The Wall Street Journal recently printed an article about the increasing number of companies choosing to do away with their HR department, and find new ways of dealing with such HR related issues as hiring, firing and compensation.
The moral of the story is sometimes the only thing worse than having an HR department is not having one. Naturally, I took offense to this…for a number of reasons.
First of all, I am going to take the controversial stance that a lot of companies probably do not need a full fledged HR department, but they do need access to HR expertise.
Secondly, the implication is that HR is a necessary evil at best and a completely useless expense at worst. So do away with your useless expense, only to realize that you did need that necessary evil. This is not very flattering.
Sigh...us HR types take this stuff personally, for the most part, we like what we do and we think what we do adds value. We do understand that not everyone gets as excited about a well thought out and relevant Performance Appraisal system as we do, and seeing a compensation strategy come together does not cause the intake of breath for others like it does for someone who truly believes a good compensation program is the stuff of gods. We get it, we really do...but good HR advice, guidance and direction is necessary in the majority of organizations.
Managers can and should handle a lot of what has traditionally been punted to the HR department. Managers are the best ones to deal with their employees, they do know them best. However, sometimes they need guidance, or advice or someone to bounce ideas off. And let’s not forget the amount of legislation that comes with having employees. There is middle ground; it is not an all or nothing proposition anymore. If your organization needs occasional HR guidance and advice, hey, that is what someone like me is here for.
Thanks to the Wall Street Journal for giving me an excuse to talk about HR Matters and alternative solutions to investing in a full time HR person or department.