Is the Human Resources Department a Joke?

by Evil HR Lady on February 13, 2015

I got this lovely comment on an article about how to treat your employees better:

The human resources department is an absolute joke. Do you realize, that if it weren’t for all the people that you trash talk about, you wouldn’t have a job??? If this were a perfect society, there would be no need for useless women like you. I wish businesses didn’t have to waste money on the HR position, which by the way, the only reason it’s always women, is because The only thing they are good at is being bossy, back stabbing, shady morons.

Thanks, Jim! I love a great comment. My favorite part is why you bothered to click on a blog titled “Evil HR Lady” if you hate HR so much. Maybe the evil part drew you in–and you were hoping this would be a place for stories about horrible HR people.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are certainly horrible, awful, HR people. There are HR people who gossip. There are HR people who are bossy and backstabbing and shady morons. Absolutely. But, let’s be honest (shall we, Jim?). There are Finance people who are awful, backstabbing, shady, gossiping morons. There are Marketing people who are awful, backstabbing, shady, gossiping morons. There are food service workers who are awful, backstabbing, shady, gossiping morons. You might get the picture.

Some of the things HR gets blamed for, HR has no real power over. Let’s talk raises. “That horrible HR person won’t let me have a raise!” Well, who sets the budget for raises? Finance. Who determines how that budget is spent? Your boss and your boss’s boss. Who gets blamed? HR. Yeah! Blame.

For the record, I point out bad HR when I see it. But, because there are some bad HR  people doesn’t mean all HR people are bad. I mean, we’re not politicians.

You want to know why there are so many HR people? First of all, there’s all sorts of government regulations that someone has to keep track of and make sure that the company is compliance.  You’ve got affirmative action, FMLA, ADA, health insurance and a zillion other things that your HR department handles behind the scenes.

Second, you need someone to handle the recruiting. It’s not feasible to have every manager handle all recruiting by themselves. You need someone to handle that. It’s not just the act of getting new people in the office, it’s knowing how to find and persuade the right people to join the company. It’s knowing how to seek out specific skills in inch thick stacks of resumes. It’s knowing about people.

But, the real reason you need HR people? Because of people like you who have refused to leave Jr. High. You need HR because people don’t always do their jobs. You need HR to handle disciplinary procedures because John can’t be bothered to show up to his meetings and Sarah can’t bother to do her work. You need HR to tell Kate that she needs to shower regularly and Jose that he needs to wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom. You need HR to tell Harold to keep his hands to himself and Carol that someone’s compliment on her outfit wasn’t sexual harassment.

You need Human Resources because companies employ humans. And humans are deeply flawed. You need help with that. And that’s not just a general you. It’s a specific you. Jim, you need someone to help you learn how to be a good employee, because right now, you don’t know.

Previous post:

Next post: