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Have you seen a career path for HR people in any  organisation?        

Mostly not to never. The growth happens unplanned and sudden and that throws all sense and sensibilities out of window. No plan or lack of it is the basic nature of HR. What growth we have seen are the need-based growth in terms of titles and responsibility.
Have you ever seen an HR competency book? Have you ever seen a n HR Capability Building Framework?
Have you ever seen any HR whitepaper?
HR is self-proclaimed department beyond candidate sourcing and employee file management.Growth is all mushroomed and fashioned by HR only. Business sees very little sense in what HR does beyond hiring related low end support. Surprisingly, even for hiring for that matter, all senior positions of organisational importance are shared with Head hunting companies, who help arrange a resume or at best arrange a call/meeting.  That's it. End of HR. What more credit? Yeah! you issued an offer letter dictated by candidate or the Hiring Manager. Value add? You converted to PDF and emailed it to the candidate. Great Job! Well done!
Specialist roles that I have heard of are, 'Recruitment Specialist' now called TA and remains TA till time one fails to do good TA, say sourcing and interview coordination. If one fails to do a good job there, she is moved to Generalist HR role and sometimes, Business HR role. No qualifications required. Just push the Peter Button! I am sure you are aware of the Peter Principle. Some people one fine day become  L&D Specialist, C&B Specialist and some HRIS Specialist.

I heard, one VP HR talk in a conference and he mentioned something not unusual but unfortunate. He told, C&B Manager is one who can work on Excel Sheets, and Who needs, training program? The L&D Manager. This appears horrible state of HR. Low on dignity and absolutely faceless to business.
We all know we are ruled or filled by mediocre, but that has become a very old story. Mediocre exists and has bred to a new species, called 'Rocker' (Derived from the word rock-bottom). You can as well call them the 'worst of mediocre' or the child of mediocre. This breed is growing like a weed! The helpless, useless and ubiquitous. Habitat? Mostly MNCs, where HR lost its sheen decades back and has become the nappy changer, the leaking boat. Here you will find the VPs/Directors of HR will come from MSW background, no HR background or C or D rung of MBA colleges. Most of the time, they add a postal HR certificate or at best diploma from known shops like XLRI, etc. MBAs from SCDL never ever meant anything.

So what makes these unknown folks grow to the level of Glorious Incompetence and Ridicule?
A sucker hires a sucker and a C-player always hires incompetent and weak people, he can rule. Easy to manage, use, misuse, abuse! Who says, Casting-couch is only a Bollywood thing? This is the way, the Rockers are built and bred. You have examples like this all around you! Sometimes or many a times, we are creating these Rockers!
A simple analogy is, "Sucker creates a Lick-er" or Rocker!" Nothing new, we all have read million times, a B-player hires a C-player. C-player is no one but the poor lick-er!

Imagine, what will a Lick-er breed do?

The biggest joke is that HR is considered to be the people evangelists, the talent shapers, the harbinger of culture.
In this twilight era of HR, we are soon to get the shake-up! Year 2013 is a wake-up call.
HR is no more, a parking lot for the Lickers and their moms and dads, the Ass-h*** B players!

There is light at the end of tunnel year 2013. Justice will be done!

I was listening to MT HR conference at Bangalore on March 15th, 2013 at Hotel Ista. Ravi Venkateshan, erstwhile MD-Microsoft for India, made it clear to the HR herd in the room, that HR makes hardly any value add to business and his experience says, get a Business Guy in the HR role. S/he will do far better, if s/he has little bit of people development skills and attitude. Ravi's frustration with HR was very evident and mind you, he has been heading MS in India for more than 11 years.

Ravi knew he was making a big and timely comment and made it clear to the audience that he may have agitated the present HR folks with what he believes HR is today.
I am waiting to read more, in his book, "Conquering the Chaos!", due to market in June, 2013.

Ever thought, why Business Leaders like Ravi are frustrated with modern day HR folks, and I talk to scores of other Business Leaders and they fume and fetter they same way, when they share experience of working with their HR support team.
This happens as HR tells them "what they cannot do rather than what can be alternatives, possibilities". HR tells, what some policy says and they feel happy being in the position to say 'NO' to business!

Whenever Business guy approaches HR, s/he is prepared with what s/he is going to ask for and when they hear the HR guy not even thought or able to think and visualize in that direction, they say, "It sucks!".

Problem with HR is non-planned and non-aligned title-based growth!. This growth makes HR a dummy doll sitting in business meetings and answering in the most heard way, "Sir, we will get back to you."
Have they ever comeback?

Business needs HR leaders who align with business and many a times, shape business by integrating and adjusting the talent lever in the system. That is called business HR. 
Unfortunately, HR Business partner is the most loosely used/misused term in HR. Every 5-6 years experienced HR guy, who had worked across hiring and file and letter management, joining formalities and coordination is pushed to HR Business partner position.

I guess, the best deal would be, to allow and ask Business Leader to write the JDs and KPIs for the HR folks for the business and company and select the best by following a rigorous hiring process that may run for days together. Unfortunate fact is that HR guys/Lickers or suckers or stars are plugged into business units without even informing or involving Business Leaders. Give them the right to select and "Right to Reject" or else the Licker menace will haunt you in your sleep for months and years!


  1. Wonderful that's the word I guess if we do not buckle up and stand noticed the HR dept will be history, they are just doing a job of a postman/women, paper pushers no value add. If someone comes from the crowd and want to do some difference to the HR fraternity he is simply sidelined, the guy gets frustrated and in the end leaves the job or becomes part of the system which one is good?? who can answer I guess no one.What if in the new job that he has got will be any different, wild guess it will be the same 99 out of 100.
    The question here is,do we need to change if so how and where to start,will the change even a small one will it be accepted?? How long will it take for the leaders and builders of Software companies both local and MNC to realise this and act, there has to be accountability for all that has been done. Even the Technical front is no different, there are R&D centers who do not produce quality products, even after hiring guys from NIT, IIT and IISc's with M Tech and PhD's all are running away from responsibilities,all that matters is fat paycheck, when there is a need to show accountability they flash there IIT degree to get a new job and move on, there has to be a level playing field for all qualified Techies and there work need to be audited, because more then the HR it is the Business leaders and Techies who are responsible for the success of the Product both box piece and software. They have to be dealt with in all seriousness and honesty.
    HR folks are responsible for hiring the right talent for the position irrespective of the favoritism shown by the Business leaders, I have a question on hiring Business leaders who was responsible for closing Design centers in the past?? If hired what amount of liberty should be given to such people, what should be the accountability on the BU Leader on the repeated failure of the Design centers?? Any penalty to be levied on such leaders?? so on and so forth. I have one observation on the HR who hired them and are working with them how should there rapport be with the BU Leaders who come spent 2 to 3 years and product fails design centers is closed, the guy coolly walks into the new job, should the new company hire such people he/she will eventually bring his old team and create a cultural friction in the new work place, there has to be a new Paradigm which needs everyone's attention.


    1. Absolutely agree with you Ravi. Hiring even at the niche levels are quite a transactional affair.A person or a group of stooges hire another joker into their bunch! HR is a postman and a orderly who prints resume, calls the candidate, asks him for tea/coffee and take him to the interview room. What preparation and research has HR done for the special selection? None. They just close position and be happy. HR's job is not just to save their ass. They have much bigger and sacrosanct role to get a fair, intensive, rigorous search, and selection process laid and executed. If hiring was a receptionist job, we do not need to pay HR and their managers and VPs, Directors millions!

      Unfortunately HR team at many a places is sidelined and has been relegated to the bottom rung of value chain and it is 90% because they do not have merit and courage to play their role well.


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