR! says:

With over 35 years in several industries, I have NEVER had a positive or humane response from HR toward me or my employees when a manager.
I cannot fathom how they can live with themselves.
They are a total waste of flesh and an abomination on the earth, a nefarious infestation. Some are even proud to call themselves “evil HR ladies”.
I would call HR the American branch of Al Qaeda, but that would be too harsh toward the terrorists. Not even Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot can match the HR oppression toward human beings. Most HR reps are white females who fancy themselves to be divinity and the perfect purveyors of truth and justice. I hope there is a special place in hell for them, but even Lucifer has some God-given rights.

August 7, 2012 at 7:45 am
(80) Maria says:

I didn’t know any HR managers, except those I met through job interviews, and they seemed to me to be vain, impolite and almost totally inarticulate and unobliging…

August 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm
(81) Positive Difference says:

As an HR Advisor it’s upsetting to read these comments. Please understand that those of you who have had bad experiences, that I empathise with you and some of these people in HR positions are sounding really incompetent.

Having said that, please do not stereotype HR professionals.

Some of us are in the profession because we want to enhance the livelihood of employees as well as improve the company culture.

HR people such as me. I’m a good person, with morals and good intentions. Please don’t shove us all into a box labelled “HR smut”. It’s really quite disturbing.

August 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm
(82) BO TRANHOLM says:

HR isn’t something for any employee to trust, never trust HR and never go to them with a problem.

August 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm
(83) Gary says:

I am an HRD for a hospitality orgnization and have been in HR for over 20 years. One thing I have learned in working with people is that 10% of the population, we’ll take an employee population for this exercise, don’t like you. They don’t like HR – IT – Finance – Operations…you name it. They don’t like YOU.

I’m confident in my ability to provide salary benchmarking for our firm’s annual performance reviews and bonus platform. I’m confident in working with my brokers in contracting the best rates for our employee’s benefits, passing the savings along to them. After administering lay offs for organizations, my organizational development skills are top-notch and have helped retain the jobs and even create jobs for many. My conflict resolution skills are fine-tuned and I can mediate a nasty supervisor / subordinate crisis and both have won, both keep their jobs. I have kept my current employer and others from losing frivilous, meaningless and time-wasting claims and lawsuits. I have also represented employees, fairly when they were wrongfully terminated or disciplined. I expunge employee files from stupid, poorly executed warnings /adverse actions. I champion my employees for further training and education – reimbursement and career succession. I also oversee payroll and it’s my duty to make sure all staff are paid correctly – not only, but to make sure that all employees are paid fairly, without regard to a supervisor’s prejudice. Equal Pay Act is what we “worthless” HR professionals call it. I am also extremely diligent and well versed on labor laws in all of the states we have employees in. This not only serves the employees well, as I understand their rights – but my employer. I’ve got their back as well. I am an excellent, no-nonsense recruiter as well. I’ve hired you. I’ve on-boarded you, made sure you’re paid fairly and that you’re treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

Hate me now?

August 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm
(84) Steve Torrance says:

HR is only a great thing when HR, the department, is not the actual offender. I have personally watched my company HR director bold face lie in front of fellow employees who were all told the same information on many occasions. I just love how no matter how many factual emails you may have, they will always explain away everything with, “Everything Changes”. HR managers would make great Presidential Campaign Advisers, snake oil, or a used car salesman. It does not matter whether you have the truth in emails or sworn statements, HR managers will circle the wagons and defend upper management from employees any day of the week.

August 15, 2012 at 4:42 am
(85) A Jones says:

They provide a false security (which I don’t agree with) because they encourage employees to seek advice from them but that advice will always be provided at a cost (such as forcing you to give over a signature to cover their backs). This is why it is always performed by the same type of person: Twenty/Thirty something white female brown nosers who think their s**t doesn’t stink.

It is a false department which cannot possibly work as you can’t have corporate interests in mind and also be able to care for staff. For example they will start getting on at you if you have more than a set amount of days off sick. That should be irrelevant if you are able to produce a doctor’s note but they will harass you because they just want signature proof that the business wasn’t to blame for you being sick. The false face is that they are trying to help you but the reality is they just want to protect the company from being sued.

I also don’t like the amount of personal information that they openly have access to which should be restricted to specific departments (such as payroll).

I have another bug bear in that they are involved in the interview process. Not only that but they have to perform 3 or 4 different interviews but each one is filled with set questions and the HR staff who is in the interview never has any experience in the job they are taking part in the interview for. It is just generic, set questions that could be asked by the interviewer themselves.

Pathetic, politically correct, corporate biased box-ticking!

September 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm
(86) Rachel says:

They don’t call them the “Human Remorses” department for nothing. People who work in HR are typically bureaucratic, incompetent, two-faced liars that chase good talent away. Any company that trusts them to do any more than filing is making a grave mistake.

September 18, 2012 at 9:27 am
(87) Garnet says:

I’m working here in the Middle East for over 4 years as an HR Administrator. I learned a lot of things..but since we have a new boss HR Director, our life has turned upside down. She seemed to be a good boss at the beginning since she claimed that she had a lot of experience in HR but at the moment I really find it so difficult to work with her. Unbelievably unprofessional by not allowing us to send an email (professional way of communicating with my colleagues and with her as well) if the case needs her signature or decision otherwise she would yell and scream with us even in front of other employees if I send an email. Most of her instructions are verbal, if I would ask her to send me an email so it will be documented…she will make a big problem out of it and would not give you peace of mind for one week or more. Then she will ask us to do personal errands like taking her cats and dogs to the hospital. One time she was sick and she showed us the picture of her anus (asshole, a picture taken by her through her mobile) since that she was suffering from hemmoroids. Most importantly, she would lie to her bones just to save herself from being in trouble and put you in a situation which you never did. There are some times when she won’t follow the policies and procedures and we can’t do anything about it. She talks about other people and their salaries, which I believe is a disclosure of information. She also talks about the personal life of employees that she hates and sometimes she talks about me, too, even if it’s a lie. HR is the department that issues different kinds of documents and certificates needed by the employee, for instance: signing a salary certificate is like a big favor that you are asking from her and she would delay it for one week if she could. She wants us to tell lies when she’s late and out of the office. Me and my colleagues are suffering and we don’t know what to do. Please take note that If I would resign, the company will cancel me and send me back home.

September 22, 2012 at 1:06 am
(88) HR Associate says:

As a HR professional on the entry level side you are put out there as a fall guy. You see so much politicking you think you’re on Capitol Hill. I work at a Fortune 500 company and I’ve seen so many family members who are hired into high paid positions. But I think that if the culture of the company is biased and discriminatory, the HR department will follow suit. I love my role in HR when I’m able to help employees as well as represent the company in a good light. But when you’re put in a politicking wedge, it becomes difficult to be in HR. The bottom line is HR is supposed to protect the company by guiding them on how to abide by employment laws not find loopholes around them. Eventually loopholes will fall through the cracks and the company is slapped with a million suit. And who is to be blamed if the company pays out an employment lawsuit?!? Most likely HR. So it’s best policy to stick to employment laws as an HR professional but when you do the pressure is turned up to umpteenth level.

September 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm
(89) Francis says:

I’ve had an on going back problem ever since I started in sales for a fortune 200 company. It’s getting worse and it may lead to major back surgury (lumbar fussion surgury). Now I’m really feeling some pretty serious depression over the hole issue. What if I get treatment for this depression? Is that going to follow my personal file for the rest of my career?
I’m really concerned and I don’t think I should talk to our HR people about all of this.
Your thoughts?
Frank

October 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm
(90) Starfish says:

Why would anyone imagine in a million years that the HR department is there for the employees?

Of course it’s there to support the organisation, just like Finance, IT, Procurement, and Property Management, etc

HR moved away from being a ‘tea and tissues’ welfare function years ago, thank god!

October 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm
(91) walt says:

Honestly, HR is unique in that we have an essentially talentless bureaucratic department aimed at the preservation of themselves and the organization 100%, regardless of facts discovered about any conflicts.
HR generates no revenue. HR is pure cost, and has more forms and paperwork requiring signature of employees that employees should be given 2 pens because of all the ink they need to sign everything: often required, simply to be offered a job. Many people sign things they have questions about simply because if they don’t sign it, they may not be offered a job. I have seen some HR forms that read somewhat questionable language about company responsibility and employee responsibility. I’ve sat through brain dead HR monotone speeches about company dedication and passion, and performance.

