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  • Writer's pictureJudith Moeckell

We are not the HR police - Dispelling myths about the People Function

I was talking to a perspective new client the other day who told me that he used a HR company to help him 'get rid of people'. I found myself replying that although a company needs some attrition of people, too much is costly in time, money and reputation. Having a trusted advisor based partnership with a HR professional should mean that you make the right hiring and development choices and actions so that the need to 'get rid 'of people is limited.

I mused to myself that even in 2022, HR is still mainly thought of as a team of people that sit in some ivory tower malevolently scanning the employee database and randomly picking on hapless people to terrorise.?

Firstly, we don’t have that power, the role of HR is to guide and provide expertise to the line manager in order for them to make the right decisions on their teams and secondly why would we want to?

Apart from the very rare exception of some distant relative of the marquis de Sade, most HR people I have met in my time are generally quite nice people who like a laugh and think the most satisfying part of the role is to help contribute to a happy high performing workforce.

The second myth I want to dispel : HR is only about employee relations (i.e. the hiring and firing bit).

That’s a bit like saying all engineers can do anything from fixing the electrics in your house to building a nuclear power station.

HR is a generic term for all things related to the employee lifecycle. Within that function there are operational HR people who are very good at the day to day running of the people function (including the employee relations area), and there are specialists in all of those areas: Reward, D&I, Learning, Coaching, Change etc. The trick for all employers is knowing what you need and who to go to help you achieve that. For example, I am foremost a talent specialist so am the ‘go to’ person if you want to understand the skills you need in your company and how to acquire, evaluate and develop them.

If you were looking for someone to create and implement some HR policies, I would absolutely not recommend myself, but of course I know a man (or woman) that can.

And the last myth : Everyone thinks they are experts in people

Respectfully you are not. While your opinions are very important, if you invest in financial expert to assist in the cots and revenue why not do the same for your human capital because what have you got without an effective workforce!

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