If you haven’t yet heard of the March 10 article in CFO magazine, titled “Memo to CFOs: Don’t Trust HR”, you might just be living under a rock. Poised to go down in history right next to Fast Company’s post “Why We Hate HR”, the article attacked some fairly sacred trusts in the Human Resources field, including employee engagement, low turnover and even some training and development issues. Beyond that, it snatched away some of the most coveted buzz words in the HR profession including the shining star of HR “Employer of Choice” badge. The roundhouse kick? The article was based on a speech delivered by a professor of. . .Human Resources. In the speech, he sntached strategic recruiting from HR and kicked them in the shins by stating that corporate HR (note the distinction between speaker and subject) “are not businesspeople”.
It’s harsh, it hurts, it’s a corporate slap in the face for HR folks who have been writing, talking, blogging about a “seat at the executive table” for YEARS. But is it true?
HR Capitalist Says: (regarding HR’s general inferiority complex) The folks around you know whether you are any good or not as an HR pro. I guarantee that. For those of you who are strong, your business peers know the value. Let’s stop wringing our hands and start acting like we belong. Please. Every time you comment on a story like this one, you guarantee five similar studies/articles will come along in the next year.
Gartner’s Jim Hollincheck says: (regarding the slam on analytics provision by corp HR) Unfortunately, this is true in most HR organizations. However, it is not universal and the trend I see is that more HR organizations want to build a competence here. There is a lot of work to do though.
ERE’s John Zappe says: (regarding the dismissal of the importance of “employer of choice) I once went to work for a company that was anything but an employer of choice, and I can personally attest to how hard it was convincing people to come work there. Few top performers, including some I counted as close colleagues, would even consider the company.
ZDNet’s Dennis Howlett says: (regarding the one sided nature of the speech) Sure, the numbers matter but HR brings a human dimension that finance lacks. While the vision of the steely eyed bean counter may not be entirely dead, finance is not a place where you’ll find much sentiment. Having HR alongside acts as an essential counterweight to ensure that attention is paid to managing the right people well.
And a social median reader adds a snarky “those who can’t do, teach” intro to the full article here.
So what’s your opinion? Should we do as Kris Dunn says and stop stressing everytime someone says we’re incapable? Or try to get lockstep with the financial folks while simultaneously teaching them how to manage HUMANS? Or should we just tap out snippy replies? Or like this pollster (another professor…), find a way to refute the generalizations and commit to publishing what we find, no matter what?