October 18, 2012 at 10:00 am
(92) donzi says:

Totally agree with remarks. I have been a long term manager in a number of large corporations, as well as a national consultant for 28 years. Other than the tech industry, which is generations ahead in corporate culture and attitudes, and understands its role as support for employees, most HR endeavors are harmful. When HR professionals move from the 70s and 80s into today and begin to understand their fundamental role as a support to employees, and not as a power center beholdent to corporate, and invested in its own sense of importance, it will continue to stifle human potential. There is a very good reason why folks don’t like HR.

November 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm
(93) Shark says:

Every blog I read that defends the HR cause is coincidentally written by {cymbal crashes} …HR!

I am in the staffing industry and I can only find 1 valuable reason for keeping any of these WOMEN (because they mostly are) employed: SOMETIMES when they decide to do their job they get you resume feedback.

The technical field I work in 99% of HR personnel don’t know ANYTHING about skills. It’s even worse when companies like VOLT or ADECCO put their own Dianes, Shelbys or Kathy’s inside of client sites and trust them to fill these highly valued and regarded openings. WHY?

I could write a book right now about dealing with these women. They aren’t recruiters, and sometimes I wonder if they are even human. Who pays their six figure salary to be miserable people who hate their jobs and the living beings they serve?

I would rather give their job to a mexican who would be SO HAPPY to have their job than some miserable woman who simply takes pleasure in being a miserable person.

November 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm
(94) auman58 says:

Smarmy, snotty, “God-complex” assholes. In passing, they won’t speak to those they perceive as below them (even though you make more than they do) but get all friendly and gushing to any manager or African that they encounter.
It’s interesting that a company lays-off 30% of the workforce yet HR stays fully staffed. Oh yes, it helps when you and the dept. manager’s kids are on the same ball team and you attend the same church, etc. They should sit on the other side of the table to bring ‘em back down to earth.
I’d pay to see that..

November 10, 2012 at 5:42 am
(95) Riley says:

It took to reach the grand age of 46 – 23 years in investment banking and a further 7 in a FTSE company in Ireland to realise that HR are Stasi!

My experiences of HR were and are appalling.

They may as well bring in a hit squad, arm them and employ a few henchmen to wheel the bodies ’round the back’ and chuck them into the proverbial boneyard.

They are the over-paid henchman of the corporate top tier.

A loathesome lot of political players who are more interested in their LTIPS that the lower tiers they should be working for and indeed protecting.

November 22, 2012 at 10:05 am
(96) jean says:

HR at our company will do anything possible to make an employee look bad and make themselves look good. They will manipulate, lie, make up things about the employee that are not true, and then upper management will ignore you too. It is just terrible. I have filed with the EEOC against my “bully” boss – 6 people already quit because of her. Now I am labeled and they are trying everything in their power to intimidate me and make me quit on my own. They stick together with my supervisor and upper management to cover up everything. They will say anything to get out of anything I say. They will basically “lie” and don’t care that they do. I told the HR Director that she knows she is lying and I am telling the truth, and God knows too. I don’t know how these people can go on with their days acting like they are normal. I am the normal one and they try to portray me as having a problem and having bad behavior. My supervisor terribly bullied me for 2 years and I finally could not take it anymore. The other people who quit just quit because it was too much for them. I am trying to prevent this by filing with the EEOC. While awaiting the EEOC, I am still suffering at work and HR will say, “Oh do you want to resign?” They come up with the dumbest comments. The sad thing is that I have always had excellent reviews. Now, I am feeling more depressed and this is very much affecting my life. I cannot wait to get out of there; just have to wait for the EEOC. I am sure some businesses have nice HR personnel, but where I work, it is like living an everyday nightmare of manipulation, bullying, and lies. It is like they are witches working on a brew together. I have never experienced anything like this before. I always thought HR would be your friend. At my company, they are the enemy.

November 30, 2012 at 5:32 am
(97) venner1961 says:

In a small company that I work for, I find it ‘weird’ at least, and down right shocking at most, that the company owner’s wife is the HR person. Conflict of Interests or what….. Is this allowed.

December 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm
(98) rueil2 says:

The article is spot-on.
The HR people who wrote in are the rare, rare exceptions in this industry. I have worked in management, in the US and Europe for 25 years and I see no difference.
Impossible to get an HR rep on the phone. No one wants to take a call, interview, or contact. They only respond when forced, and then, only in the interest of the company. US Bank, Dell, Wells Fargo, Avaya; none of the companies take external or internal calls, only emails. Who wants to justify getting an appointment with HR by email when you have been harrassed by management?
I could go on and on, but I’m beating a dead horse.

December 5, 2012 at 11:09 pm
(99) Geoff says:

There are good HR people and there are those that are very bad. Presently, I work closely with our former Head of HR. She suffered in her former role, because she was fair and believed that it was her responsiblity to see that people were fairly treated. She moved out of the position. Her successor and I had a falling out over an unfair hiring process, in which I defended a member of my staff. He has since slandered me during my own hiring process and pulled commendations from my personnel file. I have only survived because of the constant protection from my supervisors and my reputation with colleagues. I want to sue him or file a grievance. The problem is that I don’t believe in the honesty of the corporate grievance process, and I don’t have the resources to sue him. Anyway, my point was that there ARE good HR people….and there are rotten ones.

December 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm
(100) TonyC says:

HR is bad because most of the people in HR have no education in HR, they’re moved from one department into HR with no knowledge of the basic principles and practices. I’ll give you a prime example, I applied for an HR Generalist position with a local technical college, I have a Masters in HR with 12 years of experience, know who got hired? A female candidate whose only prior work experience which was working at a video store. I agree with Mark, HR is a very discriminatory profession, which is very ironic because they’re the department that’s suppose to promote diversity in the workplace but yet HR is the least diverse profession, even less diverse than Nursing. Look around your HR Department and see how many men work in your organziation’s HR Department, few if they’re any.
It’s eventually going to change because male HR professionals are going to start suing over employment discrimination and when the judgments start adding up, HR is going to look stupid and cost their organizations millions because they don’t know jack.

December 9, 2012 at 9:54 am
(101) Glen says:

I worked for a mid sized corporation (utility), the HR was a joke, the local HR manager has worked for the company for 35 years, has her clique and cronies, hired relatives to champion and brow beat, threatened anyone that contested her power, she had the ear of upper management for years. Her former husband works in the same corporation and she made his life miserable for twenty years untill he finally retired.
As for me, we had not gotten along for 30 years, several pet employees made a serious safety contact, I asked questions, upset the powers to be, and she went after me, tried to say that I was a threat to the company, etc. While this HR person was destroying my career she was un-aware that I had retained an attorney some years back and gathered documentation, e-mails, and testimonials from other employees including her ex-husband for over 8 years.
I was in my 50′s with 30+ years with the company, (2.3 years to retirement) you can well imagine the reaction from corporate when they discovered the documentaion, I got taken care of until retirement, she and her buds still have their jobs, but are earning every cent the hard way, I have my health and they have their greed, nice to be away from evil, recommend document an e-mail, send it to yourself and contact an attorney when dealing with HR’s. Most are a joke.
Best payback……the buds worked hard to get rid of all of the technical people over the last 6 years, production is suffering, costs are up and location is 25% over staffed, revenues are down by 15-20% all because of the power tripping management and HR, payback will come when they have to work twice as hard for their money and their health suffers, which in the end is far more valuable then money.

The best way to deal with a corrupt HR is do your job better than expected, build a long term stratagy to take care of yourself….I mean really long term and tell no one while you are doing it.

December 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm
(102) eli ortega says:

I have been threatened to lose my job unless I join the union. I am a
sub-contractor working for a small company that works for Bart, here in the east bay in California. I joined and paid the entrance fee. I now am in my first month of a $21.07 deduction from my check. Since Oct. of this year I have not had any communication from any Union representative. I have not been welcomed, and nothing has been explained to me about what this Union is about. The company I work for Impec Group, has no idea what to say to me and my 6-coworkers.The Impec Group Co. tells us they are in the dark as well. I get the round around. I am not being informed about my rights. I don’t know my rights. Bart, has not said a word to me or my coworkers. Should I contact a lawyer? Thanks for your time. (Hi, I’d talk with the Department of Industrial Relations: http://www.dir.ca.gov/. You might consider an attorney and you might want to talk directly with your union. You don’t say who threatened you.)

