I found this article, Why I Hate HR, today. I realize that the article is over a year old. What can I say? Perhaps I can quote Mr. Hammonds: “HR people aren’t the sharpest tacks in the box.”

I would say something both witty and withering, but I’m not smart enough to think of anything. I’m just sitting in the corner sobbing because some B-School graduate thinks I’m not smart enough. Waaahh!

Except I am, thank you very much. And so are my co-workers. (Well, most of them…) I’ve met complete idiots in HR. I’ve met complete idiots in finance, marketing, legal, IS, research and, most recently at a home improvement store. I’ve also met brilliant people in all of those departments. (Even the home improvement store.)

It’s undoubtedly true that the “best and brightest” MBA candidates steer clear of Human Resources, but that does not mean HR people are less bright than the MBA students. (Although many of my colleagues have MBAs.) The reason I don’t have one? I don’t want one right now. That may change some day. In my experience, HR is largely female. Females tend to be the primary child rearer. Many women with small children don’t want to be fighting their way up the corporate ladder.

He also seems shocked that HR professionals rarely identified finance classes as being important to their career. Can I say, duh? I’ve been in HR for over 7 years, in several different positions. Finance isn’t what I do. Why would I say that a finance class was especially helpful if it wasn’t?

But, Mr. Hammonds asks some excellent questions:

Why are annual performance appraisals so time-consuming — and so routinely useless? Why is HR so often a henchman for the chief financial officer, finding ever-more ingenious ways to cut benefits and hack at payroll? Why do its communications — when we can understand them at all — so often flout reality? Why are so many people processes duplicative and wasteful, creating a forest of paperwork for every minor transaction? And why does HR insist on sameness as a proxy for equity?

Excellent questions and I’ll give you the inside answers. But later. I have to go do something other than grab for the brass ring.

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3 thoughts on “I Am Offended

  1. I read the article and can’t help thinking that, going by his own arguments, the companies overall are the real culprits. Many of them don’t really have a sense of what HR can do for and don’t give HR enough power or responsibility to implement new ideas.

    Though I may be a bit colored by my own experience, where as a payroll manager I was expected to just pay people their checks, tally personal time, and file taxes. The rest of HR was left to be little more than a glorified database and forwarder of resumes and cover letters, unfortunately.

    Very frustrating when you’re dealing with employees on a certain level and can see how things could be improved, but you have no authority to do anything about it and your higher-up doesn’t get it.

  2. I agree with you whole-heartedly. Companies choose what they want HR to be like and then complain when it is like that.

    I used to be in the wonderful situation of running year end salary increase programs. 100% my responsibility to see that the program happened. Would they allow me to come to the meetings where the policies were decided? No. They didn’t need my input on that.


    I really planned to comment more on that article today, but that whole Radio Shack thing came up and I couldn’t resist.

  3. I don’t blame you: that was a doozy! Still, if you happen to find time in the next couple of days to elaborate on this article, too, I for one would love to read your thoughts.

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