Like a lot of other HR pros I know, I fell into HR. Here’s the quick version of my story. In college, I wanted an “office” job to get exposure to the business world. It just so happened that I found a part-time job for a healthcare company doing admin work for their HR team. The position evolved and grew over time and then four years later, I was in a generalist role. I would say that classifies as falling into HR. I’ve chosen to stick with it though.
In thinking about “falling” into HR though – I started to wonder… why do so many HR people fall into this career? And maybe more importantly, why HR is so easy for people to fall into? Taking a quick Twitter poll on the topic, some interesting comments came through including these included here…
Good stuff (And see! The lovely things you can learn through Twitter! I love using Twitter for a call and response…). You might ask yourself why we should even care about this issue in the first place; that’s fair. Here’s my argument – it absolutely matters that people constantly fall into HR, or rather, they don’t choose HR, for two reasons –
- HR’s not seen as interesting enough, it’s not seen as attractiveenough, and it’s not viewed as a rewarding enough path for people to pursue en mass. (And rewarding from a monetary perspective, too…)
- HR related responsibilities are carelessly handed over to a seemingly responsible and organized person who has demonstrated an ability to manage process and pays attention to details… or who is silly enough to be willing to take on some new “high level” admin responsibilities.
Ugh. HR can be easy to manage and do at times – even I’ll admit that. This isn’t science so much as I think it’s art… but that doesn’t mean anyone can and should do it, right?. I wrote about a similar theme a while ago when we were interviewing HR intern candidates and the disappointment I felt with HR not being the career of choice for these candidates. I know the HR profession has some image issues… but could part of the solution be that we stop letting people fall into HR?
It might be a little hypocritical of me to say it, I realize this… but what if we continued working towards improving the profession and the caliber of our own talent… and really worked toward making it a career of choice, and we ourselves were a bit more choosy about who we let in? Or maybe I’m just dreaming again… but it’s something I’ve been thinking about of late. Hit us in the comments and share your thoughts. Did you fall into HR? And why is HR so easy to fall into? Are things changing for the better though?
Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don’t be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she’s still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life… she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat.