What CEOs Hate About HR People

After my last post here at FOT, I walked into my CEO’s office, with my tail between my legs, my head held down in shame, and I told him I had been officially blackballed by the HR community.  I asked him if he wanted me to have Kris Dunn pull the article and if I should go grab a box for my personal belongings.

He read my article, he read all 70-something comments, he looked at me, and he smiled.

Meredith, this is so brilliant!  I love it!  Don’t let these people get you down. I have an idea for your next post.  I want your next one to be called, “What CEOs Hate About HR People”.  Oh, and Meredith, you did the right thing by not hiring her. Don’t doubt yourself because some people disagreed with you. Now, put on your big girl pants, and keep doing what you’re doing.

So here I am, on assignment from the Boss Man, writing about what CEOs hate about HR people.

I’ve interviewed five CEOs.  Their companies range from 100 employees to 1,000 employees.  I have promised them all anonymity.  They didn’t ask for their privacy, I just offered it up front (I figure they have better things to do with their time than deal with hate emails from FOT readers).

  • I think HR people can become too employee friendly, and they blame that on protecting classes of people. Heck, this day and age, almost everyone falls into some sort of class. Why do I have to feel forced to keep people who aren’t performing because you’re too scared – or don’t want – to pull the trigger? I value your opinion, but if I want someone gone, you had better figure out how to make that happen.  I don’t want to hear excuses that they’re protected. I want you to help me run my business.  You work for me. Don’t forget who pays you.
  • You don’t/can’t recruit.
  • You’re nothing more than a paper shuffler.
  • I can outsource your job and not have to deal with you.  It seems easier than listening to you tell me you “can’t” or “don’t feel comfortable” doing something.
  • You can’t conceptualize how to put together a cutting edge development program, despite HR talk about becoming a “learning organization.”
  • There’s too much of a focus on compliance and protecting me from myself.  I have learned that if you treat employees well, you don’t have issues, so compliance is not an issue.  My only complaint employee ever has been the HR Director.
  • I hear lots of talk. I see limited results.
  • You can’t read financial statements. I don’t consider someone a good business partner when they can’t understand our finances.
  • You’re in HR and hate dealing with people.  You always complain, you’re always grumpy, and it seems like you just wanted to be the boss of something. You are in the wrong profession.
  • I got rid of HR because no one could hit objectives.  I now have a professional recruiter and a Director of People Development.
  • You can’t sell. If you can’t sell the direction of my business or a job to someone, what good are you?
  • I hate it when HR brings me a problem without also bringing me an answer.  When a weird and strange HR event occurs, which seems to be just about every day, I hope that my HR person will bring it to my attention without delay, but I also hope that she/he will have an opinion as to how we should handle it or some options on different approaches.  They should also be ready with pros and cons on their ideas, as most of these situations are NOT so clear cut.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to “see things through the associate’s eyes” but far too many HR professionals do not know where to draw the line on this issue.
  • I hate it when HR does not know when to involve outside legal advice and when not to.  I expect you guys to know the employment laws better than me, and to have strong opinions about what is over your head.  However, equally bad is when an HR person is scared to make ANY call and ALWAYS says, “well before we do anything we need to check with a lawyer.”
  • You preach about performance reviews, yet you have no idea how to manage performance once you get the results.
  • Most of us are where we are because we enjoy what our companies actually do for our customers each day, and we view HR as taking us away from this.  Spending a half day discussing a family medical leave issue or a 401K problem takes me away from the parts of the business enjoy most.  So anything that my HR team can do to minimize wasting my time on HR is appreciated.  Any CEO worth his salt knows how important her/his associates are, so we will make time for it, but we look to you all to make sure that the time we spend is impactful and efficient.

There you have it!  Out of the mouths of 5 CEOs!

What do you think? Are they spot on? Or do they just not “get” what HR does?

