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 (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.