Tuesday, February 14, 2017

HR's career game and other play!



There has been some high profile leadership changes of late and this brought some HR leaders to talk about succession planning and career advancement, etc. But these pundits of HR feudal world did not ever create a written and announced career-path for HR people in their own HR organization, why? ‘Coz they are above suspicion due to some divine sanctions. Even Julius’s wife is not above suspicion!          
Career growth within HR happens unplanned and sudden and that throws all sense and sensibilities chucked out of the window. No plan or lack of it is the basic nature of HR. What growths we have seen are the need-based reactive and some just copy-paste fancy sub-functional title gimmick!
Have you ever seen an HR competency book? Have you ever seen an HR Capability Building Framework?
Have you ever seen any HR whitepaper on how to create super HR humans?
HR is a self-proclaimed department of Avatars! 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 organizational importance are shared with Head hunting companies, who help arrange some resumes 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 or both. Value add? You converted to PDF and emailed it to the candidate. Great Job! Well done! HR has fancy for titles! Human Capital Leader, Chief Happiness officer, Global CHRO, Global Chief People Officer.
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 the 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 feel pained to see the so called premier B school HR boys and girls positing shabby JDs on LinkedIn. Mind you these guys are only seen on LinkedIn when they are scouting for some junior jobs adverts. It is surprising these single and some double MBAs post jobs which have missing Job Specifications! Mind you these two MBAs are paid ~30 lacs each per annum to do such poor and low level jobs! Shameful!
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 bunch who created coterie, but that has become a very old story. Mediocre exists and has bred a new species, called 'Rocker' (Derived from the word rock-bottom hit in value of moral and ethics and delivery quality). You can as well call them the 'worst of mediocre' or the super child of the mediocre. This breed is growing like 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, especially in Bangalore. 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, s/he can rule. An MNC apparel brand , well known for denim brands has a senior HR Manager at Bangalore, who is paid 45 lacs and has not a single HR formal degree. These insecure bosses hire weak and fake, they can rule and maintain their feudal status. This is the most shameful conspiracy! These weak and undeserving step children are those, who are 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!
Will 2017 answer these concerns? I am confident, yes!
I was listening to MT HR conference at Bangalore on March 15th, 2013 at Hotel Ista. Ravi Venkatesan, erstwhile MD-Microsoft for India, made it clear to the HR folks 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.
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 years!

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