Being a HR Cop Isn’t So Bad #ILSHRM13

Laurie Ruettimann Always Be Closing, Laurie Ruettimann

Kris Dunn and I are appearing live and in person in Chicago, today.

While we love Chicago, we are not there to visit my family. We are speaking at the Illinois State Council of SHRM‘s annual conference to talk about personal development opportunities for the modern Human Resources professional.

We believe there are nine faces of HR.

  1. The Mall Security Guard
  2. The Cop
  3. The Judge
  4. The Clerk
  5. The Grinder
  6. The Mentor
  7. The Rookie
  8. The Assassin
  9. Gandhi

When I first saw the model, I immediately put myself in the role of The Assassin because she is sexy. I also put myself in the role of Gandhi because I have a huge ego.

But today I want to talk to you about my favorite persona: The Cop.

I love this persona because so many HR professionals fall into the role of the organizational police officer — enforcing rules, ensuring compliance — and hate themselves for being in this kind of job. They worry that it’s not strategic enough. Far too often, people are told that being a Human Resources Cop is too administrative.

But I believe that the work of a Human Resources Cop is crucial. You might not have conversations with your CEO about big data strategies or fancy cloud computing applications, but your work is still very important. Your role is so critical in so many industries — manufacturing, logistics, food service, hospitality, insurance, banking — because rules and regulations are in place to keep people safe and secure.

The Human Resources Cop doesn’t always embrace change. She needs a tremendous amount of detail. Documentation is important. And she will never be the SVP of HR at some fancy bank on Wall Street, but that’s okay, because there is no other place she would rather be when the chips are down.

Someone needs to make sure people get paid and the trains run on time. Someone needs to clean up messes in the office and sign SOPs and training documents.

This is why I love The Cop.

If this is your job, please know that we need you. Be proud of your work and don’t let anyone tell you that it is not an important role in a Human Resources department.

You make HR happen!

Laurie Ruettimann
Laurie Ruettimann is a former HR leader and an influential speaker, writer and marketing advisor. Her work has appeared in many mainstream print publications and major news media outlets. You can find her on twitter at @Lruettimann.