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What is your HR experience?
Old 01-22-2017, 06:21 PM   #1
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What is your HR experience?

Good or bad. What experience can you share with the forum? Thanks

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Old 01-22-2017, 06:30 PM   #2
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I've sat on both sides of that table, and my experience is that HR does the job it's told to do, in support of the agenda set out by the executive team.

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Old 01-22-2017, 06:41 PM   #3
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I didn't have much contact with HR. When I did need to interact with them, they were very professional, knew what they were doing, and got the job done.

Generally, I think that having a job in HR must be pretty miserable for the HR person, and because of that I tried especially hard to be patient, considerate, tactful, and so on. I think that helped things work.

There was one instance in which my feelings could have been hurt by the outcome, but because they acted extremely professionally instead of emotionally, I had no problem accepting an adverse outcome. That was during the hiring process and that interaction lasted about 1 minute.

Later on they actually helped to grease the wheels for a big promotion for me in one instance, much to my surprise and delight. I had wanted and deserved that promotion for a long time. I was reluctant to see them about that at first, but my supervisor pushed me (hard, twice!) to go and talk to them since the only way to get me a promotion during a budget freeze was to go through HR. Or something like that.
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:44 PM   #4
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I supported HR more often than not. Employee expectations have only become harder and harder to "accommodate" IME. I don't miss unreasonable employees at all!
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:47 PM   #5
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In all my jobs, the only time I ever dealt with HR was the day I started and the day I left. I suspect that experience is fairly common.
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
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What is your HR experience?
Old 01-22-2017, 06:58 PM   #6
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What is your HR experience?

I had a lot of contact with HR during the 20 some years that I was part owner of the company. Worked with HR in hirings, firings, employee evaluations, drug testing, benefits. We were extremely diligent in making sure that everything be done consistently and fairly for all employees in accordance with laws and company policies.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:02 PM   #7
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As I posted in your other thread... I had one HR person who I had very negative experiences with - and others who were great.

The person in question was hired during a gap I had with company. (I'd quit, then was being recruited to come back by my former boss and peers.) She put me in a situation where I'd need to give notice on my current job before she'd put my offer in writing... which I distrusted. I had to get my (soon to be) manager involved to get the offer in writing. Then she'd misrepresented what employee level I was coming in on - it was "neglected" in the offer... the difference was significant in the bonus scale... She'd verbally told me one level, and mentioned the bonus... but when bonus time came around I found out she'd put me in at a lower level. She refused to process paperwork for tuition reimbursement, even though the policy was to reimburse and my manager had approved it. When I asked for unpaid sabbatical for an extended honeymoon she turned it down... until her boss (the corporate VP) asked her why, and she had no reason. Then she tried to block my going part time when I returned for maternity leave - even though my boss had approved it and I had the VP of engineering approval. Basically - I had to fight against her on every decision she was involved with.

Between the bait and switch offer and the refusal to do tuition reimbursement she cost me close to $10k. I had reasons to not like her. As soon as I transfered to CA and was under a different HR person - I got a promotion and opportunities for more advancement. She was a negative on my career.

If you know Dilbert - she was Catbert, full on.

Other HR reps were great - helping to implement proper facilities for a lactation room (required under California law), helping me with a promotion. Helping me get a friend hired on. Asking me to work on various site committees... It was just this one Catbert that was the problem. Eventually she pissed off the wrong person and was laid off.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:06 PM   #8
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Many years ago, HR used to be an autonomous arm in my industry (IT-Banking). They were on par with Internal Audit. While comprised of employees, they pretty much were charted with looking at internal concerns in an independent and honest way. I remember they did a pretty fair job. THE VERY MOMENT HR was 'outsourced' to a 3rd party, private company....all objectivity went away. I don't mean be to be cynical, but when you are getting paid to do a job for a company, no way are you going to rule against them. There are a few exceptions to to this should the issue involve sexual harassment, fraud and theft (HR loves these because it gives the illusion of them doing their job) and in actuality those issues are governed and supported by laws outside the companies' scope anyway.

Should the issue be with management, general cruelty, work conditions, pay or biases......good luck (or should I say you are out of luck)
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:58 PM   #9
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Seems a lot of HR at least recruiting new employees has been out-sourced to ADP, Taleo, etc.
All useless.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:23 PM   #10
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I didn't have a lot of dealings with HR until the last year of my career. In that final year, after I had reduced my weekly hours worked from 20 to 12, I asked them to allow me to remain in their group health plan and pay 100% of the premiums, or extend COBRA beyond the 18-month minimum. To me, the first option was a no-brainer but they turned me down. That assured me of ERing within a year. I was pretty upset with HR.

During my final few weeks, I had to complete several pages of a form indicating what the savings plan administrator was to do with the many different parts of my 401k/ESOP. I had some questions along the way and the HR benefits specialist reviewed the forms to see they were completed properly. She gave them her blessing and the plan administrator followed all of my special instructions correctly.

Another HR staffer, a low-level flunkie, took my exit interview which lasted about an hour. I was able to let him know about some of the things I liked and didn't like in the 23 years I worked there. I made sure to let him know about the health insurance issue, not that it was going to do any good, of course.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:27 PM   #11
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HR at the MegaCorp I worked for was the most corrupt, unethical, immoral, organization I have ever dealt with in my life. There were many fine individuals there, but the policies pushed down from the top echelons were heinous.

The company - via HR - was pushing 'diversity' hard. Personally, I really don't care at all about the color, creed, gender, sexual preference, etc. of the people I work with - so long as they are capable of doing the job. But for HR, the ONLY thing that mattered was the list of diversity checkboxes a person brought to the company, and ability to do the job was barely an afterthought.

