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    I thought I'd start a thread examining experiences with HR departments. My own experience has been abysmal.

    HR departments tend to be populated almost exclusively by women and gay men as its less attractive to high flyers, for all sorts of reasons. This isn't meant to be homophobic, I'm gay myself. And I've found HR departments tend to be as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    In my own case, I've found HR "Business Partners" (ironic given they contribute so little to the business) to be terrible; they're arrogant, incompetent, lacking in basic knowledge relating to employment law, lacking in basic human compassion and common sense.

    A good HR department should mitigate and head off legal liability for the company or organisation. In my experience, they often exacerbate employment tribunal type situations.

    What do you think? What are your experiences?
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    (Original post by mostcivilised)
    I thought I'd start a thread examining experiences with HR departments. My own experience has been abysmal.

    HR departments tend to be populated almost exclusively by women and gay men as its less attractive to high flyers, for all sorts of reasons. This isn't meant to be homophobic, I'm gay myself. And I've found HR departments tend to be as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    In my own case, I've found HR "Business Partners" (ironic given they contribute so little to the business) to be terrible; they're arrogant, incompetent, lacking in basic knowledge relating to employment law, lacking in basic human compassion and common sense.

    A good HR department should mitigate and head off legal liability for the company or organisation. In my experience, they often exacerbate employment tribunal type situations.

    What do you think? What are your experiences?
    HR are usually useless tossers who lower the morale of the staff they are supposed to be supporting and getting the best out of. I know there are a minority of good HR people out there, but the majority are morons.


    A lot of HR people need to get out of their comfy offices IMO; get out on the front line and actually sell themselves, their profession and listen to the staff they support, instead of having some sort of superiority complex.

    Also I hate how HR are involved in interviews. These people most of the time don't even know how to do the job they are interviewing for. Get these tossers off panels and get actual managers and supervisors on the front line in there.


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    (Original post by mostcivilised)
    I thought I'd start a thread examining experiences with HR departments. My own experience has been abysmal.

    HR departments tend to be populated almost exclusively by women and gay men as its less attractive to high flyers, for all sorts of reasons. This isn't meant to be homophobic, I'm gay myself. And I've found HR departments tend to be as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    In my own case, I've found HR "Business Partners" (ironic given they contribute so little to the business) to be terrible; they're arrogant, incompetent, lacking in basic knowledge relating to employment law, lacking in basic human compassion and common sense.

    A good HR department should mitigate and head off legal liability for the company or organisation. In my experience, they often exacerbate employment tribunal type situations.

    What do you think? What are your experiences?
    Well, I currently work as a recruitment consultant and hope to pursue my career in HR, and I do have to agree with you. HR is all about people, since without them there are no successful businesses, but many people forget about this. Not only in consultancy, because the amount of candidates we go through each day is massive (and we have a huge pressure to close vacancies), but also in HR departments, and the bigger the company, the worst it is.

    Forgetting my experience as a recruiter, as a candidate my worst experience was having a phone call scheduled for a big FMCG company, in a language that I knew well but was uncomfortable in, and therefore had to prepare a lot, and the HRBP did not call me at all. When I asked the company what was going on, I had to have the interview with another person one week and a half later and travel 5 hours to attend such interview, only to be rejected and not given any kind of feedback at all... and I can never apply again because I reached the final stage of the process.

    I also know another HUGE consumer goods company that has stated all over their website, email signatures, vacancies and so forth that they are an equal opportunity employer, and while working for them, we were told that male candidates were definitely preferred.

    I love HR because of the challenges and the constant contact with people, and hopefully I'll be able to join a company that respects their employers.
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    See it from HR's point of view:

    - They spend the majority of their day giving out bad news and taking flak for it - you're getting let go/no you're not getting a pay rise/you've been overpaid and we need it back/we're disciplining you etc - usually these are not their decisions but the decision of senior management or decisions forced by company policy which HR don't set, but HR have to bear the brunt of the reaction.
    - A tiny HR team is usually tasked with looking after a high number of employees (two HR staff look after 500+ employees where I work) who all want their query attending to immediately before anybody else's - most HR departments are overstretched due to understaffing - again a senior management decision but who bears the brunt when there is a backlog? HR!
    - Additionally because HR staff know too much sensitive information (people's salaries, people's grievances, etc) and other employees find it difficult to relax around them, HR can be a lonely job and you don't get the same opportunity to bond with colleagues (Can you imagine if HR was heard *****ing about senior management in the accounting department at lunch?) as you do in other roles.