January 29, 2013 at 9:49 am
(103) Barney says:

The CFO, in the company I last worked for, was the designated axeman. He did seem to enjoy his work.

HR’s job was to point him at who to axe next.

January 31, 2013 at 7:04 pm
(104) Nigel says:

Human Resources are the biggest waste of space in any company where I have worked. I have never had a good experience with an HR department.
They are there to slowly torture with endless paperwork nonsense. When you have a problem with management or the company’s policies, guess whose side they will take?
They stand around pretending to work and collect a big paycheck for being surly and lazy.
If they did a real days work they’d have to lie down for a month.
Walking around with an inflated sense of importance knowing that whatever they do, the company will back them 100%.

February 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm
(105) Tim says:

I am a 55 year old, semi-retired law enforcement officer in Canada.
I left my profession in 2009 due to an injury. It should not have happened at all. I was betrayed and ignored by our HR people until I was forced into a no pay position and had to resign.
That being said, nothing could have prepared me for the experience of dealing with the new breed of HR person that has made the application process akin to having multiple prostate exams administered by blind Sumo wrestlers.
Apparently, after you submit your resume, it is briefly scanned for the requisite number of “buzz” words and then used as a cheap table napkin by some 19 year old twit in HR so they can carry on texting their friends about the latest vampire trilogy.
Then, if you are so honoured, you are summoned to attend an interview staffed by three functionaries including the corporate HR Czar. You are asked a number of brilliantly ambiguous questions that were formulated to weed out those who exhibit any sign of originality, brilliance or maturity. The old MMPI verbal lobotomy.
They ask if you mind if they take notes and the little Einstein smiles and says, “So tell us about a time where you had to deal with conflict at work etc.,etc.”. My mind screams ” I was a cop for 22 years you moron, read the damn resume”!!!!
I clear my throat politely and mutter something pleasant.
I digress…what I am trying to say is that I really object to being treated like a 17 year old by HR persons. I have over thirty five years in the work force, much of my time in positions of considerable responsibility and I’d like just a little respect.
I now enjoy attending interviews and if the interviewers are clowns, I have a little fun with the questions.

Q – Have you ever done anything of a sexual nature that might be considered illegal ?
A – Does that include livestock ?

After, I treat myself to a nice martini.

February 8, 2013 at 9:10 am
(106) Eleanor says:

I have to admit HR has always been a place of comfort for me. I’ve never had a problem with them, I have always been able to reach out to them for assistance until now. Now I find HR stabs you in the back. They are no longer a place to go to for employee assistance as now they stand behind the employer, I could go so far as to say, for instance, “my manager is verbally abusing me and bullying me” and they stand on the side of the manager. There is no safe place in the work place anymore.

February 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm
(107) Paul says:

Joshua’s comment is the typical perception that people see in HR. I believe that there are great HR and bad HR and it’s the bad HR that put such negative views on the HR career. If all companies can adapt a work – life balance in place, this can help boost productivity in the organization and for their employees.

So for the great HR people out there keep up the great work and know that you’re appreciated.

February 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm
(108) Tony says:

People hate HR because the vast majority of people in HR don’t know what they’re doing. Essentiallly HR is comprised of individuals that have been with company a period of time and the company doesn’t know what to do with them and they stick them in HR.

HR is appprox. 80% female, which is interesting because HR is supposed to be the profession that promotes diversity in the workplace but is the least diverse itself.

I’m amazed day in and day out at the number of HR people, professionals in leadership positions who don’t have a clue, and expose their employers to litigation risk every day because they don’t know HR and have no formal education in HR.

If organizations only knew the risk, just look at HR vacancies that are posted and do an audit and see how many male applicants are interviewed, let alone hired for those roles. I’m willing to wager 8 times out of ten not a single qualified male applicant will be interviewed for the C-Suite position. Can you really call yourself an Equal Opportunity Employer when you don’t interview a single qualified male applicant for an HR vacancy?
That’s just one reason why I hate HR, they discriminate against men, I’m sure there’ll be those who try and put their spin on HR but it is a very discriminatory profession for men.

February 10, 2013 at 5:46 am
(109) Richard M says:

It’s not that I hate HR, it’s more that they are completely unaware of their minimal usefulness in a company. I can see that they might have served a purpose back in the day, in regards to discrimination and harassment, but I think we all know by now what acceptable behavior in the office is, it’s 2013. Sure, there might be a rare incident now and then, but do you really need an HR director? Couldn’t the management, compliance or legal departments handle this. Health insurance? How hard is it to get multiple bids? Thank you for the Holiday/Christmas party, but again, not that complicated. Screening candidates? They rarely know what actual skills are required for the position and more annoyingly, they think they do. To the lady with the candy dish, are you a professional employee or a high school councillor? I’ll stop by your desk and grab a handful, but candy, cards, cake, flowers, etc. do not affect our opinions and frankly, it’s this typical behavior that turns us off a bit. Finally, they remind me of those inspirational posters that were popular in the 90′s in human form.
I personally would love an HR director who has actually worked in the actual field of the company. If it’s insurance or banking, they should also be required to get their license or pass the series 7. Again, it’s not hate, I think high school councillors are necessary too, I just think the AP Chemistry teacher is a lot more valuable to the school.

February 15, 2013 at 5:55 am
(110) Merwurd says:

Thank you for your article. It confirms my experience and analysis of HR since the days I started to work.

Now, think about it, the aberration of HR is included in the name itself:
“Human resources”.
Oil is a resource, nickel or copper are resources, Guano (the dung of birds) is a resource.
Are human being resources on the same level ?

The fact that HR sides with corporate management, that they use and abuse the rights of employees is obvious when we think about the concept itself. In other times, people in charge of employees used to be called “employees reps or services”.

Today it’s called HR because, as a human being you became a resource, like a PC is or a ton of metal scrap is.

What the concept means really is “Human commodities”. That is why no company needs any competent or caring HR people to deal with employees, because corporations just need another level of hierarchy to deal with human commodities.

You’re a number, a box, a piece of investment on a sheet. All the bla bla on websites about ethics and corporate culture is B.S.
This is the sad truth.

February 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm
(111) Eva says:

HR must be getting some sort of hypnotizing or direct brainwashing during their schooling or training, that is if they had any. HR is the enemy, a hindrance, but the point is, this is the era of trimming the fat. HR is deadweight and a useless layer, a non-industry or career. Scrap it.

February 17, 2013 at 12:56 am
(112) Steve says:

I swear… I’ve never heard such BS in my life!!! Working in hr I can tell you that the modern employee is unambitious, self deserving, gossip driven, manipulative, childish, and unwilling to accept any responsibility for their their own actions. Hell the only difference between adults and children are credit cards. Employees want everything handed to them on a silver platter and never recognize those who actually provide them a valuable service. Hr is never recognized when something goes right. When something goes wrong though… hr is automatically the scapegoat. As if nothing you or any other inept employee remotely did to cause trouble in the first place. Btw… the reason why we have people sign away their lives with endless forms and policies is that some moron in their infinite wisdom decided to roll out of bed and sexually harass some poor unsuspecting victim only to turn it around and sue the company because they have a conveniently conjured up “disease” to protect their job.
While I was in hr… i made it my mission to help those in need. To be honest and to self responsible for my actions. It’s not that I hate working in hr… its facing the fact that it’s a lonely profession. You really begin to see the dark and childish side of these so called adults. My advice to all of you… grow up and take responsibility. If you don’t understand something, figure it out. Learn it… and don’t give anyone BS about it not being a part of your job description.

February 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm
(113) Leica says:

HR is a function that needs to be fundamentally re-thought.

March 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm
(114) quant says:

HR has 0 technical skill. They don’t respect a company’s product…just rules.

March 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm
(115) Simon (London) says:

HUMAN REMAINS

The worst type are the failed recruiters, god I hate them.

March 15, 2013 at 4:08 am
(116) DC says:

Just to put it out there, HR are scum plain and simple. Their jobs are only there to justify their existence. Every HR dept I’ve dealt with has only done what’s in THEIR own self interests and, for example (which has happened to a colleague), in the case of a genuine bullying case they side with management. But I do find it funny when they get nervous and squirm when they know it’s a legit claim and you threaten to take them to the governing body.

They are a useless dept who have no clue in recruiting specialist positions (ie technical roles) and they should be held personally accountable for the negative actions they make.

