Deloitte Wants to Take Your HR Job

Laurie Ruettimann HR, Laurie Ruettimann

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but Deloitte wants to take your job.

Do you hear me? No? Well, very few people are listening to me because I sound crazy. But just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean that I am wrong.

Hear me out.

I think Deloitte stays in business because HR has a “public relations” problem. Except, you know, it doesn’t. On the local level, most executives like their HR team. What do they hate? They hate the feminized, soft idea of a compliance-driven HR team.

But that HR hasn’t existed for twenty years. It’s a boogeyman, or really, a boogeywoman in sensible slacks and a cardigan. By and large, HR is in pretty good shape. Things look better every day. Look at yourselves in the mirror. You have credibility with your leaders, even while firms like Deloitte assault your brand.

Good job.

But they can’t sell HR services if you are in the way, so it’s all about hammering away at your competence to sell their services.

The next time Deloitte tells you that they want to help HR—and they are a good partner to your business—look at this.

It’s bollocks. The gap is only widening if you ask survey questions in a certain way. That’s called marketing.

When someone says that something is a “business issue” and not an “HR issue,” it usually means that they’re trying to get around settled employment law and go back to the days when you could run unsafe farms and factories and pay people in things other than money. Do you watch Game of Thrones? We used to pay people in “protection” from invaders while taking advantage of their slave labor. Now we pay them with feelings and improved self-esteem. Welcome to work in 2015, brought to you by Deloitte.

Look at those faces, will you? Where are the women? Doesn’t look like anyone in this picture is concerned about gender-related wage gaps, does it?

When you ask questions in a way that leads the witness, you get a specific answer. This tweet is a case study in shady research. Also, what executive is ever happy? If he is happy, he is out of a job.

If the world of work is always on—but your HR department is full of women over the age of 40—what the hell do they know about being agile? They’re one jazzercise class away from being Sally Field and taking a Boniva.

I know this feels cynical, and we want to jump on the culture-engagement-mobile-local-social bandwagon. Deloitte looks like it’s well positioned to change the face of HR.

But you are HR.

Remember that you own its future.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.