An acquaintance just got her first job after being a stay at home mom for many years. She’s a recruiter. Salary? $10 an hour.
Take that in for a minute.
She could make more money working fast food, yet a company is trusting her to be part of finding the best possible candidates for their company, and they only value her work at $10 an hour.
She’s happy to have the job, and she figures she’ll get good experience here. I’m delighted a company was willing to take a chance on someone who hasn’t worked in a while, and I hope they thoroughly train her. But, it’s clear that recruiting isn’t a priority for them.
That’s problem number one. Inexperienced and untrained people recruiting for you will offer a less than great candidate experience. A less than great recruiting experience puts off good candidates and reinforces the notion that HR doesn’t know what they are doing.
That is not to say that my acquaintance isn’t doing a good job–by all accounts she is. But, she won’t stick around there long term. Why would she? She’ll get training and move on to a company that now appreciates her refreshed skills.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, more than once, I’ve seen people pose the following question; “I’ve just been hired as head of HR for a startup. What do I need to know?”
When you hire someone to head up your HR who has to go to an online forum to ask what they need to know, you’ve just told the entire world that you don’t care about your employees.
So, when I hear business leaders complaining about how awful HR is, but they hire inexperienced heads of HR and pay their recruiters $10 an hour, I know that the problem isn’t with the HR professionals, but with the business itself.
The best HR person in the world can’t overcome a CEO who doesn’t value expertise in this area. Sure, some of the best HR people come from the business side of things, but they need training in the actual field of HR.
Now, I shouldn’t complain too loudly, as a lot of business comes from poorly managed HR departments. When your HR manager doesn’t know how to properly pay people, about the interactive process for ADA, what sexual harassment means, or any number of other things, you either end up in court or have to hire someone to help you.
Of course, employment lawyers should serve as experts. Of course, even seasoned HR pros need to hire a consultant from time to time. If you don’t have the basics down, you won’t even know when you need to hire someone to help you out.
So, business owners: if you want good HR, you need to pay for it and hire someone with experience to run the department. Otherwise, take a look in the mirror when you complain about the Human Resources Department.