I often bristle when people launch into big "I hate HR" speeches. Lately, though, I've been tuning into people who like to throw choice pejoratives like "boneheads" and "monkeys" into the mix. Before I got my snazzy Graduate degree and decided to permanently land in HR, I worked in leadership roles in Marketing and other departments. I know from my robust experience that HR departments – despite all of their flaws – oftentimes house some of the brightest people in an organization. But, because HR is viewed most often as the "gatekeeping" arm of a company, HR peeps are the recipients of the most vitriol.
A few things to consider…
-It's HR that asked the "brilliant" Tech VP you interviewed with (and you so admire) to – in candidate recap meetings – refer to you as "Roger" and not "the darker skinned guy with a beard."
-It's HR that pushed back when, surprise surprise, your manager wanted to give her pet employee a 6% raise while the rest of you were slated for about 3%.
-It's HR that fought for a Benefits Q & A session when the rest of senior leadership thought it was unimportant.
-It's HR that fine-tuned your job description so that you are not worked harder than you already are.
-It's HR that stood up for your work record when, based only on your disinterest in Friday night happy hour, your supervisor said you "weren't a team player."
-It's HR that really screened your resume but allowed it to appear like the hiring manager was doing all of the work.
-It's HR that rode your manager so that he'd get your performance evaluation in on time.
-It's HR that demanded that the most qualified – not the most charming – candidate be hired.
-It's HR that insisted that "Exempt" doesn't mean slave.
-It's HR that reminded your director of the importance of a Benefits Q & A when she forgot you were entitled to a week of bereavement when your mom died.