Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why people don't like HR?

If you have watched a TV show: "The Office" you know that one of the most hated  is Toby Flenderson who works for HR. Human resource department is indeed one of the least liked part of every organization.

But why is HR hated so much? Let's have look some of the most common reasons:

1) Too much bureaucracy

HR is full of unnecessary procedures, which only slow down the work of organization.

2) Their hiring criteria is ridiculous

In some organization the rule of thumbs for managers is to avoid as much possible to use HR in a hiring process. HR criteria doesn't filter the best candidates.

First thing is that they use automated software in filtering resumes. Automated software filters resumes by using certain keywords. Therefore it is more important which words you used, not what you said.

Second is that they look more at the form. Resume design matters more than real skills and experience.  Also the best resumes are written by resume writers. How does a resume helps in finding the best candidate when ti was written by somebody else?

And third thing is that they don't understand a position very well. Has it ever happened to you on the interview with HR,  that when you are at the middle of trying to explain all your programming skills, what have you done at previous job etc... and how it would matter on a potential current job, you realize that an HR representative doesn't understand a thing you are saying? You are trying to explain how your knowledge of Python can help in working with C ++, while they don't know what Python is. It is always better to talk with a person who actually knows what the work is all about, a potential boss or a co-worker.

Fourth, they use psychology test and questions which are not so relevant. All what it matters for most jobs is how responsible you are and that you are not a sociopath. Tests which measure level of your empathy, childhood traumas,  etc... are really not important. For example, a friend of mine has recently been asked how many siblings he has and how has his mother treated him. Is that reasonable?

4) Out of touch with reality

In solving employee problems or in trying to motivate employees they can use techniques which are out of touch with reality. For example, not letting employees to choose where they want to go to team building, but deciding on some corporate criteria. Forbidding jokes which might be considered sexual abuse etc...

5) They always side with employer

HR is paid by management, not employers. Consequently, they act in management's best interest. Don't trust them, or confess them something personal. In order to look good in management eyes they can break the confidence. If you told them that you don't like your boss, you better say good bye to the job.  They put a false friendly face, but don't care about employees, they only care to minimize lawsuit possibility for the organization.

6) They have no real skills and are overpaid

Some managers even claim that HR doesn't have real skills. All they know to do is paperwork organization. Most of them don't have communication, organizational or psychological skills.

Also, more people they fire, the more they get paid for cutting costs.


I don't even know where to begin....This is awful.

1.Yes, but only because the government deems it as such. We only do, record, have you sign, etc what is required, not necessarily by the org, but by government
2.All four points are off the mark where I am at, and most places I have been (interviewed or worked) this doesn't fit either. We don't interview, the teams or divisions do. We do not care about format (mostly), but we do care about punctuation and spelling. If you can't get that right, you have poor attention to detail. For those that use automated software, it is a guide, not "oh, he is the number one result, let's bring him in".
3.There is no three, so I guess this explains a lot...
4.Umm no, Every place that I have been you can suggest some to management and vice-versa. Also, corporate criteria is pretty important, I bet the CEO, the board, etc know what they are doing and they are trying to instill a certain culture or increase certain abilities that are probably pretty important.
5.Ummm no, again. I don't even know where any of this comes from. We don't disclose personal information. If you know something that is detrimental to the company, we may mention it, but leave your name out of it. For me personally, I went into HR because I DO care, go figure...Yes, minimizing lawsuits is important....
6.What? And no, if people get fired, or laid-off...that is not how it works....

To Anonymous poster above, it is all true.

HR are nothing but scum.

I am looking for jobs and facing a similar frustration everyday.

However, a positive way to think about it is:
1. Teaches you patience
2. If you can convince them to hire you, you can convince anyone in the world.
4. Its nice to have some people for the purpose of prejudice. Give their empty smile back to them, bitch about them in the back.
5&6. They can talk. During an interview, I spoke about a really impossible idea in a confident voice. Made it to the next round. Use the fact that they don't know anything for your advantage.

I agree with this so much, though there are nice ones out there. But in general they are excessively politically correct, humourless and petty. To the nice ones I apologise.

In every job I have ever had, the HR department has been a complete and utter waste of time (for the employees), and in some cases actually done them harm.

If today's HR workers had been part of Hitler's Nazi state apparatus (which they would no doubt have loved), they would have been the Gestapo, who were even despised by the other Nazis...

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