March 15, 2013 at 6:46 am
(117) Lily Cooper says:

As an HR professional who stumbled into the position, I have to say, some of the comments are obviously simply sour grapes. I would apologize to those who have legitimate complaints about HR, but that would mean I support HR managers everywhere, and I don’t.

There are good and bad HR staff. When you have a good one, the experience is almost seamless. When you have a bad one, it’s a nightmare. HR exists to straddle that fence between the C-Suite and the normal people, and it’s our job to make sure the two can coexist without clashing. It’s the normal people who are our greatest assets, because they are the key to meeting the goals that have been set. HR is the King Solomon of the organization.

Don’t hate HR. The employees that I like the best are the ones who come to me for solutions and who stick around my office long enough to say, this is my problem, this is what I would like to see done to fix it, AND, this is how I think it can be done. Who are the ones I don’t like? The ones who say “I hate HR. HR is scary.” who then turn around and twist our arms behind our backs to get what they want.

The best HR professionals I know are the ones who were great managers first. They simply shifted that management style over to managing employee services which, by the way, is how we have branded our human resources department. We serve the employees, doing what we need to do to ensure that they can focus on why they show up to work everyday. We serve the company by ensuring that their greatest asset, the people, are allowed to focus on their talents.

March 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm
(118) SK says:

I am gobsmacked at some or a lot of the stories I have just read, and while I feel for the people who have genuinely had bad experiences with lousy HR departments, I also think some of the comments here were misinformed and also I detected a bit of sour grapes here and there.
I have been in HR for just under a year. To all of those who say HR is lazy: my manager and myself are THE ONLY ones in the whole company who NEVER have their tea breaks and hardly ever any lunch breaks because of our horrific workload. We work late at night to try and respond to everybody else’s demands, to the detriment of our family lives sometimes. We have the horrible task of delivering news to employees they don’t want to hear, and guess what, none of it comes from us. We are just the messengers, and many times we put out own necks on the line speaking up to managers to try to protect employees against something we think unfair. Then we still get it on the neck from the employees.
We sit there listening to people’s personal problems and do everything we can to help. We provide counselling, practical help and even hugs! At the end of the day we are exhausted and spent from the weight of everybody’s problems, but we still welcome the next one with a smile – even if it’s someone we don’t even like – it’s our job!
I get sneery comments every month when I go around delivering payslips. Obviously people think I must be rolling in it! Well, after tax, I’m not even on the minimum wage.
Trying to keep both employer and employee happy all the time is like being in the middle of a constant tug of war. I had to undergo exhaustive tests through my application to ensure I would be able to deal with it every day and not snap.
When I read this sort of hate trash I feel like walking out and going to an easy job. But I actually like helping the 100+ people in my firm.

March 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm
(119) curt says:

Human Resources people can easily qualify as some of Satan’s finest. They give the impression that they are there to assist everyone involved with difficulties in the workplace, but in fact, they are there to keep the company from getting into hot water. If you have a BOOB for a boss and he decides the hell with your rights as a human being and you should be kicked to the curb, then pack up because you are gone. The HR office will do absolutely nothing for you, except fire you.

March 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm
(120) stacey says:

MY HR Director is horrible. She has no education to speak of…plays favorites (all of her friends have the best jobs, even though they also have no training or experience). She is known not to speak to anyone but the men in the office (with whom she openly flirts). She was brought on because her mother had an affair with the owner. Everyone is afraid to say anything because they are afraid of losing their jobs. The morale is awful – reeks of discrimination, nepotisim and favoritism. Just awful.

April 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm
(121) Bill says:

Why would anyone with real talent ( a trendy HR term ) want to waste their career in HR where one can become an expert in government regulations and deal with employee issues. NO — real talent wants to excel and HR is just not a place where that is going to happen. While the company evolves to survive, HR is often decades behind. Dealing with HR people is like talking to cave dwellers. Next time you find yourself frustrated by HR, just be thankful you are smart or ambitious enough not to work there.

May 2, 2013 at 12:46 am
(122) boyscout says:

What I really hate about the entire HR field is that they have decided as a group that those over 40 are not worth looking at for employment. Not everyone over 40 is ready for a walker and the rocking chair on the front porch. Too bad work ethic and loyalty are frowned upon now.

May 29, 2013 at 7:29 am
(123) vik says:

HR people should play as mediator between management and employee, but in reality, HR PEOPLE ARE PUPPETS OF MANAGEMENT, who just wanna exploit employees…nothing more….I am from legal professional background and I have to face daily such HR people who don’t even have any sense to talk…….and we have face them only because …they have direct link with management.

June 8, 2013 at 1:01 am
(124) pumpernickel joe says:

HR are an utterly useless and contemptible lot.

June 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm
(125) RedStateBlues says:

Know this. HR exists first and foremost to protect the company’s interests. If HR has your interests in mind, then it is through chance that your interests and the company’s interests coincide. Pay attention to organizational charts if you have them available at your company and see to whom HR heads report. It is often General Counsel, a.k.a. the lawyers.

June 18, 2013 at 8:58 am
(126) Jennie says:

I was in sales & marketing in one industry for 12 years. I got to VP level, won big clients and led a team. Then I moved into HR in the same industry and for 10 years was an HR Director in 3 different companies. My credibility lay in knowing the industry very well and having worked at the coal face. I have an MBA and a Masters in HR, both of which I studied for alongside my day job. My belief has always been that HR is part of management. It’s not a welfare function and cannot serve two masters simultaneously. I also believe that treating people fairly and reasonably (subjective concepts, those!) is essential for a successful business.

I finally quit HR altogether a year into the third job. It was MASSIVELY unrewarding working with technically accomplished senior colleagues who generally thought HR was there so they didn’t have to develop good management skills. They just expected HR to scoop up their poop. 40% churn yet dozens of exit interviews criticising department heads? HR’s fault. No resource planning then clients leave because their team keeps changing? HR’s fault. Paying in the lowest quartile in the industry but can’t get good people? HR’s fault. Low-level sexual harassment? HR’s fault. Is it any wonder talented people steer clear of HR?

June 23, 2013 at 12:01 am
(127) Wesley says:

I work at a 150+ employee company. It seems our HR director is out of control…or maybe it’s just me. I’m genuinely curious, having not dealt with an HR person before. Is it common for an HR director to have the power to oversee and reorganize entire departments? To change the pay scale? To relocate stores? To create new positions and then hire an unqualified personal friend to fill it (while never posting the new job for any interested current employees)? To NEVER (even accidentally) send a company or departmental email not filled with comical grammatical errors? To send a company-wide email scolding employees for gossiping about the aforementioned personal friend just hired (for the job no one knew existed, during a period of downsizing and pay cuts)? To routinely tell employees forced to relocate and take new jobs they didn’t apply for that they’re welcome to quit? To have started in the HR department as a temp opening mail and to eventually be awarded the top job, all the while never holding more than a HS diploma? Because if this all sounds reasonable, then I’ll stop worrying about it and get back to work.

June 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm
(128) Susan Heathfield says:

Hi,
Your HR person does not manage as I would advise HR people to manage. Our role is to involve every manager and department who will be affected by a decision and assist them to make the best decisions – not decide or act for them. So many wrong things in your description that I won’t take the time to respond. Your HR person is out of control. Agreed.

June 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm
(129) Sherry says:

HR actually creates more problems by existing. Having a shield between management and employees is a bad thing as it creates an environment where upper management can error and then let someone else deal with it. If the HR layer didn’t exist in this capacity it would likely serve to deter certain behaviors. This concept is a relatively new one and I just don’t think it’s working. There are more complaints than ever about employer/employee relationships and I think HR is the cause not the solution.

Also, the main “Personnel” functions are gone as well. I liked when you could go to HR for knowledgeable advice and info on things such as benefits. Now when I contact HR I am just given a third party website where I have to figure it out all on my own.

Regarding interviews, for screening purposes I think HR is excellent. I dislike, however, 60 minute in person interviews where a person with zero technical knowledge asks me form questions about my technical background. What are your biggest strengths? What are you biggest weaknesses? When was the last time you ate a carrot?

And final complaint, when did the intellectual level of HR downgrade? I am noticing now it is a collecting place for so many individuals whose previous roles were receptionist?

July 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm
(130) virtual says:

What I know about HR: Lady HR are very very sexy. Apart from that I hate everything about HR. HR jobs are useless in USA, japan, or china like countries where technology is the core interest. HR jobs are as useless as anything. HR people are over smart with no knowledge. Those who pursue management, they are incapable of work on technology. HR’s are trouble makers for employees. HR breaks organization policy as per their needs. Human resource subject is needless for a good society, ultra modern society.

