Source | PeopleMatters
It was somewhere in mid-2006 is when I chanced upon the article by Keith Hammonds on “Why we hate HR”.
I read it. Though FB was yet at emerge, clicked the dislike button multiple times and dumped the article.
Setting the ground since 2006
Even when you brush something aside, it keeps cropping up and haunting you. This was one such article and I had a choice to either ignore or act upon. I decided to act upon but this ‘action’ was slightly different. My action strategy was two pronged:
- Make changes to ways of working and secondly,
- Gather evidences through a longitudinal study (aka prolonged one) to prove the findings incorrect
Fast forward to 2016
Here are my sample sizes over last 11 years and I viewed most of these through the lens of Keith:
- In last 12 years and through my leadership stints in various organizations, 32 professionals reported to me directly and I had the opportunity to work with more than 500 HR professionals as part of my extended teams across organizations.
- I visited more than 30 MBA institutions (some times visited the same institutes, more than once)
- Made campus presentations to more than 5700 management students (largely HR folks), answered their intriguing questions
- Interviewed more than 400 HR management students and hired a good number of them
- Spoke in over 50+ conferences across India as keynote speaker or as a panel member
- Met more than 4000 active HR professionals through these conferences
Over last two weeks, I sat back and went through all my notes over last 12 years of what I have seen, observed, talked about, listened to, worked upon and read about. Folks who worked with me may recollect that I write a lot.
I am disappointed. I am hurt. Keith continues to remain right. We will continue to Hate HR.
HR start-ups and their focus
Last few years have been glorious period for the start-up sector and there are quite a few wonderful start-ups emerging in the space of HR technology. I spent some time on understanding HR tech start-up space.
CB Insight says that the largest contributors in this space are start-ups in “recruiting tools” space. Closely followed by job search, operations management and benefits administration. I am sure you will agree that these will fall in process category.
Tracxn Blue box on HR tech start-up talks about how majority of funding has happened in HRMS, candidate sourcing, background verification, candidate assistance and corporate training. These are processes.
Start-ups solve problems and most HR tech start-ups are solving for process challenges. World somehow believes that our biggest challenge lies in process automation. I think we made the world think so and it’s not the other way around.