FOT Background Check

Meredith Soleau
Meredith Soleau was supposed to be a famous country singer, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real.” She graduated with a B.S. in Business from the University of Toledo, and landed a gig as a Human Resources Director at a large car dealership in Ohio. After eight years of HR at a car dealership, she burned out, decided to sell cars herself, and has since launched her agency, where she specializes in finding blue-collar workers. Clearly she has plenty of stories. But the best stories are probably about Meredith, herself. Read them on her personal blog, meredithsoleau.com, where she holds nothing back. Follow Meredith on Twitter. Become her friend on Facebook. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


  1. OD Nerd says:

    Spot on. GREAT post. I will bring this to my HR group asap.
    I was a CFO prior to heading towards HR. Transitioned because I love people more than numbers. Coming from that side of business has given me a great objectivity. I recommend all HR people take a managerial accounting class.
    If we are to be strategic partners, we have to know what is thought about us and how to overcome it. Thank you.

    • Meredith says:

      Thank you! I think it is so important that we learn the business.

    • L&E lawyer says:

      Most of the comments of the CEO’s were ridiculous. Like most people in business leadership, they don’t understand the HR function and blame HR for the results of their shortcomings. HR has to remind you of the compliance issues to avoid costly litigation. CEO’s of small companies like these (1000 employees) will not learn the value of HR until they make a decision that results in a six figure judgment or settlement. Good HR personnel remind you when you’re violating the law, take the time necessary to understand the facts and issues involved, help management see the other side of the coin before the lawsuit is filed and provides solutions to avoid it. But, sometimes, business people want HR personnel to become miracle workers and cosign their bad illegal habits, and get angry when HR reminds them of the law. HR is an advisory role, but at the end of the day, the business people make the decision who they want to hire and often times they pick the candiate HR would not have recommended and then complain when their bad hire manifests itself. The HR funciton is a tough job and these CEOS give HR managers a bad name unjustifiably. My guess is that everyone who commented is not a labor and employmnt attorney. as a lawyer I see the struggle HR goes thorugh int he organization.

      • Sollicitor says:

        To L&E lawyer,

        You are going to make me cry over these poor HR people who are misunderstood by everybody but you 😮 !!

        In my experience, I have never seen people breaking all the rules and laws more than HR people towards employees (and in big and famous US companies) including : employee harassment, repeated racist comments towards foreign nationals employees, entire emails written by a HR “manager” full of syntax and orthographic mistake that a 10 years old don’t make anymore plus so full of errors in term of legal matters that my lawyer could not stop laughing…

        These people have little if any legal education, they most of time assume because at it says in this article, it’s their arrogance and supposed “power” over people that precede any competency or skills they might have.
        Unfortunately, contrary to what you think, too many Executives make the mistake to allow them to have power over employees and even worse over applicants. It is how companies have a high attrition rate and companies hire more and more incompetent people, because HR just don’t know anything about talent, skills and productivity.

        Since when people who have never exercised any other profession than HR are able to assess and judge who is a good Salesman or manager or accountant ? Who else than a peer can judge another peer ?

        The problem today is the wrong importance that HR people have taken in companies. In time where there are no jobs, they are used as wardens to reject people and to do the administrative tasks around collecting resume even when there are no jobs.

        Because of the prominence of tools like linkedin, they have even managed to work less and less. Instead of doing their jobs like talking to applicants, they know simply browse on the web the bull…. that the majority of job seekers put on linkedin and decide from there who is employable or not.

        You wouldn’t believe how many companies with a reputation of seriousness let these people decide of the company future by hiring mostly according to their very doubtful criteria (it goes sometimes down to a guy or girl having a “cute” picture on linkedin).

        When you let idiots and incompetent people do you job and recruit your workforce, you end up with an organization full of incompetent, inept employees. And when you let HR recruit their friends and family as it happens most of time, you end up with imbeciles with big titles who are not even able to write a correct email.

        L&E lawyer: You are so wrong about HR. The few you know are the exceptions, not the rule.

  2. TLColson says:

    hmmm… sounds like those CEOs made some bad HR hires if their interest truly is in their business and their people. Perhaps they also didn’t teach their managers to manage – (see performance reviews and terminating people they want terminated) Nor did they give authority to their Senior HR Leaders to make decisions if there are lengthy conversations about 401ks and FMLA – though, seems like CEOs would want some input in those instances…. as they greatly affect workforce planning and employee retention.

    I dunno. A few sound like at least 2 CEO’s I’ve worked with… and left quickly – Because they wanted me, as their HR Manager or Director, to find the way around the law to get them what they wanted.

