A lot of people go into HR because they genuinely believe that they can help other people. They want to become advocates and allies with people across a company and make it more equitable.
While that’s possible, it’s also pretty uncommon. I don’t mean to burst any bubbles, but here’s the truth. Most people don’t understand that HR represents the company and the legal department, not the people. When they fight back and fight for what’s right? They begin wars, not relationships. They aren’t remembered as heroes when they stand up for others.
There’s a fantastic side to HR, too. I’m not trash-talking about this profession. HR and recruiting teams do help people find jobs. But it doesn’t work quite like you think it will.
Ask The HR Pros: What Do You Wish You Knew Before Working In Human Resources?
That’s not what HR and recruiting teams do every day. It’s not extensive campaigns that help thousands of people. It’s often hard conversations and being the bad guy when you’re working in human resources. You’re the one delivering the complex message and making promises that may not be kept after you leave. It’s hard, and we don’t give HR enough credit.
We also don’t prepare people enough for this responsibility and essential role. That’s why I asked my friends on LinkedIn to tell me:
What advice would you give students interested in HR or recruiting? Real talk. What do you wish you knew before you committed to this career?
Be honest. They need that.
Here’s the best of those comments. You can see all of them here.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.