Apr 8, 2009

Why are HR people looked down upon

I got this interesting email from a person who's been selected to join an MBA in HR course:

Query: Why are HR people looked down upon in Management Circles? Although i am very much interested in subject and am exited about reading it but whenever i tell this to my peers who also study at top B-schools,i get weird reactions. I fully realize that the scope of this feild is immense as i have read your blogs and also those at pagalguy. Why dont other streams of management realise the importance of HR? Why is it under-rated?

My reply:

There are lots of answers to your question, but the biggest two are:
  1. Organizational structures and processes often pay lip service to the importance of people processes. Ultimately organizations get boiled down to profit and growth. HR people need to speak this language to impact their organizations.
  2. All said and done of the millions of HR professionals, there are very few talented HR professionals – and largely the profession is staffed by mediocre (at best) people – even in reputed and successful businesses.
So welcome, it’s not an easy function – but that’s the big challenge to work in it
What would you tell this prospective HR professional - and why do you think HR gets 'weird' reactions ?