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  • Writer's pictureDavid J Wudyka

Where Have All the HR Managers Gone?!

In the September 2020 edition of Bloomberg Business News, devoted to the issue of Equality (“Equality Here We Come”), a comparison of low-paying and high-paying jobs was featured (pp. 62-63). I eagerly looked for how a professional Human Resource Manager stacks up in this comparison. After all, an HR Manager is responsible for managing diversity and equality, right?

Here are the results…

Let’s see… HR Manager….HR Manager…HR Manager……

Hmmm….. there must be something wrong…. I don’t see it!?

Maybe it’s subsumed by the broader title of “Business Executive”…. but who knows for sure?

Oh well, dissed again. It seems to be “par for the course” for our profession. Let’s take a look at the cringe-worthy image of HR professionals over the last sixty years or more:

  • Seen as the “Services Department” including such activities as harboring the credit union, distributing tickets for socio-recreational activities and discount opportunities, being an informal “listening ear” for employees in need, and administering benefits.

  • A professional department of its own but excluded from participation in the strategic planning process. Do you participate? If you do, be thankful!

  • Not seen as trustworthy enough for employees to share confidential information with HR department professionals.

  • In the past, HR positions were often seen as being the “first to go” in layoffs. After many decades, companies have finally discovered the importance of Training and Development, previously the “go to” section for finding layoff candidates.

  • May include other functions that don’t fit elsewhere (e.g. Risk Management, Payroll, Safety, etc.).

  • Minimized in importance because of its status as an indirect function.

We deserve a bigger seat at the table. I encourage all of you to seek it when you can in your companies.

Maybe “HR Managers” will appear in a Bloomberg Business News edition next year that examines the importance of HR professionals to organizations everywhere, and how we can make businesses more successful.

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