Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Hiring and Firing

One of the best bloggers around, Adullamite - my fellow Jambo and the only Hearts supporter still alive to have witnessed the club's Scottish Cup triumph over Hibernian in 1896 - has had some disparaging things to say about Human Resources professionals

http://adullamite.blogspot.com/2008/11/job-interview.html

Now as an HR professional myself - although some might challenge the word professional in my case - I feel I must defend my fellow hirers and firers. I'm sure my good friend June in Seattle - a fellow HR professional - would agree. Some of the people I come across on a daily basis at work would test the patience of any reasonable human being.

Interviewing potential new recruits is the easiest bit. That said I've interviewed some numpties in my time and have endured stoney silences, people who just won't shut up for five seconds and people who give just totally irrelevant answers. I've also had the 'funny' handshake - but that cuts no ice with me.

I was introduced to one interviewee a few years and she greeted me with 'Hello Mr Smith, I've heard a lot about you - but I'm sure none of it is true'. I swear I had never seen her in my life before (she didn't get the job)

An applicant interested in a Home Help's job stated in her form that her current duties as a cleaner included moping and hovering. She was a right barrel of laughs at the interview...

Dealing with existing staff is far more stressful than recruiting new ones. Some people will take out a grievance if someone so much as looks at them the wrong way. And some of the disciplinary cases I've been to would send a shiver down your spine. Although I still smile at the memory of an old Trade Union official who didn't particularly like the fella he was 'representing' at a disciplinary hearing and asked me what time we were kicking the s**t out of him. I suggested that, if it was all the same with him, we would merely dismiss him...

But one thing the HR profession will never be is popular. I remember someone telling me he was glad he didn't work in a job that was so unpopular. And he was an auditor...

But to Adullamite and others I say this. For a business to operate successfully it needs to employ the right people. And to recruit - and retain - the best you need to have right people to do so. Those right people being arguably the most important of any organisation (including the NHS!) - the good people of Human Resources!

3 comments:

Lilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilly said...

I was an HR Manager in Edinburgh for a large catering company. Mmm I ended up putting people through personality tests and swear by them. Being a Manager is easy, if only you didnt have staff. People are the most bizarre things when all is said and done. Gosh I have so many stories. There is nothing worse though then choosing someone and then as it turns out they are a complete dud. My daughter is an employment lawyer so she gets them at the other end when their company is trying to sack them. But given one in five people have a mental illness than I guess there is always going to be issues in the workforce which often cannot be picked up at the recruitment stage. And I so agree in HR you can never be popular either with the managers for enforcing the legislation or the staff for doing the same thing. Some line managers also expect HR to do their job for them. Very stressful job particularly in industries which have a revolving door. Its a fine line to walk and a tough job. Kudos to anyone who is in the field I think!

Groanin' Jock said...

I don't envy you. Although some of the fruitbats you have to interview must at least be entertaining!

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