July 5, 2013 at 8:04 am
(131) Douglas Miller says:

As business guru Tom Peters once so rightly said: ‘I’ve met many human beings before. I’ve never met a human resource’. And therein lies the problem.

July 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm
(132) Good, Bad, and Ugly of HR says:

Good – When HR is a business partner to hiring managers, giving them the tools and advice needed to manage human capital.

Bad – When HR is an administrator, planning parties and generally getting in the way of a functioning business. Creating more work for themselves in order to keep or add headcount in the department. Not updating the department into the 20th century, let alone the 21st century.

Ugly – For every hire in an organization, HR sits in. Who is the gatekeeper for HR hires? Nobody, except for in the rare business where a non-HR manager gets a say. This leads to terrible hiring (ironically) – usually discriminatory hires, nepotism, hiring friends or friends of friends, hiring people you think would make “great work buddies,” hiring folks without training, experience, education to do the job. Just look at how may HR folks on LinkedIn have great jobs without no prior experience, education, skills. It’s the ultimate insider profession.

July 26, 2013 at 2:17 am
(133) Akhila says:

Hi, I am an HR manager, of a small IT firm. I’m a person who likes to work in a position as HR manager for my life long since it’s really passionate for me. But, from my small experience as an HR, and from all the above comments, I have read… I wonder why everyone hates HR a lot? I strongly support as my friend said, “I do work very hard to be a mediator between the executive team and the employees at our company. Often times I am not heard or ignored, but employees still lump HR in as the bad guy. Companies and their management teams set the tone for your company culture and I believe that culture will also guide what type of HR department the company will have. So don’t blame HR for something that may really go beyond them and be somewhat out of their control.”

July 28, 2013 at 9:52 am
(134) I_Dont_believe_HR says:

I used to be a strong believer of HR, used to be friendly with them and used to think they were there to develop me as I developed into the company. It couldn’t be further from the truth. My HR director at a previous company teamed up with the national sales director to dismantle the exports department under my boss’s nose and get us fired. I went to her for help and instead I got fired on the spot without a written warning. Incredible! She used the first chance she got to get me fired. That’s slapped the taste of HR right out of my mouth and I now don’t believe them. The HR director in question is very active in SPHR and goes onto shpiel her B/S about how employees should be engaged with the company… Please… HR is all about office politics… Word of advice, do your job, keep your mouth shut, go home at the end of the day, and if you find a better job, quit on the spot and don’t run back – That’s the way business is to be done from now on – You want a warning, then give us one!

July 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm
(135) Marl Chev says:

I just got back from a job interview where I interviewed w/ an Ops Manager, a Manager and an HR Manager (all in different offices). The 1st two guys were as cool as can be and seriously welcoming though the female HR Manager was simply unpleasant at times and sort of “bubbly” w/ most of her explaining. Well into the interview process I caught myself thinking about all of my HR Managers in the past and they all have been sort of unpleasant, unpleasant enough for me to Google it and come here to type my 2 cents. I can’t make anything of it. Good cop / bad cop routine? I don’t know. One thing I do know is now that I think about it I can’t recall an HR Manager whom I really liked.

August 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm
(136) Davidson says:

I had an instant where I was applying for a job. The HR person responsible for hiring decided to go on vacation…for a week. With no replacement. After that she decided to take ANOTHER week of paid sick leave before quitting the company like a sh*t head.

Because she was the only person who did the hiring my application was stuck in limbo and eventually forgotten about all together. I received an apologetic response from the guy who would have been my supervisor. It was a department store position during the holidays and he was desperate for bodies to fill positions. People he didn’t get because of a single HR douche.

They are the gate keepers that hate their jobs because everyone hates them, because they don’t do their jobs. What angers me is that this HR rep took for granted something I was in desperate need of. A job.

August 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm
(137) Human Resources Survivor says:

I’ve been in Human Resources since 1980 and have seen it at its best and worst.

It always depends on the person in charge. When the Human Resources boss is good the Human Resources Divsion is very, very, good. When the Human Resources boss is bad… WATCH OUT!

September 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm
(138) It's hard to be the man says:

I have had a successful career in HR for one simple reason. I have the nerve to tell the truth. I tell truth to power. I will tell management no when they are wrong. I teach managers and supervisors how to talk to people with respect and sincerity.

I tell truth to employees. I explain the business reason behind policies. I let them know what may be open to change and what will never be open to change. When they come to confide in me I make sure they know that there are some things I cannot keep from my boss. They know what those things are before I let them start talking.

I often argue passionately with my boss about a decision I think is unwise. However, once the decision is made it is my job to convincingly explain it to my employees and keep my objections to myself. I teach my managers and supervisors to do the same and never blame unpopular decisions on “corporate.” That is what being a professional is.

I am trained and paid to make sure a union can never gain a foothold in our company. I am paid to minimize worker’s comp claims and get injured people back to work as soon as medical circumstances permit. I am paid to represent the company in unemployment cases and minimize the claims against us. I am paid to fight the EEOC tooth and nail to prevent litigation.

I am also paid to fire the supervisor who hits on his employees. I am paid to ensure that managers don’t promote their friends over more deserving candidates. I am paid to reinstate the terminated employee when someone jumped the gun and fired them.

My job is not evil. I am not there to oppress the workforce. I am there to make the decisions that most people don’t have the will to make. I understand that the power granted me by my employer impacts peoples’ lives. I try in earnest to wield that power justly, balancing the needs of the employees with the interests of the business. It is not easy, but it is a necessary function that provides enormous value when done well.

September 26, 2013 at 6:40 am
(139) Sam Waterson says:

I’ve just had a negative meeting with HR present on a conference call. I was told the reason for HR was to mediate differences and come to a common agreement, but it wasn’t that way at all. The Company’s charges against me, which stemmed from statements from other employees, were very prejudicial, and embellished with over-kill distortions of what actually occurred or was said. It was a laundry list of capitol infractions and totally one sided. I was told by signing the document, I wasn’t admitting to any of the allegations, but merely acknowledging the corrective actions to be reported as either met or not met by the supervisor in 90 days. I was told by HR that if I didn’t sign it they would sign it as a witness as well as my supervisor at which case the document goes into my file as record. HR did not help me at all and it was obvious she had been on line with the Supervisor previous to the conference to discuss and coach the supervisor on documentation. I had no representation from HR. HR is there for the company and company only under the pretense of working for solutions that benefit the employee and their productivity. HR is a legal entity that protects the company and prevents the company from being sued by cleverly restating, re-inventing, and distorting the facts that could involve the company in lawsuits or unemployment claims after a termination. I’m very disappointed in the truth of things regarding Human Resources.

September 28, 2013 at 8:51 am
(140) Chris says:

(part 1) Couldn’t be more true! Especially when the HR manager is like mother hen. This personality type does everything by the book and follows the rules yet this personality type wouldn’t know how to have fun if fun came up and bit her in the ass. This person is a resentful character, a trouble maker, and won’t hesitate to throw an employee under the bus. Combine this with a manager who has the little-man-syndrome and has an ego that gets in the way of common sense and feels threatened all the time by his staff, mainly because they are more intelligent than he is. He is a compulsive liar and uses charm to manipulate and convince his superiors that he is doing a good job. This is a bad boss who will falsely accuse an employee of being insubordinate and will go to extremes to make his charges stick. This person person is authoritarian, a dictator, and a hypocrite. This person is like a cold communist leader and they will discriminate. So now, who do you go to?

September 28, 2013 at 8:54 am
(141) Chris says:

(part 2) The last thing the corporation wants to hear is that there is any trouble going on and they will want to squash the matter quickly. It will be the victim, the employee, who ultimately will lose. Screw these corporations! Screw their handbooks! They can have all the documented witness accounts of other employees of management’s wrongdoing yet they won’t fire these bad bosses. But god forbid if an employee finally stands up for themselves then they get reprimanded and eventually fired if not on the spot. Yet our country allows this firing at will. Our politicians are aware of how bad the job situation is in our country yet there are no laws designed to protect the American people and their jobs. I think companies need a psychologist on board. There are too many typical personality types at work that are detrimental for us. There’s always the inquiring mind who just needs to know all the scoop about everyone’s personal lives. This person should be fired right away. But tell that to HR and they will come up with every excuse as to seeing no wrongdoing by this individual as far as the handbook is concerned.