    Honestly Meredith – I get what you are attempting here – but what it comes off as is “I’m smarter than all the people who disagreed with me because I talked to CEO’s who think HR sucks – which I wouldn’t have done if they hadn’t disagreed with me.”

    So when the CEO asks you to “hire someone young, and preferably female – because i want energy and girls do this job better” – are you a complainer when you point out the problems with that?

    Just curious.

    • Meredith says:

      Are you freaking kidding me right now?!

      I am certainly not trying to come off as smarter than any HR person. If I was, don’t you think I would have an opinion in there somewhere? This article is straight forward with ZERO opinion out of me. I was just saying WHERE the article came from and that I was EXTREMELY humbled and bothered after my last post. Obviously, since I went to my boss about it the next day and asked him how he wanted me to handle it. And then he encouraged me to keep writing, and he even gave me an idea for my next post.

      I simply reported what I was told, and then I asked for your thoughts. And just so you know – this article took a lot of work! It’s hard to track down CEOs and get them to talk to you for an article.

      So how does that turn into I only spoke to CEOs who think HR people suck? I don’t think ANY of them think HR people suck. I think, like you said, that they are telling us where we go wrong (because the HAD made bad hires).

      We can learn from this. We SHOULD learn from this article. But we should’t turn it into, “Oh, it’s just Meredith being Meredith. She’s so stupid.”

    • que says:

      “wanted me to find a way around the law to get what they wanted” this is EXACTLY what separates a good HR manager from a machine that sorts papers, which is what it sounds like you prefer to be.

    • Sollicitor says:

      To TLColson,

      “So when the CEO asks you to “hire someone young, and preferably female – because i want energy and girls do this job better” – are you a complainer when you point out the problems with that?”

      That is exactly what happens in HR departments mainly populated by females. As you know, girls don’t do this job better, they are as inefficient and incompetent as their few male colleagues. But, asking to hire someone young and a girl sounds like:
      1.Segregation for the others
      2. Negative discrimination
      3. The first step in sexual harassment

      I wonder why so many females are doing HR, and why so many are just there to serve as decoration (and coffee) in the boardroom ? Strangely most of these “window dressing” also happen to be quite pretty.

      It would explain why you have so many incompetent people in HR, If the only criteria is to please the eyes of the boss (plus if affinities)…

      You certainly know what you are talking about as a HR “manager” 🙂

  3. Cory says:

    Great post! I think there are parallels in this article between HR and every other department in a company. A CEO can make the following statement about any department (change HR with Finance, Operations, Customer Service, etc.)

    “I hate it when HR brings me a problem without also bringing me an answer.”

    Simple answer – HR needs to take more of a internal consultative role, with answers, and not waste anyone’s time making a big to do about nothing. My CEO likes to know everything, however he wants to know how YOU as the HR expert handled the situation – that’s what I’m paid for; protecting the CEO and making his/her life a hell of a lot easier.

  4. Graeme Imrie says:

    While this makes for a provocative editorial and most of it rings true (I’ve written on the subject – http://www.careerproud.com/new-jargon-alert-hr-entrepreneurs/), I don’t think it’s fair to brand an entire profession based on a limited sample of of five CEO’s who clearly have incompetent HR leads. That said, I’d be happy to help any of these CEO’s address their HR deficit. Perhaps theys should start by managing out their inept HR folks.

    • Meredith says:

      I LOVE it that you offered to help them! That is very HR of you! HA!

      Thanks for the great comment!

    • Sollicitor says:

      “I don’t think it’s fair to brand an entire profession based on a limited sample of of five CEO’s”

      Unfortunately, they have branded themselves by their outrageous and arrogant attitude towards employees and applicants.

      Of all the companies I dealt with as a contractor, employee, candidate (100 of them), I can count on the finger of one hand the professionals, good, human and competent HR people I met.

      Most of them were incompetent and harmless but an abnormal high amount was incompetent, hated people, were mean, arrogant and despicable. I know not of any other profession except may be sales where you have so many bad people.