    Yes, there are probably some useless HR staff, as there are in any department, but mostly they are just trying to make the most of the resources they have to do the difficult job they need to do.
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    (Original post by moutonfou)
    See it from HR's point of view:

    - They spend the majority of their day giving out bad news and taking flak for it - you're getting let go/no you're not getting a pay rise/you've been overpaid and we need it back/we're disciplining you etc - usually these are not their decisions but the decision of senior management or decisions forced by company policy which HR don't set, but HR have to bear the brunt of the reaction.
    I know what you mean, but I'm a trade union branch secretary, and I've dealt with many HR business partners, and I've found many of them are incredibly arrogant in that they don't seem to understand that this is someone's life. There have been many cases (for example, a disciplinary case where they accused these guys of theft, but there was no evidence). I went to them informally and said, "Look, there is no real evidence and you are going to invoke a procedure and process that will be incredibly bitter, and may very well end up in an Employment Tribunal". They didn't listen to me, they proceeded and ended up losing the case when the manager who was acting as the "judge" of the case said they had been exceptionally incompetent in their investigation, they had not investigated mitigating witness statements, and son.

    I've experienced that repeatedly; I tell them they are purusing a disciplinary case that is a loser, they won't win and it is extremely unfair to proceed, and they do so anyway

    - A tiny HR team is usually tasked with looking after a high number of employees (two HR staff look after 500+ employees where I work) who all want their query attending to immediately before anybody else's - most HR departments are overstretched due to understaffing - again a senior management decision but who bears the brunt when there is a backlog? HR!
    I agree with you there, but it is perhaps important to distinguish HR from payroll. I've found payroll people are most reasonable

    - Additionally because HR staff know too much sensitive information (people's salaries, people's grievances, etc) and other employees find it difficult to relax around them, HR can be a lonely job and you don't get the same opportunity to bond with colleagues (Can you imagine if HR was heard *****ing about senior management in the accounting department at lunch?) as you do in other roles.
    My problem was that the HR staff abused their position and proceeded in cases of a disciplinary nature where there was no basis to proceed, when they had been warned in good faith that it would be a total cluster****, and they proceed anyway. Because it's not their career and pay packet at risk, they seem to proceed in an incredily arrogant manner.

    Yes, there are probably some useless HR staff, as there are in any department, but mostly they are just trying to make the most of the resources they have to do the difficult job they need to do.
    Many of the HR staff I've dealt with, as a union branch secretary and representative, have been fantastic. The problem is with those HR staff who are useless, and the employer is unwilling to accept they are useless and dispose of them. They are incredibly arrogant, they are willing to ruin people's careers, they are vindictive and spiteful.