September 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm
(142) Susan Heathfield says:

Chris,

It sounds as if you need to consider finding a new employer in a secret job search. There are great companies and great HR people out there and reasonable managers, too. You just need to find them.

September 28, 2013 at 8:55 am
(143) Chris says:

(part 3) But the best workers and the best employees always get screwed. The black person calls off all the time, is lazy, shows up late. Yet they are a protected class so the company won’t fire them. The white male who is good at their job and wants to work is fired for asking for more hours during the busy times. File a complaint with the state department on human relations because HR wouldn’t handle it properly or they just take management’s side. The company would rather spend over $20k on a lawyer rather than resolve the issue in a civil matter. HR, from the lower levels all the way to the president of HR are going to defend the company even though the employee is or was a part of the company. So, yes, it’s all BS. It’s one-sided. If you even complain to HR about anything then you will look like the problem unless you are a minority of some sort. Life is too short for this garbage.

And this mindset is taking over and spreading like a disease. Common sense is being thrown out the window in corporate America keeps taking over. It’s spreading into other countries and pretty soon the whole world will fall victim to this evil. You’d think with such strict policies and handbooks that everyone in the company would have to adhere to them but the managers are allowed to do whatever they want. Yeah, there are laws against slander but unless you have tons of money, no lawyer is gonna take your case. And even if they did, they are just gonna take your money. And you can’t go in to work and just give someone an old fashioned ass-whoopin’ cause you’ll go to jail for that. But people wonder why former employees return with a shotgun and start blowing people away. I know I have had it with all the games in these places. It has ruined work for me. And I have been very passionate about my work but it’s hard to care anymore. Most of us just want a peaceful life. I’ll never understand why people think going to work to be an asshole is their job.

October 6, 2013 at 4:59 am
(144) Frank says:

I also work in Europe, but not in HR and I agree with the negative comments above. Although I’m sure that in principle HR wants to help people and that many people go into HR for that very reason, the fear corporations have of legal issues very strongly colors the way HR operates and often people (and this can befall both employees or managers) are forced out over minor conflicts depending on where HR and legal fear there is the greatest chance of escalation. A good HR organisation should try to resolve conflicts at the lowest possible level and with a minimum of paperwork. However it seems that as soon anything is put on paper HR first of all minimizes human contact (to avoid being implicated) and secondly tends to advocate extreme solutions which are usually more formal, and insulate them from legal repercussions (no matter how theoretical these might be). That this style of working exacerbates conflicts rather than resolves them goes without saying.

October 14, 2013 at 1:28 am
(145) An HR Person says:

I am actually quite glad to see such a lively discussion here, it helps us HR people to gain some perspective. I work in HR, I think it is interesting but also embarrassing to see the discussion dynamic above – most of the people who say HR is bad are not HR, and it seems that only people in HR say HR is good. I truly wish to see someone not in HR voice up the good experience they had with HR. But, no. My HR peers, I think maybe we should start thinking why there is a gap? Why we think our work is great but seems not so appreciated by our clients? I don’t have a good answer, but I think I agree with one view that was raised above- we all say we want to be a strategic business partner, we want to understand the business, but the ugly truth is that you won’t understand it unless you were operating in it. I am a big champion of getting HR people cross-functional experience. However, I know the company I work for does not value that and even discourages that, and I know across industries, most HR leadership doesn’t value this either, I read an article that said actually 70% of corporate HR organizations do not value cross functional experience for HR professionals at all. So, HR peers, I honestly think this is a great discussion and we should learn from it. And maybe adding cross-functional rotations as a highly appreciated skillset for HR is a starting point, so that we could really understand them by having sat in their seats and thus support them better and close the gap.

October 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm
(146) Susan Heathfield says:

What a thoughtful comment and great idea. Cross functional training / jobs for HR staff would give them some credibility on the strategic side of the business. It would also give them the opportunity to work side-by-side with their customers for team building and mutual understanding.

October 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm
(147) Alex says:

I think we all agree, HR can be evil. I have had nothing but bad experiences over 25 years, ultimately being forced out of my company because of cowardly HR and yea, worse, UNION people. These people ‘had my back’ when they all obviously saw the pattern of constructive dismissal made against me but uncertain, incompetent and inept bosses. However when it came to the heart of the matter, I was sold out; offered money to go away instead of my job and reputation.

It was devastating and debilitating and I refused to work for any employer for over 2 years; I still don’t play well with others and speak out against useless HR whenever I can.

I was never popular but even those scumbags that ousted me said ‘at least you could trust his word’…ironic from a bunch of liars. They themselves KNOW they are bad people because they identified the goodness and honesty in ME; the object of their firing affections.

I wouldnt hire ANY HR. I would have business and employment lawyers on retainer doing the work so it would (hopefully) be done properly and not come back on the company.

October 23, 2013 at 1:30 am
(148) Vinodh says:

One important thing is HR professionals in my part of the world don’t possess the full knowledge and skills in hiring the perfect candidate. Why? It’s because they are non technical guys. Even if you want to hire a marketing professional, the HR Department would find it difficult to do. They have to partner with the BU Manager or the functional manager. This also stops them from utilising their decisions. They can’t make any decision on their own. Even if you want fire somebody, the HR only issues a termination contract, but the decision is not being taken by them. It would have been directed by the respective Department Manager. I have also seen comments about Indian HR. Let me comment one thing, in a country like India, union based organisations are like a real deal. No where in the world you could see such complicated situations to handle. At last, I hate these HR agents who look like executives, but really know nothing technically. There are whole bunch of so called idiotic HR agents in Australia.

October 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm
(149) Tony says:

I don’t Hate HR, rather I hate the people in HR. It’d be one thing if it was comprised with true HR professionals but this profession is filled with people who don’t know a damn thing about HR.

HR is just filled with people for whom a company doesn’t know what else to do with, so they stick them HR. I’ve noted numerous times on this site how discrimatory the profession is towards men as well.
Susan, How about doing a story about why HR doesn’t hire men?

October 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm
(150) Rose says:

HR gets in the way of hiring, they don’t understand the job requirements so they just list a whole bunch of stuff, then when they get loads of resumes, they don’t even know what they are looking for. HR should get out of the way of hiring, and handle administrative stuff. Leave the hiring to the hiring managers who know what they want.

October 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm
(151) SoftwareEngineer says:

It’s not just that the companies put people in HR because they don’t know what else to do with them. It’s that HR attracts women who are a combination of power-hungry and mean. They thrive on making others squirm, screwing up others’ careers, and having them fired for infractions HR won’t even articulate or explain. It’s the highlight of their day to summon someone to a last-minute meeting, refusing to provide the topic of discussion beforehand, so they can hold all the power as they conduct a baseless, unwarranted inquest. God only knows the psychology behind this, but there must be some mental illness involved. Without oversight outside of HR to keep them in check, HR will never improve and we will all continue to hate and distrust them.

November 4, 2013 at 10:27 am
(152) SomeBSEE says:

Definitely HR has become an establishment of prudish two-faced bigots who like nothing more in the whole wide world than hearing themselves talk. They are around to take the pay out of work, and there is no hope that they should ever be trusted or respected. They are good for nothing.

They have cultivated this toxic atmosphere in the job market where the only way into a workplace is to schmooze your way in, and they are incredibly disdainful of education for a job. That accounts for why their establishment really tends to irk technical kinds of people.

I shouldn’t have earned my engineering degree. It brought a demon into my life. I wasted my years screwing around learning stuff, at a time when my attention should have been directed toward partying and schmoozing. That way today I would be blessed with the network that I’m supposed to have before I can show any promise as a decent employee (in the view of your average recruiter).

November 11, 2013 at 11:28 pm
(153) SomeBSEE says:

I would like to point out that I was describing my American experience with HR in my last comment.

I only want to cast that aspersion on the HR profession in the USA, and not in civilizations where companies tend to take pride in their relationships with their employees.

November 16, 2013 at 8:25 am
(154) vs says:

You dont really need a HR department at all… <a href=”http://sanenet.com/dont-need-hr/”>Check this</a>…

November 20, 2013 at 10:37 am
(155) Galbatorix says:

I have never encountered any competent HR person. I met one competent recruiter once, but he used to have his own company.

