Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tragedy called HR

Ironically, for a guy who scored DD (translation: bottom of class) in HR, I'm very much interested in HR. Or funnily enough, possibly my pathetic score actually proved my interest in HR :) In XAT 2004-05, I had even applied for PM&IR in XLRI - that I didn't get through is a different story. Anyway, I got to be thankful that I didn't get through. It was a good thing that I didn't.

In my HR course, I read all about how HR is a "strategic" (a frequent MBA-speak) function and not a staff job. How HR is going to change the company's fortunes, blah blah.

In this placement season, the true colour of HR is being seen. When companies come for PPT (Pre-Placement Talks), usually the good work is done by the domain experts or the VPs or CEOs as the case may be. The accompanying HRs simply sit like dolls and (if you are lucky) sometimes, look pretty. They have absolutely no use above this. Most of the time, they can't answer anything about the company or placement details other than the compensation and the salary breakup. What an utter waste of time.

Perhaps it is time to do away with them. One way is to take IBM's wonderful system of people managers to the next level. Have an administration division for "pen pushing" and put the people management responsibility into line managers. More of the system seen in the militaries.

In any case, it is time to recognize HR as another MBA jargon and limit our expectations from them. Because, irrespective of whatever they teach in b-schools, HR in the current form is useless.

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