      A lot of people hate HR, just have a look around you and on the web, and it’s not because people love to hate HR, it’s HT fault globally…

  5. Nick says:

    Meredith, this post and the adult film star post are both spot on. I’ve seen it too often that HR forgets its role – make your boss’ job easier by being a true personnel manager. Rules I try to work by are as follows:

    • Manage performance – let people know their shortcomings, help them improve, fire them if they don’t
    • Hire good people – get people who can do and will love their jobs; don’t hire people you won’t like working with. Don’t be stupid about who you hire – if it is a bad idea, don’t do it. If you suck at recruiting, spend a day with your company’s best sales rep.
    • Choose your battles – don’t be a stick in the mud, speak up about REAL problems. Don’t be scared to disagree with your boss, but don’t get butt-hurt if your plan is rejected. Don’t lecture your boss / other managers on compliance.
    • Take a business class – understand that you are generally viewed as a cost center. The quickest way to change this idea is to tackle your boss’ toughest HR problems and not annoy the boss with the nerdy HR stuff.

  6. KB says:

    100% spot on… there are too many HR peeps out there who want to have it their way but do not understand the business, do not communicate or educate and do not build relationships. You can get a ton of good stuff done by finding balance between employees and the org, being real, and simply doing the right thing.

  7. DHansen says:

    This reminds me similar to well-known, but awakening article “Why We Hate HR” from Fast Company’s site. After reading it I had a lot of “Hmm” and “What?!” moments: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/97/open_hr.html

  8. Great post! Definitely true on how HR needs to make firm decisions and not waiver or get the advice of lawyers, managers, CEOs etc.It is important that they tow the line and are not overly sympathetic and getting bogged down in detail. It does no good to point out issues and not solve them- you just get in the way!!!

  9. LG, Exec Dir HR says:

    I think I have to fully agree with most CEO’s. When they hire HR people that have not other background, why do you think they are as they are? Most great HR Leaders have left the arena of HR and went to Operations or at least got further education. I left HR after 27 years, worked as an Operations Excecutive for 5 years learning much more about business in general. I complemented that knowledge with an MBA as well. Then came back into HR as a real leader with leadership experience that helps my organization and CEO in more ways than one would ever think.

    So CEO’s need to look outsisde the box when looking for a “real tested” HR leader if they do not expect what is written above. This article backs my

    • Sollicitor says:

      You an exception, not the rule, however, it doesn’t mean that your team has experience:

      – How do you hire people today in your organization ?
      – Do you answer to every applicant, whatever the outcome, with a personalize letter/email ?
      – Do you serve the interests of the employees or mainly those of the company ?
      – Do you let operatives assess and select candidates or your own team, however experienced they are ?

  10. I think HR professionals sometimes feel it is up to them for the company to succeed directly through the talent they hire. If an employee turns out to be a dud they can take it very personally that they didn’t spot the signs during the interview process.

  11. Mary Anne Osborne says:

    How sad that still today HR doesnt’ get it. CEO’s have been telling us for years what they need from HR yet our institutions of higher ed and our associations all inundate us with compliance rhetoric that scares the pants off our young. Cowboy up people! If you do the right thing and do it right away – you don’t have to worry about lawyers. Know what you know and know what you don’t know – and fill the gap. And if you are too afraid to make a decisions, get better educated or change jobs. HR is a field where the tough get going to protect the best interests of the company with the employees and the customers. We have had lots of discusssions lately about why people don’t pass the certification exams at higher rates. Do you thing that perhaps this post hits the nail on the head. Too many people aren’t yet ready to certified when CEO’s have so many concerns about our performance.

  12. Deb says:

    How about an article on what CEOs do like about HR for a change? Unless you are a brain-dead HR pro, you’ve seen this stuff before. I’m sure that some CEOs do feel this way, but in many cases, it is a flawed relationship from the start. There are huge numbers of people out there that think they can do HR better than a trained HR pro. They don’t want to spend the money on experience because they don’t think it’s necessary and then they’re surprised that they get a shitty HR director.

  13. Lawrence Laier says:

    It is unfortunately true that I have met many HR professionals over the years who fit the descriptions from your CEO interviews. It is also true that many CEO’s have low expectations of the function based on its history as a largely process-oriented/employee advocate role. In the end, credible HR executives are business executives with expertise in HR practices. They know how their companies make money; they read and understand financial statements; they see human resources practices through the prism of business needs and business strategies and they make informed business decisions about people.