I personally witnessed flagrant Title VII violations on a regular basis: We had special 'red carpet' hiring events to which only women were invited, then extended offers without needing to go through the rigorous interview process, and were given immediate one-grade-level promotions before they walked in the door. Interviewers were asked to pick not the best candidate for any position, but instead to choose a candidate who simply 'met the qualifications' and satisfied the desired racial/gender profile. Global email was sent to employees advising them of upcoming training they would want to take to get up to speed with new directions the company was moving in, but some were told they would be last in line to take the training because of their race/gender. HR managers reviewed and revised the yearly employee valuations to ensure that those meeting the desired profiles were treated favorably. All of this had a certain amount of 'plausible deniability' baked into it, as most of these policies were passed down and enforced from HR via word of mouth only - they were smart enough not to put in writing things that were clearly unethical or illegal. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Because of HR policies and practices, I planned to bail on the company when I hit the company's retirement criteria. After 21 years of outstanding service to this company, and with 5 months to go before my retirement date (4 months of which were to be spent away on accrued vacation/sabbatical time) the company decided to lay me off as part of a RIF. Appeals to decency and fairness fell on deaf ears ("If we allow you to retire, we have to make exceptions for other people, too - we have to draw the line somewhere". I was stripped of my accrued time off, and all my retirement benefits which weren't protected by ERISA, and given 20 minutes to clean out my desk.

I honestly don't know how anyone in HR at that company can look themselves in the mirror.

So, I guess, "bad".
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:28 PM   #12
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90% useless pondscum. 10% decent people who must be very frustrated and stressed.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:02 PM   #13
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In my experience, almost all HR people are basically incompetent. They did a terrible job of selecting benefits from vendors who took advantage of them. They make promises they do not intend to keep. They pretend that they are a resource for employees who are having difficulty, but they are actually protecting the company from employee complaints or lawsuits, in some cases lying or double dealing. They add bureaucracy to any process they are involved with and they wield that bureaucratic red tape to thwart real workers. They were completely ineffective at recruiting new employees until we agreed that we would do all screening and interviewing, and merely inform them of our progress.

Generally I have no problem with them, since I learned long ago not to trust them or rely on them for anything. Occasionally they are amusing, as some new incident proves them even worse than I expected them to be. Some of them are nice people, but I don't think they last long with such terrible colleagues.
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Old 01-22-2017, 11:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I've sat on both sides of that table, and my experience is that HR does the job it's told to do, in support of the agenda set out by the executive team.
I agree, HR is the tool of the executive, even when they tell the employees that HR is there for the good of the employees.

Just think, who pays them ?
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:36 AM   #15
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My experiences with HR cover ten years or so, at two companies. Megacorp had several lofty goals, but generally, earnings were more important. I had a nemesis there. He felt that he was responsible for me getting a job in same dept. Went out of his way to act the role of manager, but he was short on skills. He was clearly not qualified for the same position I had. In time his philandering behavior became well known. Women did whatever was necessary to avoid him. I guess every group is blessed with similar behavior. He was openly political and racist.

There was so much undercurrent, that he became paranoid, went to HR and accused me and others of ruining his career. I had several years of notes, as someone advised me to do so. After weeks of waiting, HR called me in. I told what I had seen, and followed up with written statement. In the end, he was sent to some diversity classes on company dime. Eventually he went to another unit, 2nd wife divorced him, and he moved to another state, same company.

In minicorp there are under 1k employees. I have little interaction, and they seem to do their job. Since the company is smaller, I think problems resolve faster, without HR involvement.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:12 AM   #16
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I was in charge of HR at my Federal agency for five years. Everything was heavenly.

Well, good enough that the boss honored my request to do a 180 and manage IT for my final 10 years.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:55 AM   #17
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DH was married to an HR lady before me. He said, "HR is not your friend".

My experiences have been mostly neutral with some extremes. Bad: one HR lady was found to be accepting kickbacks from her favorite recruiting firms- the headhunter who got me in was able to only because he sent my CV directly to the hiring manager and she still fought it. A male employee of that same HR department told a male candidate that they didn't recruit women for foreign branch manager posts because they'd get pregnant and leave (this was in the late 1970s). Good: in my last job, which was a political quagmire, one of my proudest accomplishments was getting an underperformer fired. He was the son of a highly-placed executive but he wasn't working out and it was a serious morale problem in my department. Boss just kept trying to counsel him. The HR lady was VERY supportive. Eventually the boss came around and we canned him. Dad was OK with it- we'd kept him in the loop and he knew his son was doing badly. Morale picked up immediately, even as we hustled to clean up all the work the guy had promised but hadn't started. His replacement was a gem and is still there.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:19 AM   #18
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I got very good support from my HR team when working. They really helped me. Earlier in my career my contact with HR wasn't as positive. They have a tough job and I think generally do it pretty well though. Poor performers generally don't like HR. Good performers often like them a lot better.

My daughter is an HR professional at Canada's largest employer. I get a very different perspective by talking to her, She loves her job and seems very good at it.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:23 AM   #19
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As a manager, they were very helpful to me, especially dealing with some tricky employee situations. As a non-manager, they were useless. As others have stated, HR exists for management only.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:42 AM   #20
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Various feelings about HR over the years. The one that really sticks in my craw is the one where Corporate HR come out to our satellite location to tell us about the latest great benefits they were offering all employees for the upcoming year. (I actually think he was there on his personal vacation time coordinating a short meeting with us to get corporate to pay for his airfare) In the Q&A session, I asked if they were considering the new (at that time)ROTH 401K. He told everyone in the meeting that there was no real benefit in a Roth over traditional 401K. And that they were not going to offer one. I explained to HIM that benefit or not depended on the individual's circumstances and that corporate should not decide what is best for the individual. As I recall, the discussion was factual and cordial. Later I found out that he complained to out local management that I made him "look bad" in front of the other workers.


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