HR under fire

Scrolling around through some social media sites recently I watched HR take some heat for the large number of unemployed, from the unemployed. I read through several conversations that were happening before I gave up on trying to understand the nonsense and just power down. I kept thinking later that it would’ve done the profession zero good for me to try to engage in conversation to clear up some obvious misunderstandings. This group of people seemed to have made their mind up and probably would’ve argued with anyone about anything, and that’s a shame, right?

i hate hr

Let me back up to a week ago. The closing general session of the SHRM legislative conference was the Secretary of Labor from the U.S. Department of Labor, Thomas Perez. He was a wonderful speaker, very charismatic and he took charge of the room like a pro! He had stories too. Stories that would make the hardest of hearts soften. As I listened to him tell the tales of the single mother who couldn’t turn her heat up because she was many months unemployed and struggling to find a job so she bundled up and rationed her food to stay within budget, I looked around the room full of HR professionals. I looked to see who was engaged, who was tweeting and who was truly heart-broken. Then I thought of the worst employee I ever had and how relieved we were when she was no longer employed with us. What if the lady he was telling the story about was her? The employee that had a problem with every holiday we took. The employee that had a problem with every supervisor who asked her to do anything. The employee who was offended by the candy in the vending machine. We’ve all had those employees, right? What if that long-term unemployed person really is that employee?

What blows my mind is that SHRM was very involved in the efforts for the “Ready to Work” initiative, so speaking for the HR community, they care about those long-term unemployed. I also didn’t think it was a secret that HR does NOT own the hiring process, but to read the comments I read it must be a secret still. Hey public, HR doesn’t own the hiring process (and they shouldn’t).

So back to the conversations my computer screen was flooded with, what if those people are that employee? Can we help them? Do we do anything for them? Is it HRs responsibility to get them back on track? Is there really a skills gap in the country or is there an attitude gap? Or better yet, an entitlement gap? Something to chew on this Monday morning, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Author: Kristina H. Minyard, SHRM-CP, PHR

My goal is to challenge the way we view, measure, and utilize HR and recruiting in a positive and encouraging way. I love working in HR and value the network of HR professionals that I also call friends. I'm always learning from my fellow HR pros and find comfort in their expertise. I'm an active member of my local SHRM chapter (NASHRM) and a total HR enthusiast! My HR related knowledge is a mix of recruiting, retaining, engaging and just plain helping people discover their passion. I'm a follower of Christ, Wife, Mom, Corporate Recruiter, Blogger, problem solver, runner, Sports FANATIC & Razorback surviving amongst the [crimson] tide! You can find me on twitter & Instagram: @HRecruit Snapchat: kminny32 Google+: https://plus.google.com/+KristinaMinyard LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinahutto/ Thoughts here (and on all my social media channels) are mine and do not represent the thoughts/beliefs of my employer. Why would I name my blog HR Pockets? Read about it in my first post years ago!!

4 thoughts on “HR under fire”

  1. I think there is something of a skills gap, I mean some jobs in engineering, physics, etc., will always be difficult to fill. However, I also think the so-called skills gap is fabricated because employers today do not want to engage in ANY type of on-the-job employee training the way they did in the past. Things like “New Employee Orientation” don’t even exist anymore!

    Nope. Employees today are expected to hit the ground running, and if you can’t preform within the first 60 days, you’re out. I’ve started working at places where NO ONE will even bother to give you crucial passwords or setup your computer when you start, let alone any type of training.

    And then there is outside training. An employee can take any number of classes or even certifications, but if they don’t have the “Required 3-5 years experience” they won’t be considered. they took the class, but how can they be expected to get that without a job?

    It’s just a little ridiculous. Employers are often looking for purple unicorns.

  2. Kristina…I think you hit it on the nail…HR doesn’t own the hiring process. As HR folks…it falls on us to be as fair and open-minded when it comes to our candidate searches. Yet on the other hand, we do have the responsibility to ensure that our hiring managers are as open-minded and focused on finding the best talent without all of the biases. So maybe there is more that HR can be doing?

  3. I would hope the long term unemployed person is not the employee from hell. However, you may be on to something! This post served as a perspective shift for me! Keep them coming!

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