Our Clients Hate HR, and That’s OK

posted on September 7th 2016 in From the CEO & Hiring

When I talk so business leaders – CEOs, COOs and CFOs – they often tell me they hate HR. Or disdain, or despise, and never plan to hire an HR person. We’ve come to recognize that these are the perfect clients for us. That might sound strange, given I’m an HR consultant with HR in my company name. But trust me, it makes perfect sense.

Let me start by telling you exactly what they hate:

  1. People who operate in a vacuum
  2. HR jargon
  3. Activity vs. results
  4. Bureaucracy
  5. Policing
  6. Paper Pushers
  7. Laminated posters as a panacea
  8. Risk aversion
  9. Poor business acumen
  10. Finding reasons to say no instead of ways to say yes

So what do they want?

Our clients want better ways to attract and hire top talent. They want effective ways to identify smart people who are also a fit for their culture. They want values that are not just motherhood and apple pie but genuinely act as a guide when people have to make hard decisions. They want to provide leaders and managers with tools to coach and engage employees. They want a mission that attracts people and a culture that keeps them, a place where people can grow their careers, and where everyone feels valued and included. Our clients want “HR” to be strategic and forward thinking, they want the department to help make their companies great places to work, and add value that impacts the bottom line.

We all know personnel is a thing of the past. What about the term HR to describe how we attract, develop, and keep our teams? It is being replaced – by People Operations, Talent, Human Capital Management…There’s no one term word or phrase that replaces what many people today still call “HR.” So we’ll continue to talk about what we do as HR, until something better comes along.

Mikaela Kiner

Mikaela is a native Seattleite who’s spent the last fifteen years in HR leadership roles at iconic Northwest companies including Microsoft, Amazon, PopCap Games and Redfin. She has an MS in HR Management with a certificate in Organizational Development and is an ICF credentialed coach. Mikaela delivers results by building trust and engaging her clients in creative problem solving. Clients appreciate her strategic thinking and hands on execution.