Accidental HR

There are those among us that do not belong. They are in the field because, as much as we don’t want to admit it, they couldn’t cut it elsewhere.

They aren’t bad people. Maybe they don’t have the experience to work in Operations, or the degree to work in Legal, or the acumen to work in Finance. But they have bills to pay, so they come to HR and do the best they can. They may start as an admin, become a coordinator and work their way up to generalist after a few years. These people are HR jobbers, but not career HR. Yes, there is a difference. And I’m betting you all know someone that fits the description.

The bad news is we all suffer because of them. Just like one dishonest garage turns every mechanic into a crook, one bad HR person can ruin the perception of the function. They have fallen into our laps, and they aren’t likely to leave anytime real soon.

The good news is we don’t have to keep suffering. These are our people now, and if anyone knows development, it should be HR, right? Sure, we suffer most of the time like unshod cobbler’s children, but these are the people who desperately need our help. Unless they are developed and can contribute, we aren’t likely to reach escape velocity in our profession any time real soon.

If each of us took the time to reach out to one person, we can start changing the face of HR. Be it a minimally skilled HR jobber or a new HR person who is still looking for direction, we can be part of shaping their world, their skills, and their future. We owe it to them, and we owe it to the profession. After all, if we can’t develop ourselves, what hope do the rest of the business have?


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Carty, Dwane Lay. Dwane Lay said: New at LeanHRBlog: Accidental HR. There are those among us that do not belong. […]

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