{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Do you ever get conscious telling people that you work in HR? I feel like there is a stigma against our profession.", "post_id": "5ec847b1df8420001a7d4524", "reply_count": 33, "vote_count": 23, "bowl_id": "5682e6afd55b9e0f00fce669", "bowl_name": "Human Resources" }

Do you ever get conscious telling people that you work in HR? I feel like there is a stigma against our profession.

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I generally brace myself a bit when I share that I work in HR, mainly because everyone has had different experiences with HR depending on their organization, tenure, role(s), behavior/performance, etc. and you don’t really know what their impression of HR is until that conversation is opened up. Some have had great partnerships with and have tremendous respect for HR, others’ only exposure to HR is what they’ve seen on “The Office”...and a whole range in between.

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This is so true. I’ve had to brace myself over the years. I cough it up to rudeness. I’ve had people actually ask me - “So, you fire people?” I retort, “No, they fire themselves.” Some people don’t get it. But, I’m lucky enough to be doing what I love to do. I strongly feel we affect everything. The business results are closely tied to culture. It’s everything. We need an overhaul-I call my department E/X- Employee Experience. The shift has to be about that lifecycle and accounting for people.

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I do. And then I make a joke “50% of what I do is boring, and another 50% is confidential, so let’s not talk about my work”. People always laugh.

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No, never. I’m proud of what I do and I know the impact I have. That said, I’m capable of poking fun at myself when the inevitable “uh oh, HR’s here!” jokes crop up.

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My dad is always - can you remind me what they are paying you for? I always say that they pay me to make sure that all those money company spends on people are actually spent on things that bring business value, and my major purpose is to make sure that payroll and benefits budget return on investment is the highest possible.

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Yes, mainly because generally people have a limited understanding of the scope and impact of the profession. I find people think we just process paperwork all day 🙄

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I’m stealing that.

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The change that needs to happen, is changing the perception that HR is there only to ‘Protect the Company’.

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Exactly. Protecting the company and protecting employees are not mutually exclusive. It is in the best interest of the company to protect employees because the risks of not doing so are far too high - $s wasted on legal claims, loss of engagement and trust from employees, etc. Re #2 - I’m always very clear with employees from the outset of an investigation that it’s my job to explore all angles and that I have a duty to look out for and protect the rights of ALL employees involved (including the one I’m investigating). I make sure they understand that this means I can’t always be 100% transparent with them about every single detail of the investigation so I need them to trust me. They rarely like what I have to say but I believe they understand and respect it, since it’s communicated upfront.

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Personally,my biggest issue is when socializing with co-workers, they tend to censor themselves around me cause they think I might tattle on them or worse, penalize them. I also find it tough to juggle between being a friend and being concerned about what they say (I mean, just the other day I found out during our "gossip sessions" one employee is being bullied by her teammates). On the flip side, when people close to me realize I'm from HR, they ask for my help regarding a lot of things like labor laws, job hunting etc.

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But I started avoiding outings and conferences eventually :) I always felt conflicted about dealing with things I saw (coworkers getting room together, drunk behavior and etc), and it started feeling like work overtime. So I just bailed, saying that things would happen whether I’m there or not, but at least I wouldn’t have to start investigations immediately after party, and to send people love contracts.

I’m pretty comfortable letting people know they seem generally interested in hearing “what’s the craziest thing you’ve had to deal with” or “do you like firing people”. The best part is when you run into someone else who is in HR at an event or outing.

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Also I’m proud of what I do, and the profession in general. What kind of stigma do you observe?

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Yes, mainly because people assume you are a recruiter and can get them a job

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Omg, yes! Now I’m a VP and people sometime ask me - “can you create a new job and hire me?”

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I’m proud of what we do, and I know how much value HR brings. But man, on TikTok there is SO much anti-HR sentiment. I really don’t think Gen Z understands the purpose of HR and just thinks it’s a toxic profession. It makes me nervous that it will perpetuate a generation of not reporting discrimination and harassment claims.

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yeah thanks a lot, Toby!! (any office fans??)

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I love it when colleagues say when meeting for the first time ( development / training / coaching / strategy conversation ) that they haven’t met me before ... my response it that is not a bad thing !! I love my job and have seen a mix of experiences as detailed above in other posts.However I like to think a colleague comes away with an insight on the impact HR can have based on the interaction and positive outcomes ( even if the actual news is bad) !!

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There's definitely a stigma but that had to come from somewhere. There are those in our profession that take great pride in finding something wrong with anything or with anybody. That's easy to do. The hard thing is to address things in a way that shifts the culture AND brings value to the company and its employees.

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Never, I am proud of it.

Never I’m so proud of the work I do I love sharing it with others.

Well since I am the one who gets them in the front door they like me. I say it’s more fun to hire then to fire

Yes, because so many people in HR can do better and not just be the policy police. Many are two faced and when it comes down to it, it's about the business and not the person.

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