  14. I have dealt with HR professionals for years. Most are excellent. They understand that they must contribute to the P&L. I work in the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) world. When a PEO is called in, and the CEO purchases, it takes the menial labor off the table, so that HR people can concentrate on the real jobs of HR.
    I cannot recall ever having a PEO replace an HR person, and I know of no one that would advocate that. A good HR per is worth their weight in gold. Have you seen the price of gold lately?

  15. Joseph Naddy says:

    Hey everyone, I couldn’t help but read all the comments being made on this post. I for one have nothing against HR people and feel there job can get strenuous at times trying to keep up with compliance and tax issues that could ultimately cost the business. Our company Human Resource Alliance is a broker to some of the nations largest privately owned PEO’s (Professional Employer Organizations). If you don’t know what this is I’ll explain it briefly. A PEO takes your employees and lumps them into a pool of over 100,000 employees giving “you” the employer, better buying power for things such as medical benefits (Etna-saving 10-25% on insurances), workers comp rates, and SUTA rates. They act as a co employer for tax related purposes. The only thing they need is to in effect take over your payroll. No longer are you responsible for compliance issues. Everything will fall on them. They also give you a free full service HR department and free EPLI insurance to cover any harassment or discrimination claims made by potential employees or current employees. Think about it like this, you go to Shop Rite to pick up a 5lb bag of sugar and it cost 5 dollars. Now you go pick up that same 5lb bag of sugar from Costco and the price drops to $2.50. Our main PEO will give you the same HR department as Steinbrener Hotels, Panera Bread, Bank of America, and the New York Mets just to name a few. Just think about it!!

  16. David says:

    Very amusing reading. Spot on comments generally. HR spend too much time pointing out issues, but rarely take responsibility. The old “self help, shared service model” is code for “never having to do anything”. Comments spot on.

  17. Orlando Meyer says:

    Too many HR People have only a limited understanding of the business the company is in.

  18. Khaled says:

    It is a question of leadership skills versus operational skills….Most CEO are leaders and rarely do they hire HR Managers that will seriously challenge their decisions and spoil their strategy of running a company. It will also depend very much on the size of the company and on how did it start. In smaller companies an HR manager’s job becomes more challenging and his decision making capacbilities are on the test. IN begger organizations the HR manager has to show strong leadership skills and be able to formulate his own strartegies that fit the organization he is working for. A strong HR manager will have a strong team that will serve a company in a way that will force the CEO to respect the department and consider them more serioulsy.

  19. Anita Lettink says:

    Hi Meredith, just read your post. The overall message that I pick up is that CEO’s want HR to take responsibility for the growth of the business. Incidentally, I wrote a white paper recently that ended in the following way: “One thing is clear: The future of HR lies outside the HR department. And if HR professionals don’t grasp that concept very soon, the future of HR will lie outside the company.” I wrote this after talking to several customers about their view on HR. My thinking is that going forward, HR will be remote, mobile, social, automated, specialized and smaller than in the past. In short, much more in line with the business in order to survive.
    I think your post conveys a similar way of thinking – if you want to read the full story, it’s here: http://www.xperthr.co.uk/blogs/employment-intelligence/2012/02/anita-lettink-what-is-the-futu.html with links tot the white paper and slideshare.

  20. Kathy says:

    I understand these “complaints” from CEO’s about HR, however, most of these are created by the organization’s rules and how HR, as a role, is outlined by that organization. I’ve worked as HR Director in mostly smaller organizations – and none of my CEO’s understood what HR was about. They thought that it was completely paper shuffling (surprised that a CEO actually commented above that they felt their HR only shuffles paper). When I was in larger organizations – earlier in my career when I was more business administration and accounting – there was no HR. There was personnel. And it was horrible. I believe that was one of the reasons I entered into HR and really focused on the true strategic partner it should be to the organization.
    Many roles can be viewed as isolated, strictly focused upon checking off “items” on a to-do list, and not actually taking into consideration all of the different aspects and impacts of the organization. Think about it – a sales person that makes his calls and deals with his customers, but doesn’t know the field and/or emerging technology to prepare for future changes/growth; a marketing manager that simply focuses on getting dollars from vendors for events and participation in marketing campaigns instead of creating a relationship with vendor and becoming a team toward mutual growth; a sales manager that tries programs but never tracks or measures them whether they be successful or not.

