If you have to pick a HR tribe to go on the lash (i.e bevvy, swally, drinkies, beers, pots, etc) with, choose recruiters. Not just because I have spent a very pleasant, chaotic yet educational day with #truLondon but for other more important reasons in my experience. Learning and Development people tend to worry endlessly about splitting the bar bill 70:20:10, Reward people tend to resemble the weird kids table at a wedding and spend the entire time avoiding eye contact and finally the self-important HR Business Partner types will leave you sitting alone as they constantly duck outside the bar taking oh-so-vital calls from ‘internal customers’ seeking reassurance for some appalling act of mismanagement.
Whilst I will applaud the upside of such a remarkable event such as #TruLondon for all its sparkling content and awesome, internationally talented company, the flipside is another confirmation of the rather tribal need for belonging that the recruitment fraternity seek as it closed the front door, circled the wagons and focused on the common enemy. Oh yes folks, the dreaded mention of the audience’s reference to HR as Human Remains tells me all I need to know that in the fight for liberating organisations from the shackles of old 20th century outdated management practices, some of our best would rather take pot shots than appreciate the difficulties and need to reach out across the wider community. This isn’t unique. I blogged about the Learning and Development crew going into pantomime mode also at a CIPD conference betraying its own need for the same human desire to belong.
All this parochial nonsense is really beginning to get on my breasts I can tell you. At a time when the window of opportunity flies open and screams ‘build me a people-centric new workplace’ we resort to the very thing we rally against elsewhere – big, bloody silos of functional snobbery and protectionism that ultimately stifle creativity and hold us back.
I’m incredibly proud of my recruitment bloodline but as a true people professional mongrel, I’m also never going to give up hugging my learning side, stifling my talent development and employee engaging tendencies, will never burn my old HR generalist bra nor reject the lashings that great Celtic industrial relations men gave me to ensure I turned from a boy to a man in the war against trade unionism !
So recruitment, step back from the age old animosity towards HR. Yes, the ATS has been made totally unwieldy with screens of boring fields on diversity, disability and sexual preferences but it’s not your nuts on the line when the people from risk, legal and compliance come a calling so show a bit of understanding.
And don’t get all bloody uppity when that new hire you loved steering through the interview process leaves after 10 months in the job. Your technical brilliance most probably sold the business an individual with all the predictive validity of a 1 in 5 shot to success. In any other part of the business you’d be banged up for producing a car with 3 wheels or a drug that made your hair turn blue with such odds.
Somewhere along the way we are going to have to tackle this bloody big gorilla in the room or we’ll continue to favour a safe, judgmental, local tribal preference over a collaborative effort to fix some big complex issues in the world of work. I’m keeping a close eye on Open Source HR and giving it my full support as it at least recognizes this cross-functional need.
Finally, we can have a local tribal flavor but the movement will have to come in recognizing that HR isn’t institutionally shit, or that recruitment aren’t all untrustworthy wide boys. Until then as Frankie would say “a point is all that you can score….”
Until next time. I was indeed the first person in Belfast to buy Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I was also the first person in Belfast to realize they were shite.