Do we make HR look too easy?

I’ve been in Human Resources for over 10 years now.

Okay, after typing that 10 years part I got a little dizzy… thank goodness I’m sitting down. Whew.

Anyway… Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people who have expressed interest in getting into Human Resources and have asked me for advice. I respond by encouraging education, experience, certification, etc. For some reason, I don’t think any of those people thought that’s what my answer would be. I think they expected me to say, “Here are my keys. Go ahead & try it! It’s so easy!”

A couple of hotels back, an older gentlemen came to the HR Department wanting to pick up an application for his wife who wanted to work in HR. (don’t get me started about people who have their spouses do the talking for them) Anywhoo – He talked about how many shopping centers he owned, how many big-time connections he had in the community, blah, blah. He said that his wife didn’t really need to work, but was interested in HR & he wanted to help her. Awww…

“What experience does she have in Human Resources?” I asked.

“Oh none. But how hard can it be? I mean, anyone can do it!” He replied.

That conversation was over pretty darn quickly after that.

I have heard that *back in the old days* it was more about party-planning and bringing cookies to meetings. That’s what I’ve been told by more than a few former bosses. Was that just in the hospitality industry or was that across the board? Do folks still have that misconception about this profession? Why is that?

Then there’s this story I just heard from a fellow HR Director…

Years back she was being confronted & challenged by a colleague about some things he thought she should be doing. (He was NOT in HR.) She asked him, “So tell me, where did you get YOUR degree in Human Resources?” He said, “For your information, my best friend and neighbor is a Corporate VP of HR!”


I have a friend who is a rocket scientist, but NASA hasn’t called me for advice on the Space Station.


About jensmack

Non-Profit HR Director, Scrapbooker, Reader, TV Lover, and Crafter. Also, Neurotic, Sarcastic, Anxiety-filled Mom of Three.
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4 Responses to Do we make HR look too easy?

  1. Julie Martinez says:

    I have a friend who is a bomb disposal expert…but I’m not going to tell you to cut the blue wire…definitely the blue wire.

    Yes, I can hang on that particular branch with you sistah, esp after my last position ELIMINATED HR because they “didn’t believe in it.”

    You know who I’m talking about.

    The guy who thought that without HR the employees would “talk to their managers, like they’re supposed to.” Totally not getting that ER is a very *small* part of HR, and in big, big, BIG corporations they have HR professionals who are nothing but ER. And ones that deal with compliance. And ones who deal with training. And ones who deal with benefits. And bosses over all of them, and on and on and on…

    but I digress.

    Power to the HR Peeps!

  2. RMSJr says:

    HR could also mean Human Rockets, what we want to do with some employees. To quote Ralph Kramer, “To the moon.” Therefore, rocket science just might be involved. Or at least the next new competency to be added to S/PHR certification.

    That being said, my wife is an IT goddess of the highest order. She gets peeved by the folks who want to spend an afternoon with her so they can get into IT as well.

    Sometimes, we shouldn’t make it look so easy.

  3. suhas says:

    Respected sir,
    I am a second year student of MBA(HR,Marketing)
    i just read your blog, but one question is arrising in my mind…
    that, if each & every organisation wants only experienced HR professionals then how the freshers will get experiance & how they get trained?
    Your blog is good & interestig so keep it up.

  4. Rhonda says:

    I soooo feel your pain…everyone and their brother thinks they can teach. HA!!!!

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