My job is weird.
I work in the human resources industry where people frequently say things like, “I work in HR, but I’m a business leader at heart.”
Or they say things like, “I report to the Chief HR Officer, but my CEO recognizes that I offer more than a typical human resources perspective.”
Or they say, “The work I do isn’t really human resources at all. It’s more closely aligned with marketing and sales.”
Lots of HR apologists among the rank-and-file of human resources professionals and very few brave voices. I can’t stand it, and I don’t have time for it. I can’t imagine someone in sales saying, “I report into sales, but my values are more closely aligned with procurement.”
On top of all that, the HR industry has these hackneyed marketing firms that pass off surveys on HR and work-related trends as if they are true research firms. And there are research firms that advise CEOs and CHROs on human resources trends and technology, but take money from technology companies who want to reach those CEOs through more effective marketing.
It’s a cult of ego.
In the end, I suspect people just want to be featured in Forbes or Fast Company as business experts. Everybody wants to be advisors and celebrity leaders. Nobody wants to be who they are — human resources professionals who just do great HR.
But I think things need to change in 2015.
Do you work in payroll? Are you a benefits specialist? Are you a business partner responsible for talent acquisition strategies at your company? You should be proud of it. Brag about it. Showcase your HR expertise to your clients, your colleagues, and your CEO. Don’t let someone tell you that you just work in HR. Those people suck and don’t know the first thing about what you do for a living.
Stand up for yourselves.
Human resources professionals aren’t curing cancer, but they are the first-line defense against poor management practices and illegal behaviors. When they do their jobs right, they give out great business advice and make sure that people work in safe and secure environments.
It’s not sexy. It’s not flashy. But have some respect for yourself and your profession. If it were so easy to work in HR, your CEO could do it. And he can’t. He doesn’t have the chops.
Own your role in human resources in 2015. And don’t let anyone, including me, tell you that your expertise isn’t enough.