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HR- glorified admin that has got above itself??

 
#1 HR- glorified admin that has got above itself??
19/07/2006 21:30

Sylvia to deleted (#0)

Reading a number of the posts on here, tons of us seem to have encountered HR during recruitment, promotion etc- and none of us have been even slightly impressed.

What is the point of them? They are consistently less intelligent and qualified than the teams they support, so don't really 'get' what they are being asked to do, they seem to be obsessed with producing as much cumbersome paperwork as possible but actually helping as little as possible, and most have no idea of the particular demands of consulting (so set up perfoemance management systems that can't be accessed by dial up from hotel rooms in the back end of nowhere, yet send you anggry emails saying you haven't filled in the staff appraisals, to name one example)...

Why aren't HR departments dis-established totally? What do they do that we can't do without?

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#2 RE: HR- glorified admin that has got above itself??
20/07/2006 01:51

hydra to Sylvia (#1)

I think the point of the admin-focussed bits of HR is that they do all the stuff that line managers can't or won't do. Consultants are after all notoriously bad/uninterested at anything approaching operational management, so HR admin have a role there in terms of keeping things ticking over, making sure you're paid, bonused, benefited etc. And after all, if they didn't chase us for performance management then it'd never get done and bonuses would go back to the bad old days of "discretionary" reward.

It's not just in consulting that people get frustrated with HR - in industry too, operational managers often complain that the HR policies don't match the reality of the business they are in. In industry, one of the answers is to employ HR business partners who work alongside managers to get the strategic side of HR and people development working. In consulting, we are still behind the times in that respect as few firms use business partners or have very sophisticated HR policies. Consulting partners tend to be opposed to anything that would mean ceding influence within the organisation on that kind of level, and the business model tends to rely on the luxury of so many good people applying that they can afford a high burn rate of staff and low efficiencies in hiring and staff development.

In short, HR in consulting tends to be focussed on the admin side of things even more than usual. My experience is that HR admin is no worse than admin in other functions e.g. purchase and sales ledger within finance, or IT, or procurement, for example. However, they come into contact with other staff and have a much more public role (e.g. for recruiting) so the cracks are more visible.

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