The list of incompetent HR is pretty long, from the one who calls herself “worldwide HR director” for a 15 employee company, to the one who destroyed my career by breaching my employment contract in unsuccessful attempts to cover up her successing mistakes (she finally got sacked in the process), through the ones who invite you for interviews to then tell you that the position is already filled (whereas you are flying from another country).

The first problem with HR is that they think they are clever whereas very often they are not.
The second problem is that their work is mostly administrative and they have to justify their presence.

December 2, 2013 at 5:55 am
(156) clau says:

Well, after reading most of the comments regarding the negative stigma associated with HR managers, I can say that I have been thoroughly persuaded to reconsider my decision to consider HR as a career option.

I’m a soon to be high school senior wishing to pursue a job in business and the description of a HR manager highly appealed to me as it conveyed that it was a position that was both managerial and social. I do enjoy helping people but the representations of HR managers seem to suggest they feel the opposite.

I began reading this article thinking that going into the field and hopefully challenging some preconceived notions of the job would be an effective means to begin changing perspectives in HR. However, by the end, all the comments have left me wondering if the HR stereotype has already been so ingrained in business culture that there is no hope left for it.

As an Aussie student, I was under the impression that Australian businesses aimed to work together seamlessly between the employers and the employees and this seemed to be the case. I may be generalising, but are most of the examples in the comments experienced with American HR managers? Aren’t there specific educational requirements (I’m not sure, bachelors maybe?) for what seems to me as a rather important (and prestigious) job that should be taken seriously?

Personally, after reading some of the horrific examples of interactions with HR, I am ashamed to have associated what I previously thought was a meaningful and respected occupation with what in reality was a position that seemed to be occupied (mostly) with idiots who only perpetuate a negative image of a business woman.

For those of you who have pursued a career in HR, perhaps you could give me some much appreciated advice?

Thanks!

December 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm
(157) Susan Heathfield says:

Hello,

I think the key to become a good HR manager – and believe me, there are thousands of them despite what you read here – is a solid education in business and HR and real world experience in HR and in other departments. This produces a well-rounded HR person who has his or her finger on the pulse of the organization, understands business, and can make HR decisions that move the business forward. Keep in mind that people who take the time to comment are often outliers who may have had a terrible experience with HR and want everyone to know about it. HR is a fine profession. Take the opportunity while you are in high school and early in college to set up informational interviews with HR people where you want to live and work. You will learn a lot about our profession and meet some lovely people.

I’d say that the comments in this thread are primarily US, Canada, UK, and Australia based on spelling and colloquialisms. Here are a couple of resources: http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossaryi/g/informational_interviews.htm and http://humanresources.about.com/od/hrbasicsfaq/tp/careers_in_hr.htm. Best wishes. Don’t let go of your dream. Learn more.

December 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm
(158) SomeBSEE says:

Thinking twice about preparing for a profession can be the most important thing somebody ever does with their career.

My plan to become an electrical engineer turned out poorly because the industry suddenly globalized its way out of the United States, and off to Asia and Central America.

My degree is not proving to be good for any alternatives. Recruiters in my country prefer checking on whether their candidates are well socialized over checking on whether they are well educated. Whenever college coursework does not involve detailed training for a certain job, college degrees achieved will be overlooked 100% by American businesses.

If you are working in a profession other than HR, the best way not to have bad experiences with HR, thus becoming an outliar such as myself, is to find yourself an economically secure trade, make thousands of friends, do your job right, avoid all conflicts, and maintain your distance from HR.

December 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm
(159) Happily_Retired says:

If I were you I’d avoid HR like the plague. OK most of the above gripes are from the US and many, I suspect, are from people with a real chip on their shoulder but consider (i) many comments from HR people themselves complain that HR people can’t make it to senior management level and (ii) those with “strategic” HR training are finding that they never get a chance to use their knowledge as management sees them as little more than administrators.

HR is no place for the ambitious.

December 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm
(160) allen says:

In my 20+ years work experience in the HR consulting industry, where I get to meet diverse clients, my general observation is that the HR Team/ Department is usually treated at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of coporate hierarchical structure. Marketing/ Sales/ IT/ Finance/ are high on the food chain, but HR is at the bottom.

December 11, 2013 at 8:06 am
(161) Highly Educated says:

I’d heard friends call them “wasted resources”.

I was about to finish my PhD when I was falsely accused of sexual harassment by a part-time co-worker out of vengeance for a comment I made concerning another student’s research, who just happened to have outdone her research. HR overheard the allegation and conducted a 6 month-long “investigation” (i.e. witch-hunt), during which; I was interrogated, intimidated, and lied to; witnesses were misled, lied to, and intimidated; and reports prepared with deliberately omitted information, falsified evidence, and outright lies (based on subpoenaed documents). Not one single witness out of 20 corroborated one single false allegation, but rather indicated the perpetrator was lying. HR (not the perpetrator) then drew up new allegations and re-interviewed witnesses, who didn’t corroborate these new allegations either. Nevertheless, HR claimed they believed the perpetrator, terminated my research position, suspended me indefinitely from my academic program, banned me from campus, and issued images of me to campus security.

I filed and won a civil suit against the perpetrator, who now claims she was coerced into filing a formal complaint and that HR actually wrote a complaint for her that would pass the institutions metrics. HR actually even considered paying the perpetrator’s legal expenses to cover their backs. I also filed complaints with the EEOC (and other organizations) against HR, which are ongoing.

HR demonstrated their hatred, incompetence, and willingness to squander resources that aren’t theirs to fulfill their own sick agendas. There are undoubtedly good people in HR, but it’s also a filter that collects evil, incompetent people and gives them powers they shouldn’t have. There’s nothing “human” about them, calling them “wasted resources” is too kind, “criminal resources”, or just plain “criminal” is more appropriate.

December 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm
(162) Susan Heathfield says:

You don’t mention charges against the university except HR. I would say that these charges were warranted, plus reinstatement, plus a lot of money, and an apology. What a story.

December 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm
(163) james says:

We just hired an HR person after not having one. Before we had an official HR person we had no performance reviews and all that other garbage. Now we do and I hate it. Why do HR people have no clue what’s useful to people? Just stick to filing my insurance stuff and hiring people. Other than that go away.

December 16, 2013 at 6:17 am
(164) SomeBSEE says:

What does it mean when HR people rise above the robotic secretarial duties and the picnic planning in their field, to have a “strategic” role which ought to be regarded as an aspect of senior management?

Have they developed themselves into Master Manipulators?

December 20, 2013 at 11:09 am
(165) Matt says:

I have similar sentiments with Josh in regard to HR interactions. I thought I’d add one more useless function of the department. As the front line to the corporation for potential employees, the HR department is invariably, the first people you speak with in terms of an interview process in getting hired. I never understood the need to speak with someone face to face to talk about my job experience aside from a phone conversation-this should be more than adequate for any HR manager. How could they possibly know the job I’m applying for and explain in detail, any of its responsibilities beyond what’s written in a job spec? It’s a waste of time to earmark several hours a day to make an appearance at a company’s office to speak with someone you will not be reporting to, doesn’t have the knowledge base to speak informatively about the job you’re applying for, and can’t answer any of the job related questions I may have. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to meet with HR reps who tell me about roles only to meet with the people I’d be working with who explain the job in detail at which point both sides agree/disagree on the potential hire being a good fit for the job. DON’T WASTE MY/YOUR TIME!

December 22, 2013 at 8:58 am
(166) joe smith says:

Dear HR, there will always be a special place in hell for you

December 28, 2013 at 1:04 am
(167) Robert Shea says:

I am in a bad situation that I don’t think is even legal. I work in operations in the company I work for. The operations manager (my boss) is also the HR. Is this even legal? My boss is abusive and who am I to complain to? I don’t know what to do.

December 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm
(168) Susan Heathfield says:

Hi,

We just answered a reader question about what to do when the problem is the HR representative. Perhaps it will be helpful to you.

http://humanresources.about.com/od/ask-susan-questions/fl/hostile-work-environment-question.htm

Employers may assign roles as they deem necessary. Not knowing your company, I don’t know if the HR role is appropriately assigned, but it is not illegal. In fact, a trend is currently occurring wherein traditional HR responsibilities are being passed to line management.

December 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm
(169) NotHR says:

I truly don’t understand HR. I feel they have invented reviews, tests, and personality profiles to justify their remedial jobs. While back in school furthering my degree I’ve been looking for some part time simple work. It’s unbelievable that low paying hourly jobs require testing to complete the submission of an application. These invented personality profiles and online skill tests are outrageous. If HR can’t interview a person and form a judgement about whether or not the applicant will bring value to the company then they should fire themselves. Are they attempting to fill all positions with the same personality types? What happened to diversity?

