Earlier this week I phoned a blogtalk radio show hosted by Paul Parris called the ex-recruiter show. Nothing unusual in that but the guest, HR Fishbowl, who I was really impressed with, got me thinking. Is the real problem with H.R. that it is thought of as a Dept rather than a function?
I should point out this is NOT the view of HRFishbowl. I was listening to comments and reading tweets aimed at the HR Dept and not the function of HR.
Listening to callers, and recollecting a PunkRockHR blog,, post #TruLondon entitled “What I learnt at #Trulondon,”containing the comments:
1; Recruiters hate H.R.
2: H.R. hate Recruiters.
It struck me that this kind of thinking, which i’m very familiar with, could be at the heart of the issues that arise. From where I’m sitting, the solution could be to radically change our approach to H.R. delivery and responsibility.
At risk of provoking a fatwa from H.R. practitioners globally, I’m going to ask the question. Should we scrap H.R. Departments all together and replace them with an H.R.culture that embraces the whole of the organisation and is the responsibility of everyone?
Let me outline some of the thoughts behind my thinking:
1: If we believe, (and we should), that people are the most important ingredient of a companies success, then shouldn’t everyone at every level be concerned about human relations, and not one department?
2; Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of every leader in the organisation to ensure a company operates within the law and ethically, and not have an over reliance on H.R. to act as policeman?
3; Shouldn’t H.R..issues be firmly “on the table” rather than H.R. practitioners trying to force their way to “the table” as we so often hear?
4: Should the culture of the company allow for the continuous development of people by whoever is the best practitioner of the area of interest? Does having a training dept hamper Managers taking responsibility for the development of their people?
5; Should hiring be one of the core responsibilities of the Managers, along with reviews, appraisals and all the other people tasks that get passed to the H.R. Dept?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti H.R. I just wonder if the existence of H.R. Depts gives the organisation the opportunity to adopt a “not my job” attitude The problem as I see it, is that H.R. is thought of as a department, and not as an integral function and responsibility of the organisation as a whole. If the Dept got scraped, and functions like payroll got absorbed in to accounting, would the H.R. agenda as a whole be taken more seriously?
I’m not giving answers or views, at the moment I have only questions. Please leave a comment and shoot me down, or better still, come to #truUSA in Madison on 18th/19th april, when I will be raising this in the future of H.R. track.
Be ambassadors for great H.R. whatever your job!