« Discrimination in the workplace: You can’t hide behind customers | Main | Harassment-in-the-workplace claims: who counts as a manager? »


To HR Cafe and anyone reading.

Professor Beatty ceased being relevant to HR professionals and executives about 10 years ago. To insinuate (rather lamely) that HR people are soft, and cannot make the "tough" choices is ludicrous. HR people can and do make very difficult decisions every day affecting the lives of millions of people. What most good HR people realize is how management's decisions affect these people not only in the workplace, but outside of it. In other words, most good HR people have a heart, feelings and compassion becuase they are dealing with human beings and not inanimate objects. To suggest this behavior is "soft" is wrong; it is merely HUMAN! We are not ashamed of the fact that we "care" about people because it is the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, there are still HR professionals out there that still see their job as merely "helping people" and they act accordingly. This behavior continues to give life to the old stereotpyical view of HR, or should I say "personnel." Shame on all those "hard-headed business types" who don't expect any more than that from HR. I choose to believe that Prof. Beatty's article is tongue and cheek, written only to rile the masses who know otherwise.

As an HR professional who is constantly told by our President that my job is to keep the company out of court, I find it hard to believe he would not trust me. I am in total agreement with the comment above regarding "do" and "teach". My respect for HR individuals increases everyday as I push through to make sure everything is compliant and can juggle every ball thrown at me.

As a individual new to the HR field and currently in school to become proficient in HR I find Mr. Beatty's comments discouraging, demotivating and insulting.

If hiring well, training and fostering accountability, developing employees to be more productive, weeding out problem employees and keeping an organization compliant in this very litigious world is a liability then I clearly misunderstand my contribution to the success of my organization as HR Director according to Prof. Beatty's theory.

Sounds to me like the prof needs to "grow up" & doesn't enjoy his own HR career. I'd like to know the turnover rate with the people who work under him.
Higher turnover also means more people need to be trained to do the job (oops, I forgot, training is a bad thing).
Where would a lot of companies be without a solid HR department to help keep them on track because of the many rules & regulations the "higher-ups" aren't aware of?People are lawsuit happy now.

I am curious what he actually teaches in his Master's class. I will admit, I went into HR to "help people". Unfortunately, one Master's Degree later and a few years of experience behind me, I realize that HR is hear to help the organization not necessarily the individual. Sometimes you can do both, sometimes you can't. Our HR Dept and our HR leader are not soft. If we want to have a job tomorrow, we need to make sure the company is here tomorrow. Therefore, we must work to provide proper "human resources" (i.e. hard working responsible people) to the company. The day of turning a blind eye to the underachievers should be coming to an end. There are too many hard working ethical people who, because of a bad economy and/or poor business models, found themselves without a job. No one is irreplaceable, there is always someone waiting to take your place.

I am reminded of the phrase 'Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach'.

Maybe hard headed business types can follow this advice, but many of us live in the not for profit world; we have a mission to guide our actions and outcomes. Part of this mission includes bridging the gap between management and its workforce. Perhaps this approach is not the one that provides the largest margin (profit), but in the long run, it produces the best results.

As a Rutgers grad and an HR professional, I'm very disappointed in Prof. Beatty's assessment. I'm hoping this was all said tongue in cheek. The HR people I know are strategigc business partners first and administrative experts/employee advocates second. We believe the best HR professional has a healthy dose of common sense, a strong understanding of the company's business and needs, and an intimate knowledge of the various laws and regulations. An HR professional's best friend and teammate should be the comtroller or CBO. That has served me well for the last 20 years!

In fact, I hire an HR intern every year. I ask them why they want to work in HR and if they tell me they want to work with people, I tell them to change to nursing or social work! Most of the "people" they will be working with will be the bad apples of the company!

Are you kidding me, is this a joke? I guess he must feel secure because he is a teacher and is not working in a company. If he was working for me in HR I would fire him. Companies need HR to function properly!

The comments to this entry are closed.

The HR Cafe Has Moved