Look Who’s Playing HR

My biggest beef for the HR professional and unprofessional of the world is who is acting with moral and intent vs who is the bumbling fool in the office.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the education of an HR, let’s list the courses taken in both the certificate and degree program:

40 hrs + for each course including Business Management, Organizational Behaviour, HR Management, Benefits, Performance Management Training, Labour Relations, Health & Safety, Recruitment, Project Management, complete the list of full time courses taken. A maximum of 20 hrs will be spent on the next courses, Harassment Training, Conflict Resolution, Change Management, Communication, Conducting Effective Interviews, Building a Positive Workplace, International HR, Harassment and Investigations, Compensation, Community HR, HRIS, Tools for Training, Cross Cultural HR.

This seems like a sparse list of studies and training for an HR professional. Especially since typical job descriptions for HR and growing demand for community liaison, project mapping, action plans, policy writing, staff training & coaching, debriefing and counsel, translation, complex conflict resolution, workplace safety, crisis intervention, analysis and response, socioeconomic development, job description and report writing, talent management, payroll management, labour relations management, employment standards implementation, human rights awareness, employee wellness, disciplinary action and more are sought after skills of the trade. My own education consists of a bachelor’s in Social Work, an additional bachelor’s in Political Science, a Masters in War Strategy in Urban Communities, additional certificates in Conflict Resolution, NVCI, Character Assessment, Profiling, Threat Analysis & Response, languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and this is all on top of my HR certificate. Okay, so I’m a little over educated for the standard HR position, but without at least half of my education, I honestly don’t know how I would be an adequate HR.

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Human Resources manages such sensitive information. They get to know their employees on a whole new level, including disabilities, disciplinary action, reports, skill level, benefits, payroll, reviews, office conflict (and all the gossip that follows), they are privied to company budget information, cut backs, pay increases, bonus info, company vision, projected plans, vision change, and so much more. I do however suspect that as the HR position grows, so the required education will too. My biggest pet peeve for HR is glorified office managers who have zip training and score this amazing position. So much of HR is people oriented with tact and diplomacy. It takes a talented chameleon to go into a work environment and revolutionize positive change management from the ground up. There are many misconstrued ideas of what HR does and the role they hold within an organization. The old school myth is that HR is there to play problem solver for employees and smooth over relations. Or the flip side is that they are there to play Office Manager and handle payroll. Unfortunately these are bad reasons to take on an HR. The HR should be focused on people management, strategic planning, ensuring everyone is on task, assisting the senior management with goal development, and from there may optionally hold a speciality in the workforce such as trainer, recruiter, hiring manager, benefits manager, analysis, advisor, and so forth. What’s even more unfortunate is the people recruiting for HR seldom actually know what to look for and thus hire an individual lacking in skills. It is a vicious cycle for HR to face, especially those who are adequately trained, to step into this kind of situation.

Whoa to the HR- you face a rocky road. But don’t worry, with any luck you can write your own job description.

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