    HR – or any other employee for that matter – cannot work toward a goal if that goal is not known or is not clearly stated. As an HR director I can write policies, research benefit programs, develop performance management system, create relationships with colleges and colleagues to build pipeline of talent. However, I cannot make these policies, programs, systems and talent pool work if I do not know what the organization’s objective is.

  21. jimbob says:

    Sounds both hr and the ceo’s are equally crooked and incompetent. one wants to kiss a$$ and the other wants ways to circumvent labor standards.

  22. jimbob says:

    Nobody cares about the employee or their family. Neither get it they are producing diddly for the company. most people can manage themselves. instead you have overmanaged work places that don’t produce which has lead to society wide job losses, business closures, house foreclosures and recession. This is the beast over-management has created.

  23. Joan says:

    Wow. This piece proves my theory, neither CEOs or HR have morals. The tone here from CEOs. is basically lie, cheat, destroy employees, break laws, anything goes, whether I’m wrong or right; protect me and my money. If you hate corruption Luke this read Fired by A. Gurwhich, and you’ll see what your boss really thinks of you.

  24. Russel says:

    I agree. fucking women in HR , they shouldn’t be there. They decide by feelings, and not by technical qualifications. they told my friend for a very specific skill at IBM that maybe he or 7 other people have, that they didn’t like him because of the way his voice sounded on the phone. Ridiculous. Lesbian male-haters should be BANNED from getting a job at HR, which is basically no job but to revenge and hate qualified males. The most disrespectful job in my opinion is to work in HR.

    • Bushong says:

      Actually it is proven that women are better leaders than men. Yes some people suck and it could just be those women. But you got that info from a second source you don’t know what else happened in that interview, maybe that tanked the interview. This is why you shouldn’t be in HR you’re being sexist, and that my friend is illegal under title VII

  25. Can I simply say what a relief to find a person
    that actually understands what they’re talking about over the internet. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.

  26. Weis says:

    What’s up, this weekend is pleasant in favor of me, because this moment i am reading this enormous informative piece of writing here at my house.

  27. KSS says:

    Do you really need a HR department ? I guess it is often unnecessary. This article here – http://sanenet.com/dont-need-hr/ – suggests an interesting alternative. But having and maintaining a large HR department with zero frontline contribution is something out of sense…

  28. beautiful inspiring collection.beautiful created designs here!Thanks for sharing.

  29. Christin says:

    Well except polishing their nails and spending their entire days on facebook, linkedin and in the canteen, 99% of HR people bring absolutely no value to their company..

    At best, they handle administrative tasks like employee departures but the last things, they should be involved in is recruiting. Incompetent people tend to choose and hire other incompetent people and this is what happens with HR people.

    If you look on their main tool in 2014: Linkedin, and see the profile of HR “specialist”, it looks like a pitiful catalogue of beau and belles all trying to compete as to who will have the biggest ego and the most amazing titles and deeds (they are all international managers these days). Absolutely ridiculous. But again, they are far from being the brightest minds in the more and more lackluster corporate world of today.

    Any talented individual will choose any other profession than HR, he/she will go for finance, sales executive or anything else but not the dead end called HR.

    Have you notice that the less there are jobs out there, the more there are recruiters, HR people and job boards all fully armed with fake jobs and useless ATS tools to collect resumes ? You have companies like oracle and sap where you have an HR rep for almost any job published (fake and real jobs).

    This is a real joke ! One day, you will have an HR rep for each employee in the company like in the old good days of the DDR (communist East Germany for those who lack of culture).

    If you’d make a survey today, it will be 80% of real professionals (that is not working for HR) who would say they hate HR.

    People don’t hate HR out of thin air and for no reasons.
    Employee are continually lied on, betrayed and deceived by HR people.Applicants are continually lied on, betrayed and deceived by HR people. Executives, business people and productive people ((that is people not working for HR) are continually lied on, betrayed and deceived by HR people.

