“Why do you want to work in human resources?”. “I love working with people, want to help and develop their potential” …
Sharing from Brian Walker, Chief Human Resources Officer of Global HR Executive
During the years working in this position. I often receive questions from talented young people asking me for advice. That they have a desire to work in human resources. I am happy to share with you. But what I most want is to help you see the right way about this field.
That’s why I often ask the question: “Why do you want to work in human resources?”. And the most common answer I get is. “I love working with people. Want to help and develop their potential.” I replied, “If that’s your reason. I think you should consider working in operations and/or general management. Not the HR department.”
Is the HR department the perfect place to help people?
This may come as a surprise to you, but this is not the reality. Misperceptions about the HR department being a “nice” place. The perfect place to work with people. These are very common thoughts. And it leads to many confusions in the choice of work of many young people.
To be fair, the human resources department is always asked and expected to be “nice”. And it’s hard for most people to think that their co-workers are not “nice” people. And I think this is what makes many young people confused.
They find their colleagues and the head of the sphinx department very “good”. They think this is a position where all you have to do is help people. And the confusion here is their misunderstanding. That is, a good person is the standard for this position. However, “good” is only a necessary condition. And at the same time, it is not a sufficient condition.
“Frank”, not “Soft”
Recently I was talking to a friend and colleague. You agree with my point of view. “The job of the HR department is not a good job. It’s just that we’re always upfront in our work.” I believe this is indeed a very wise point of view. For example, I list a few duties of the human resources department, you will understand immediately:
In any structure of an organization, there are always winners and losers. Negotiating a new job is easy. But it’s not as simple as that, because every restructuring always puts some people at risk of losing their jobs, dropping their ratings, and sometimes having to take on a job they have no interest in. Those who fall into this category deserve to be respected and treated fairly. “Good”, in this situation, is never enough.
In my personnel work. I have been involved in many restructurings. For a time, my wife called me “Grim Reaper”. Because during that time, I had to guide and do the really hard restructuring.
When you tell candidates they’ve got their dream job, that’s great. But unfortunately, there are many other candidates for this position, and of course there are also those who are not accepted even though they really want to work at the company. Calling these people, believe me, is no fun.
Is paying someone a fair amount. Not pay what they want. This often causes disagreement and conflict. A human resources professional must learn to interpret this. In fact, it’s not just employees of all levels. And often with their manager as well. These are the people who always feel they deserve more. From time to time we may agree on a reasonable amount of compensation. But for the most part, we had to find a way to negotiate to keep this level within the framework the company initially offered.
It’s about you distinguishing top talent and investing in them inadequate amounts. It is interesting to provide information to select outstanding individuals. But with the rest of the talent, we often had to explain why we had to give those individuals an unsatisfactory reward.
Training and developing
It is about helping employees acquire the necessary skills. Not doing what they want.
Build relationships with employees
It’s about making sure we have a fair and appropriate working environment. It’s not about making people happy with their individual circumstances.
It’s about creating a great working environment. Help employees work efficiently. Not necessarily a beautiful office. “Fantastic” and “Beautiful” are not synonyms.
Most people think that the HR department is an easy, nice, or fun environment to work in. This is a completely wrong concept. Of course, there can be some fun there. But if you work seriously, then this is a very difficult job indeed.
I met a friend when I attended a convention recently. He started his career as an aeronautical engineer. Then he moved to finance and now he is working in human resources. I asked him about his transition to HR. And his answer made me extremely excited:
“I was surprised when I realized how difficult it is to be a human resources officer. It’s easier to design an aircraft so it won’t crash than to manage personnel.”
Empathy is the key
I have always believed that what a professional in the field of human resources really needs is not “nice”, but empathy. That’s how you understand and share your feelings with people.
We have to do this, sometimes it’s hard, but it’s what the company needs to run smoothly. Working with empathy, and making other leaders feel that same, really made a difference.
Like a duty of the HR department, we are always ready to receive information whether good or bad and respond to it, or help other leaders give reasonable feedback. This is always the best way to create empathy.
As professionals in the field of human resources, we must keep everything in balance if we are to maintain a fair environment. Balance in life is very important. On the other hand, if done poorly, it can turn into favoritism and contribute to some individuals avoiding difficult work.
This is something that no company wants to encounter. I love my job, not because it’s “nice” but because I find satisfaction in helping the company achieve its goals through the use of human resources. This is a matter of strategy, but also an art that you must practice every day to ensure that the movement is always in good working order.
Helping and watching people grow is a wonderful thing. But helping and watching the company grow through people who have worked hard to get there is even more important and fulfilling.