Thursday, July 10, 2008

HR: Waste of Time or Plague on Modern Business?

I was watching Miami:CSI earlier this week (it just wouldn't be Monday w/o Caruso quipping bad one-liners and striking a profile pose), and it was an episode dealing with IAD - the scourge of many a good cop show. Know about IAD; all the cops hate it, good cops as well as bad ones. IAD never really does anything useful, it just gets in the way, sucks resources that could be much better used somewhere else, and it harasses honest folk to no end. Which made me think about Human Resources.

I have been in business for a quarter-century, and while I have great respect for administrators who handle records, enforce policy, and can point out the most intricate points of the law on employment matters, especially as I have done a lot of such work myself, as a unit I can find no justification for the existence of a Human Resource department. They do not hire anyone, they do not develop employees, they do not fire or discipline anyone. They do not produce revenue, they do not recognize achievements of an employee or group, they do not develop solutions for problems and constraints. What's worse, they uniformly hinder those who actually do those things. The real business people do that. Asking around, I have never found any experienced businessperson who thinks an HR department makes his company more effective, or a better place to work.

How about you? What's your HR experience?

1 comment:

Anthony said...

I was just layed off from my job after 8 years. It's kind of a long story, but the pertinent part is that the company I originally worked for was purchased by a large corporation, and the HR department went along.

The exit interview was really kind of funny; they pretended to give a shit, and on a personal level, I suppose they did. Doesn't matter, business is business. What corporations need is a couple of lawyers to handle these matters. Make that 1 lawyer with a staff of 2 clerks on site to handle day to day matters. That situation should do well for a corporate facility with a staff of upwards of 1,000+ employees.

That being said, I am not one of those bitter, complaining Americans that Phil Graham was talking about. He was right, which is what pissed everyone off. I have a severance package for a reason; it came from my hard work. It allows me to find another job at a rate of pay I can live on considering my age and marketable skills. Life is good.