HR Insights 2 min

HR’s Personality Problem

November 21, 2016

If anyone were to suggest that HR professionals as a group have an attitude problem, your first reaction would likely be the same as ours: that’s ridiculous. Whether they’re resolving conflicts or chasing you down to fill out that insurance form you forgot to fill out (despite multiple reminders), HR pros are anything but obnoxious. They’re thoughtful, dedicated folks who work tirelessly behind the scenes without expecting recognition.

And that’s why they get left out in the rain, just like Mr. Wrinkles.

Broadly speaking, Human Resources draws a certain type of individual. Among many admirable attributes like organized, thorough, amiable, and patient, HR folks tend to be service-minded, sympathetic, and conflict-avoidant. Their job often resembles parenting as much as anything else. And like parents, they often put their own interests behind those of their children. As one BambooHR executive returning from a regional SHRM conference put it, “I’ve never seen a group of people more concerned with holding the door open than stepping through it.” Can you see where this is going?

The unfortunate side effect of an entire industry full of nice people is a low percentage of alphas, bulldogs, and loudmouths—exactly the kind of focus-pulling squeaky wheels that demand the attention they need to solve the issues they feel are important. As a result, HR’s own issues—technology being a primary one—often get left behind until they become issues for those outside HR, at which point HR may take the blame for not fixing them in advance.

How can you change the status quo without changing the demographic of HR? By empowering those people, by seeking out the issues they’re not inclined to vocalize, and by solving problems on their behalf. In essence, by giving HR its own HR department. We’ve spent years building close relationships with Human Resources professionals around the world, and our allegiance is with them. We build tools that reveal the true strategic power of HR, and our goal is to put that power in the hands of HR pros, whether they dare ask for it or not.

Rob de Luca
Copy Director | BambooHR

Rob de Luca is the copy director for BambooHR. Since 2016, he has written extensively on culture and best practices in the HR industry. He believes culture is the key to organizational success and that every HR professional has the potential to become a culture champion and strategic business partner.