HR: Friend or Foe of your Organization?

hr_friend_or_foeHR serves indispensable functions to provide redress to employees’ grievances, compile and enforce the Company Code of Conduct, handle benefits, facilitate reviews, training, all sorts of compliance issues, keep the Company safe from legal liability, etc. etc.

HR is generally not well suited to attract, screen and hire (but they do). HR is the gatekeeper of the talent a Company incorporates, and overall we can say that your Company will perform as good as the people you hire. Keeping the best people out and selecting the mediocre ones hinders the Company competitiveness, innovation and risk-taking.

HR by nature and necessity is risk-adverse: who wants an HR Department that puts the Company at risk? 100% compliance is the measure of good HR. People tend to hire the people they like. We tend to like people alike to us. Everyone knows that being liked by your interviewer is essential to get hired (and promoted once inside).

Risk-taker, those indispensable individuals that bring the necessary innovation and breakthroughs (the real ones!) any Organization needs to stay relevant and lead the way, are the antithesis of a process-oriented, compliance-vigilant, methodical, organized, routine, predictable, reliable, safe-at-all-cost HR worker.

When put in the position they claim as their title-right to chose the new team members for any team in the Organization, HR does what it knows best: stay safe, chose people who fit the mold, people like themselves.

It is said that most HR departments would not hire as employees the very people who founded the Company! Would Apple’s HR hire a smelly, disheveled Steve Jobs?

Will Oracle hire a self-centered, arrogant, my-way-or-the-highway Larry Ellison?

Nevertheless, those people precisely made those companies possible, including the jobs of everyone at HR!

Candidates to positions at any area of the Organization should be selected and screened by the people they will report to. Does this create a risk of cronyism and favoritism? Sure! People like to work with… people they like, just like HR! Question is: which risk are you willing to take as an Organization?

While HR should perform background checks, reference checks, drug screening, degree validation, etc. the rest of the selection for a successful Organization that thrives on innovation and taking risks should stay away from HR.

Jene C Paz

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6 Responses to HR: Friend or Foe of your Organization?

  1. Diamond2 says:

    People in hr know nothing about IT and ask stupid questions

  2. coolType says:

    I am a Systems Architect and get calls from recruiters every day. When they want to schedule an interview with someone in human resources I won’t go. Only project managers or people from IT can interview me and I get plenty of offers to chose. I don’t waste my time with those people!

  3. TessRed says:

    Best candidates get jobs quickly and don’t wait for extended periods of ‘no feedback’ while HR drags their feet ‘doing their job’ (how else can they justify their salaries?). So all that is left to the slowest to hire are the…. leftovers! That is what these very busy HR departments get to hire, the worst, those who can’t find a job, that the other more efficient and dynamic companies won’t hire. In this case, sure HR is a foe to their own company!

  4. Anne Harvey says:

    Some of the comments on this article are telling. HR people are NOT technical people. In fact, they often seem to be completely lacking in any knowledge of the jobs they are recruiting for. Real world examples: Young attorney deemed UNqualified for attorney position because he was just a “clerk” (as in high level clerkship for a judge); Licensed architect w/ 20 years experience deemed UNqualified because his resume did not state simply enough that he could draw technical drawings and build buildings.
    HR ignorance hinders the hiring of technical “top talent” every day. Yes, they are the current gatekeepers, but may be allowing in more poor placements than highly qualified employees.

  5. pete wallace says:

    hr depts. in almost every company i worked at never understood the weigh of tech knowledge. at interviews, they kept asking script questions, and i really could tell they weren’t really listening to my answers if they were not in their scripts, even though the solutions i suggested would be more effective… their inability to see outside of what they were told (when a project manager, or it supervisor would immediately catch on) puts many it pros in the position they are in today… that is frustrating.

  6. HR can be friend if they understand our needs and requirements and help to solve employee problem

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