Many Myths About HR
I was once a Software Developer – debugging codes, running them, testing on target, releasing memory and those dangling pointers and then building to check how many errors are still unresolved. But it was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to connect dots and think differently. I wanted to get home from work thinking what a productive day I had – something that was as real as me writing and you reading. So, I moved to Human Resources.
A field that was chosen out of passion and interest. A field for which I left my full-time job of over thirty months and became a student again. My time was well spent – I learnt what I needed to and my mind opened up to new things. This year I completed five years in this field of my choice and I’m a happy with what I do. I can see the value that I add and I like the fact that I am learning.
Over these five years, I met many others – and I’m specifically talking about the ones who were not in HR. Some were friends, some were acquaintances and some I just happened to know. Something that was common was the myth around ‘that HR dude’ or ‘this HR lady’.
HR Folks don’t work
If HR people never work, why would an organization pay for free? Not working is not a thing of pride. Have you ever spoken to the ones who wait to get into projects? It’s not that easy as it sounds. HR folks don’t just sit in front of a computer and call it a day. They coach, they motivate, and help people do the right thing. Sometimes it hard but they do it. Sometimes, at the risk of their own jobs they do what’s right. Some unfortunate ones are mobbed and killed cos they were doing the right thing.
HR Person did not know how to help me
Possible. Isn’t it? Do you know everything about your job? The HR person could be new to the company or it could be his/her first job. We all make mistakes and sometimes we fail to deliver. May be you asked the wrong guy. May be it was not his/her area of expertise. So what if one HR person could not meet your expectations? If you don’t know a little thing in your area, is it fair to say all in your field are like that?
HR people are always arranging events
Let’s talk a little subject here. Many companies assume that engagement is equivalent to having fun at work. They forget that engagement is also career development, personal growth, opportunities to advance, monetary benefits, encouragement and a simple pat on the back. They try to equate engagement with fun activities and ask HR to play point. In many companies, arranging such activities for employees becomes a part of HR’s KRAs (Key Result Areas). Well, if you work at an organization where HR needs to organize such events, you should understand that these HR folks are just doing what they are expected to.
HR folks are always having fun
Well, HR team in most companies is a small one. They stick together and go out for breaks/lunches together like you do within your team. Cos so many people know the HR team – they tend to be seen by all and sundry. There is nothing wrong in laughing together and eating out. All that glitters is not gold and when you see them having fun, may be they are sharing a light moment after a tough day or may be it’s someone’s birthday. Don’t judge.
HR always favors the manager
HR doesn’t favor anybody. HR abides by the company values and what is right for the organization. This doesn’t stop them from ignoring the wrong doing of anybody – be a manager or an employee. The HR policies for any company are same and do not discriminate between levels.
They are in HR – they can do whatever they want
A big myth. HR is under more scrutiny than anyone else. They have to walk the talk and set examples of the right behavior. Be it dress code or any other conduct within the organization, HR like any other employee has to follow the same rules. They just cannot do what ever they want. It’s an organization and no jungle.
You are a girl, HR is the field for you
That’s one myth that annoys me the most. Men in HR have proven how great they can be. Being in HR is not an easy thing if people want to say that girls should take up the easy career option. HR is challenging and rewarding. The community is small and people know each other. Almost everyone has worked with at least one person on the team in some other organization. That’s how small it is. Perform or perish is the mantra.
HR dresses to show off
Have you heard of the research that suggests that people who dress the next level show confidence not just with their work but their overall personality? Being presentable anywhere is a good quality and if HR people dress well, I think it’s a positive trait. After all like any other employee, they are also brand ambassadors of the organization.
You are in HR, can you help me get a job?
Yes. HR can help but know that in most companies Recruitment is a separate HR function. Recruiters are peers who are already sourcing profiles and many a times, other HR folks would not even know if the position is already closed or what stage it is in. Don’t just assume that it is in HR’s hands to find you a job. You resume has to talk of your skills and before you assume we will leverage our contacts to get you a job, understand that things are not so simple.
Personally, over these five years, I have always challenged people who talk of such myths about HR. I do that to not defend myself or my work but to explain a point of view that they must have not even thought of. I plan to continue to do the same in future. For you readers, I would say that don’t judge HR. They are there to help you and support you whenever possible. Like you, they also work to earn their living and if they were not the right talent, who would want to employ them?