    That ****s me off. It really makes me angry that they are so incompetent in an area that could mean a man in his mid-50s, who has worked for the employer for 25 years, being threatened with losing his salary and therefore his house, over a case where thereis no evidence. It's outrageous
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    (Original post by datpiff)
    HR are usually useless tossers who lower the morale of the staff they are supposed to be supporting and getting the best out of. I know there are a minority of good HR people out there, but the majority are moron
    Well said dude, completely agree. Your comment was spot on
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    Trust me, HR isn't an easy job. The majority of the time, the HR department is understaffed which is a real problem in itself. I work for an organisation which has 1 manager, 1 assistant and 1 part time officer responsible for 100+ staff. It's not easy I assure you, even if you streamline your approach. HR are often made out to be the bad guys but at times its management that pressure them and put them in a position where they have to be the bearer of bad news. Some of the examples you have given me are not as common as you may think, i've never encountered it and don't know of many people who understand what the whole HR function is about in its entirety. General admin work, payroll, attendance, grievances, setting up new employees, carrying out interviews, forming policies/proceedures and making sure they're enforced, advertising jobs, answering any queries that employees/prospective employees have. People may think it's easy but I assure you it isn't. I work with some really bright people (thankfully)
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    (Original post by randomgeeza)
    Trust me, HR isn't an easy job. The majority of the time, the HR department is understaffed which is a real problem in itself. I work for an organisation which has 1 manager, 1 assistant and 1 part time officer responsible for 100+ staff. It's not easy I assure you, even if you streamline your approach. HR are often made out to be the bad guys but at times its management that pressure them and put them in a position where they have to be the bearer of bad news. Some of the examples you have given me are not as common as you may think, i've never encountered it and don't know of many people who understand what the whole HR function is about in its entirety. General admin work, payroll, attendance, grievances, setting up new employees, carrying out interviews, forming policies/proceedures and making sure they're enforced, advertising jobs, answering any queries that employees/prospective employees have. People may think it's easy but I assure you it isn't. I work with some really bright people (thankfully)
    Tbh Id agree with you there. Often the issues lie, with senior management and not HR themselves. We have two divisions of HR. Ones the "nasty side" ie: the hiring and firing, and ones the "nice side" ie: people development. Funnily enough, I quite like the nice side

    Also, I know the people on the "nice side" by name
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    (Original post by de_monies)
    Tbh Id agree with you there. Often the issues lie, with senior management and not HR themselves. We have two divisions of HR. Ones the "nasty side" ie: the hiring and firing, and ones the "nice side" ie: people development. Funnily enough, I quite like the nice side

    Also, I know the people on the "nice side" by name
    From my experience most small/medium places have HR Admin > Assistant > Officer/Advisor > Manager > Business Partner. The bigger places may be split differently, a few places I interviewed for had huge HR departments. You have to think of it if you were in their shoes as well, they have to take actions and not let their emotions get tangled within the decision or it'll just confuse things. Obviously look at the entire picture but if people aren't performing well enough, demoralising others or aren't doing whats expected of them then they should expect consequences.

    Most HR people are nice, in order to be a good member of HR staff from my experience you have to be great with people. I don't understand how those who aren't get so far. In my current job I'd say HR staff are amongst the most liked tbh. People come in to confide with us, ask us anything and they know that they can trust us.
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    (Original post by randomgeeza)
    From my experience most small/medium places have HR Admin > Assistant > Officer/Advisor > Manager > Business Partner. The bigger places may be split differently, a few places I interviewed for had huge HR departments. You have to think of it if you were in their shoes as well, they have to take actions and not let their emotions get tangled within the decision or it'll just confuse things. Obviously look at the entire picture but if people aren't performing well enough, demoralising others or aren't doing whats expected of them then they should expect consequences.

    Most HR people are nice, in order to be a good member of HR staff from my experience you have to be great with people. I don't understand how those who aren't get so far. In my current job I'd say HR staff are amongst the most liked tbh. People come in to confide with us, ask us anything and they know that they can trust us.
    Tis a large organisation. Let's say the ones I've talked to are really nice. Ones also freaking attractive, but that's beside the point

    And yeah I guess you really do need to be a people person for HR
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    (Original post by de_monies)
    Tis a large organisation. Let's say the ones I've talked to are really nice. Ones also freaking attractive, but that's beside the point

    And yeah I guess you really do need to be a people person for HR
    Most people in 'people work' like HR are *****y. In my experience female dominated professions are *****y and cliquey.


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    (Original post by de_monies)
    Tbh Id agree with you there. Often the issues lie, with senior management and not HR themselves. We have two divisions of HR. Ones the "nasty side" ie: the hiring and firing, and ones the "nice side" ie: people development. Funnily enough, I quite like the nice side

    Also, I know the people on the "nice side" by name
    Most of the energy in my experience goes into the nasty side. You don't even see the 'nice side' because most HRs live in their office and you only see them when there's a problem.

    I cannot express how important it is for people in the HR profession to actually show their faces to people on the front line


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