    Why anyone would like people who are incompetent, arrogant, inept, never answer your phone, emails, who have absolutely not a clue about manging human being and recruiting, and who amazingly hold more and more power over the lives of real talented professionals ?

    Why people who left school and became HR and who have not a clue about business, value and professionalism are left as single decider to choose, assess and recruit or not candidates ????

    Why are brainless blondes, hopeless civil servant minded people and frustrated would be dictators in charge of the future of so many talented people ?

    HR departments need to be first cleaned of these people before re thinking about the role they should have in companies.

    Everything get worse and worse in companies, strangely it comes with a new breed of even more incompetent and arrogant HR people. It seems that they reproduce themselves, probably hiring their friends and families…

  30. Male HR Professional says:

    I am an male HR generalist and 100% agree with this article. I came into HR via the business route. I had a degree in business and had previously worked in sales. Even worked as a techie. I came into the field with a very strong numbers background. I had taken a lot of accounting and stats classes at school. I am also pursuing a CPA designation.

    Looking for work was quite a challenge. One interviewer was shocked when I told her how I intended to use regression models to pin point causes of employee turnover. She told me that HR people were supposed to be all about the people and not about the numbers. She felt we should leave that to the accountants. This is the level of intelligence in the HR community. Needless to say I did not get hired. In fact, the only time I get offers is when I am interviewed by operations management or the owners of the business. The traditional HR ladies generally do not hire guys like me.

    The problem with the field of HR is that the majority of boomer women occupying managerial positions are poorly educated. In fact, a great number of them came via the admin assistant route. Therefore, glorified clerical staff. Things like SWOT analysis are far beyond their conceptualization. They just do not understand business. All they can think of is compliance – which they are not even proficient at. Remember, most of them have never even taken a university class in employment law. They do not understand the letter and spirit of the law. They just have a superficial understanding of employment law and, therefore, all they can tell management is what management can not do. Anyone, with a good understanding of the law can find ways to make things happen. The law is not black and white.

    Also, traditionally, HR has been a field that attracted people who could not hack in other areas. Graduate with a degree in Political Science and all doors to the corporate world are shut. Such people would end up going into HR. Not because they are passionate about HR. More because that is the only option available to them. It is only now that you are starting to see some people with accounting, business, and even engineering degrees considering HR. I highly regard such candidates because they could have gone into other areas but chose HR. As for me, my choices were to go to law school, become an accountant, or work in operations management. In fact, I once interviewed for an HR position with the owner of a small company and by the end of the interview he wanted me to do operations management for him after being impressed by my managerial accounting knowledge. I was even asked by this boomer female HR manager why I was going into HR given my business education? I answered that in business school I was taught to manage and optimize resources: be it financial resources, technological resources, or human capital.

    My observation has been that most HR people have a phobia for numbers. The problem is that you can never be a real business partner until you can understand your company’s financials and operations. I like to describe myself as a business person who happens to know a bit about HR rather than an HR person who knows about business. As long as HR continues to be led by financially illiterate clowns management and other employees will never take us seriously. What value are we adding?

    The biggest travesty is when incompetent HR personnel (pun intended) are allowed to make hiring and promotion decisions affecting other people’s livelihoods and shareholder value. Both shareholders and job seekers lose out. The HR people tout fancy buzzwords such as “organizational fit” in order to seem as if they are sophisticated recruiters. Yet they do not even comprehend the concept of fit. Their definition of fit is that someone has to be so much like the team they are gonna work for. This is a warped way of thinking that prejudices minorities and other job seekers that do not fit the so called culture. We should hire for profitability and not for who is likely to join the crowed for happy hour. I had to educate one HR manager on what fit was when I explained to her that she should instead look for a team member whose skill set compliments what the other members are lacking.

    I also love how all of these semi literate HR professionals (for lack of a better word) jumped on to this behavioral interview bandwagon without even understanding the science behind such an interview and its efficacy. They do not know anything about such a method’s criterion validity. Oh! I am getting ahead of myself here. These bozos have never even heard of the term “criterion validity” – let alone understand its repercussions.