January 9, 2014 at 2:46 am
(170) Sean says:

Most of the co workers I have spoken to consider HR people sociopaths. From what I have seen I’d have to say I can’t disagree.

January 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm
(171) SomeBSEE says:

NotHR, “diversity in the workplace” is like so 1990′s. Most people representing HR aren’t concerned with diversity, or even fair hiring practices, and they very probably never will be.

They ran that “diversity” gig in the 90′s when the US economy was growing and company executives felt that their workforces were not large enough. They wanted everybody with skills to feel comfortable applying.

Now the profession’s tune has changed considerably. Not quite a surprise if it comes from a shape-shifter hardly-ever-honest breed of people.

The thing that bothers me about all that personality testing software is that the tests to get hired are so dopey these days.

It is more evidence that education is being greatly overlooked as a factor in deciding who to hire. Your college degrees and your hard-earned licenses through examination (like CPA or state bar) used to be your ticket into the door, not your “score” on those dumb questionnaires.

January 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm
(172) Pissed Off and Sick of It says:

HR is horrible. Gatekeepers for jobs which they know nothing about and do not understand. Yet, they act very high-and-mighty and condescending to applicants. Jerk you around, lie to you, ignore you, avoid you. HR should be obliterated. Joke of a profession.

February 27, 2014 at 8:53 am
(173) Levi Hawk says:

After reading many HR ie: Job search columns, and being on the unemployment line long enough to have submitted my share of online resumes. I can share my experience with those interested enough to read my following comment (s). First of all, after I spent 13 years working for the same company, answering to the same HR department, you get the feeling that you not only know them well but you feel you’ve established close relationships, even friendships with them. Well, not so fast, mister! Then you find yourself, after 13 years, in need of a little assistance, you explain your position and wait for results. Then you leave the company after allowing them ( HR ) to handle your legitimate grievances. Still nothing, happens but more silence. You decide maybe you should speak directly to the HR manager that you’ve grown so fond of after 13 years of what you thought was a friendship. Well, then it happens, they go from how are you to… not answering your emails or calls. And I am not talking about negative emails, I am talking about any emails or phone calls. That friendship you thought you had, simply did not exist. You were only a number and now that you’ve given them a reason to either take sides or do their job by addressing your issues, you find out, they’re there to protect the company and that’s what they plan to do, at all cost. Do you take it personally, of course you do. Did you do anything to deserve the cold shoulder, absolutely not. Is this the nature of the beast, yes it is. Is HR there to protect you, help you, guide you? No, absolutely not. They exist for only one purpose to separate you from those they answer to as best as they can. If you want to make HR work for you, see them for who they are, upper management security.

February 27, 2014 at 10:49 pm
(174) nea says:

I find the opposite of what Joshua says to be true. my HR department is far from an unbiased middle man and consistently sides with CSRs against Supervisors and Management. They use the guise of “legal concerns and concerns for the company as a basis” but if this were true, CSRs wouldn’t be able to run to HR every time a Supervisor asks them to do something that they are required to do. They are a high and mighty entity that does no wrong and even if the CSR is in the wrong they are never accountable for their actions but the Supervisor takes the fall every time. I do not know what to do when I have a concern that should involve HR but I don’t trust them to be helpful to me or unbiased. I would go so far as to say my HR department is a corrupt bunch of incompetent idiots.

February 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm
(175) SomeBSEE says:

Genial and positive people who would hurl anybody under a bus in a New York minute

March 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm
(176) MJ says:

It always amazes me when employees think HR are there for THEM. Who do you think employs us?

We are the there to support MANAGERS with their HR ISSUES. Not to be advocates for staff (although I do also have a moral responsibility to hold up a mirror to managers when they’re in the wrong).

If you have an employment relationship issue – get a lawyer or go to your union. When you come to me with your HR issues, I’ll be as nice as pie to extract all the info I need!!

March 13, 2014 at 9:53 am
(177) sam says:

Our organization is not for profit. The CEO controls HR and both are corrupt in that they are unethical. What avenues are there for redress?

March 13, 2014 at 11:15 am
(178) Susan Heathfield says:

Think about this carefully because you may lose and your position could become untenable, but you can address this with whomever the CEO reports to. Every agency reports somewhere. I would not do this without strong documentation and proof with witness statements where possible. Note that this agency or individual may be part of the problem, so you have to be prepared to go up the ladder from there. Alternatively, you can go to the agency Board of Directors. You can also leave after conducting a secret job search. Before you do any of this, know what your goals are and that they are worthy. You can easily mess up your job and career.

March 14, 2014 at 7:56 am
(179) Chrystal says:

I could say so so much – I am a HR professional of 10 years – the one thing that stood out to me the most is that Joshua feels that HR ‘sides with the company’. Well, the simple answer is, yes we do, because that is who employs us and pays us – our core role is to protect the company from risk and support management in managing employees. HR does not manage employees or make decisions.

Naturally any modern HR Practitioner will show consideration and aim to have a genuine interest and regard for employees – however, if employees want representation, they need to seek support from their manager, internal employee assistance programs or a Union.

HR Practitioners are not councilors, metal health first aid practitioners, or in charge of the business.

Sorry that was a little ‘ranty’.

March 15, 2014 at 10:55 am
(180) Trar says:

MJ, I have never seen an HR doing good work.
Usually they are not very intelligent people recruiting and dealing with intelligent people.
What you explain reveals the extent of the problem. Those doing the work are the employees, not the employer, nor the HR. You should care about the employees. I have seen HRs sacked because the employer learnt how they treated employees…

March 17, 2014 at 3:25 am
(181) Silvio says:

MJ, that’s exactly where the problem comes from.
You think you are doing good for the CEO and the company. But usually HR are missing the intelligence to understanding what’s really the CEO and the company.
I knew a bunch of HR like this, they were messing up everyone’s career because they thought they were doing their job. When the CEO learnt about what they were doing and how they were treating people, he sacked them.

March 29, 2014 at 10:57 am
(182) Susan says:

I agree with Joshua. I have not had good experiences with HR. Many are former admins or secretaries at the firm. My experience in one interview is a clear example. I met the requirements, and was interviewed in person with the manager and HR person. The HR person kept adding requirements that were not mentioned earlier. As she was doing this, I smiled and showed her examples of similar work I had done. She became more angry as I calmly and politely responded to her. She finally stormed out of the room. Then the manager who had witnessed this, apologized to me for the HR woman’s behavior. She informed me that the HR person had been a secretary for many years until she married the CEO, now she thinks she is the CEO. Every now and then I glance at the firm’s website and notice this woman frequently changes her title. Interesting. I no longer look at career opportunities at this company.

March 31, 2014 at 11:32 am
(183) Silvio says:

I was told once that engineers who end up as HR were actually poor engineers. I met such a person like this, he was totally unable to complete any project.

I can also tell you this case. I was once invited for an interview in a foreign country where I had to fly to. It was a large international recruiting event, only open upon invite. Because I already interviewed once for the same position with the same campany, I phoned HR at the HQ to make sure they wanted to interview me again. I was answered yes because I had more experienced.
When I went to the interview, I was directly told that all the vacancies had been filled.
I sent a letter to the CEO who responded apologizing. The next year, the company was not present anymore during this event.
The HR person was just inviting candidates to show she was conducting interviews, even if there was no more position available.
This interview had cost me $600…

April 8, 2014 at 5:57 am
(184) Jenny says:

I am an HR practitioner for almost 15 years and I must said I hate my job, especially so in the last 2 years. I feel the higher I climb and the more I know, The more I am trapped. Sandwiched in the middle between employer and employees who don’t really see eye to eye on many issues, playing the mediator, but at the end of the day, even when I do personally take the employee’s side, I have to play by the employer’s rules because I am paid by them. The irony with HR is, we help all in the organisation, but when we have problems within, no one can help us. Worse is when facing unappreciative bosses or colleagues. Facing all the government legislations only add to the burden with laws and deadlines. My solution – I am switching careers soon!

April 8, 2014 at 7:22 am
(185) Blessing Samuel says:

Thanx to Christina, I agree with you. Am also an HR in a company. In Nigeria. Yes there are bad hr and we can still find good ones. I hope you had a good experience soonest

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