7 Deadly Sins of Human Resources

7 Deadly ZinsI love wine! By the bottle by the case or the vineyard. My personal favorite is Californian Zinfandel. Most people kind of look me up and down when I say this, thinking what is a six-foot four 200+ pound guy drinking a sissy wine for. Well they obviously have not sampled a red Californian Zinfandel because it’s extremely robust, full of wonderful flavors and aromas and usually packs a whopping punch of at least 15% alcohol. My favorite go to Zin is 7 Deadly Zins from the Michael David Winery near Lodi.

So last night as I was sipping my Zin I started thinking about Sins, specifically HR Sins. The wine may have clouded my judgement but here goes.

Sin #1 – Treating job seekers like their not important

These job seekers could potentially be your customers. If you treat them badly, they will remember and tell everyone they know of their poor recruiting experience and then they will stop shopping there or blackball your products and services. Make sure you value every potential job seeker like they were buying product or services from your company. Re-design your career site, processes and your policies with this in mind.

Sin #2 – Not acting like a business function

Most HR groups act like they should have entered the legal profession. Most business requests are greeted with a “No, you can’t do that, there is too much risk” or the policy does not permit us to that or I will get back to you on that and you seldom does anyone ever hear back. Take calculated risks along the way, they will pay off.

Sin #3 – Not engaging employees

Your employees are your lifeline to the health of the company. Are they happy? Committed? Productive? Find out and take their advice please. The company bottom line and the CEO will thank you for it.

Sin #4 – Not being truthful

Nothing destroys trust like lying or being deceitful about what’s happening or why you are putting a certain policy in place. Be direct and at least get employees respect for being honest. They may not like you but at least they may forgive you. Try it now.

Sin #5 – Hiding behind your desk

Get out there and visit the shop floor, the labs, the showrooms, the retail stores. Go wherever your employees and managers are and talk to them. Find out what you can do to make it easier for them to be productive, to build better products, to feel safer, etc.

Sin #6 – Trying to be everything to everyone

Focus on what your great at and what is the most important to your business and employees. Outsource or get out of certain functions where the cost is too high or the value too low. Be tough on yourself on making this assessment. Get outside help if necessary.

Sin #7 – Not Measuring Value

Sure measure some of the basic HR metrics for core functions but dont’ go overboard, it creates paralysis. Do focus on your value to your business. This is hard thinking and will make you feel vulnerable as you expose metrics that you and your team are quite poor at. That’s the point! You need to focus on metrics to achieve success, your success in key metrics helps the business succeed. So get on with job #1.

Now, if your feeling sad or dejected after reading this, grab yourself a bottle of the 7 Deadly Zins and forget for at least one night what you have to start doing tomorrow. Enjoy.


About attackdefenddisrupt

An executive with over 20 years providing recruiting, talent management and IT solutions to corporations and government.
This entry was posted in human resources, recruiting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 7 Deadly Sins of Human Resources

  1. Daniel Jordi says:

    Good choice of wine by the way ~ my compliments!
    Sin #1 got me thinking… mainstream recruitment practices evolved from employers’ fear of being overwhelmed by desperate applicants. The irony is that desirable applicants (balanced, self-confident & skilled) won’t endure inconsiderate processes and unrealistic expectations while desperate ones will.
    If the company’s values, such as integrity and service, aren’t reflected in the recruitment process chances are they won’t be reflect elsewhere either. Actions speak louder than words.

    • Daniel,

      Absolutely agree with you this is my biggest pet peeve. I expect in the next few years we will see some major backlash against companies that do not treat candidates and employees well. Social media tools are getting even better at allowing like minds to get together to pressure and identify poor employers. It’s no longer tolerable for employers to do this to candidates or anyone for that matter. Treat candidates like customers, because they potentially are.

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