    Still in line with this trying to look smart idea, I love how some of them fancy themselves psychometricians just because they have attended a one day workshop on Myers Briggs or something along those lines. I have discouraged the administration of any type of psychometric tests by such incompetent people. This leaves the company open to major discrimination liability and also weeds out otherwise excellent candidates. Psychometry is a very complex field requiring years of study just to get a rudimentary grasp of. Even with a BA in psychology, one is not competent enough to understand it. In fact, it is at a masters level where they really start to teach anything meaningful as far as psychometrics. Why should management respect such snake oil sales people?

    • Mattie says:

      We should team up on that regression research in HR.

    • Male HR Professional - California says:

      I love your responses! I have seen the same in my HR career! Many women have no education or are promoted from payroll/admin. The ones in charge do everything by their emotions and are very subjective. I have yet to meet anyone I respect as a women in HR. Companies like to hire good looking women instead of those with qualifications. I really enjoyed reading your post!

      • Truthful Taco says:

        Sorry, did you mean the women “have no education AND get promoted”?

        I’ve got news for you. Emotions are a barometer of what’s going on around you. So unless you can feel, you’re only getting half the reading available, if that. Especially when dealing with exactly what this post is about: relationships between corporate entities.

        You are misogynist and a fool. And probably a troll.

    • Johnny says:

      Totally agree with your comment.

      HR are dumb. If you are intelligent and capable at your work, you d’ont get hired. SImply because HR cannot judge your competencies. Instead, they’ll move you on the next stage if they like you, i.e. if you don’t make them feel they are dumb.

      I have seen many HR people so far. I have never encountered any competent. They are just problem people.
      You want something to be done in an organization? Don’t go to HR.

      HR are not only the people who cannot find a job with their degree. They are also the people who were moved to HR because they performed very poorly at their previous job.
      Amusingly, they get in HR the incredible power of hiring and firing competent people.

      I never got any job through HR, always through operationals or bosses.
      I was once misplaced in a company in a position where there once nothing to do. For 2 years HR blocked the situation. After 2 years, an executive moved me to another position and the deputy managing director wanted to give me a fair solution. No need to say that for 2 years the company wasted its money and me my time. The HR person got sacked. And I anyway left because I had lost my trust in the company.

  31. The Judge says:

    Its so nice to see so many of you who have no idea what you are talking about all in one post. Great comedy value one and all.

    You CEO types mostly sound like a bunch of amoral crooks who have no concept that you are one stupid decision away from a 6 figure lawsuit. You need good HR advice to save you from your own idiocy..

    You HR types couldn’t punch your weight against the weakest of CEO’s good grief. And I love @Mr. HR Professional’s jargon filled rant of garbage.

    Truth is –
    CEOs hire good HR people who will challenge them.

    HR people have generally lost the plot which should be about the importance of understanding the business and serving its needs

    Bottom line?

    CEOs and HR have forgotten the most important point of all – ITS ALL ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE STUPID!

  32. Johnny says:

    I particularly like this one.

    There’s too much of a focus on compliance and protecting me from myself. I have learned that if you treat employees well, you don’t have issues, so compliance is not an issue. My only complaint employee ever has been the HR Director.

  33. lulu laroux says:

    Judgemental cow!

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Why CEOs Hate HR People -
  2. What HR People Hate About CEOs (and Other C-Suite Occupants) | Fistful of Talent
  3. What HR People Hate About CEOs (and Other C-Suite Occupants) | HRstream.se
  4. What HR People Hate About CEOs (and Other C-Suite Occupants) « RecruitersNation
  5. What would a top HR pro look like?
  6. “Administrivia” and beyond – HR hits back at the HR bashers | XpertHR - Employment Intelligence
  7. It’s Time For Companies To Fire Their Human Resource Departments - What is HR Outsourcing
  8. What CEOs hate about learning and development people
  9. You Hate the HR Department? Don’t Worry, You Are Not Alone « Hire Your Boss
  10. If HR Is Broken, What Will Fix It? | Udemy for Organizations
  11. It’s Time For Companies To Reconsider Their Human Resource Departments | Jo W. Weber
  12. Hey HR, Compliance isn’t Everything - ApplicantPro

Comments are now closed for this article.

Contact Us | Hire FOT to Speak | About FOT