Myths about HR
Shawnee Love •
February 17, 2017
You have to be a nice person:
Let’s be clear, being nice is something that helps in every position, not just HR. But being “nice” is not actually a job requirement. In fact, being too “nice” can hinder success in HR, because we make decisions about people and sometimes the greater good of the business puts you in the position of being perceived as mean to individuals.
You learn it on the job:
There is no question, you learn a lot by doing. But the fundamentals of HR are not something you pick up by osmosis. There must be intent to learn and comprehend them before you will ever be a good HR practitioner. Assuming that HR is just “picked up along the way” is a bit of an insult to the profession. No one assumes you learn the full complement of knowledge required to practice law, dentistry, or accounting by sitting beside someone who practices it and the same holds true for HR. You learn it in post-secondary education, courses, workshops, books, conferences, and from real experts. It is a profession. Which is why I am always so confused when people suggest that they will give responsibility for the people of their organization to the accountant or executive assistant.
It’s fun to me, because I love the constant involvement of people, communication and business. But it isn’t fun if you don’t know you will have to make tough decisions, deliver tough messages, and constantly be teaching the same topics over and over. It also sucks to fire a friend, which is why no one wants to be your friend if you are HR.
Do you have any myths you would like to dispel?