What’s it really like to work in Human Resources?
Having worked as an HR professional for 30 years there is nothing I haven’t seen.
People genuinely believe that working in HR is a good choice of career because they like people and HR deals with the soft and fluffy stuff. This ideology of what happens in HR couldn’t be further from the truth.
HR is not for the faint hearted and in my opinion is one of the most challenging roles which can be emotionally exhausting. Of course, it can also be one of the most heart-warming and satisfying roles too.
I have always provided my HR expertise to the SME sector and have proudly suggested that “I’m a business person first, HR second”. The expectation for HR professionals to look after the welfare of employees is archaic but not altogether redundant. Personnel Departments (there are still some around) very much focused on transactional, welfare activities. HR is a much more broad, varied and business strategy driven function.
I have a reputation of saying “I don’t like people”. Of course this is as far from the truth as it possibly could be. If I didn’t genuinely care for people, have compassion and empathy, I wouldn’t have survived 30 years doing a job, or calling, I love.
The difference effective HR can have on people and a business is astounding. No matter what initiatives I have had to implement and drive through in any business I have supported, my key philosophy has always been to treat people with respect, courtesy and allow them their dignity.
Next on “A Day In The Life Of” I will be talking about some specific people challenges that SME’s face on a daily basis and how HR can support.