HR

HR job titles – seriously?

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They say you should take your job seriously – but not yourself.

It seems some HR people have taken that to heart.

According to People Management, the CIPD magazine, these are genuine job titles:

  • HR scrummaster
  • Vice President of teammate success
  • Appreciatologist
  • Employee experience architect
  • Employee journey guide
  • Hiring ninja
  • People and culture poet
  • Mood coordinator
  • Culture evangelist
  • People gardener
  • Snowflake nurturer (actually I made that one up)

As an ex-HR Director (and prior to that Head of Personnel Management) I despair at what these people actually do to help the organisations they work for.

 

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C.I.P.D……a laughing stock!

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The blogger is obviously not a fan of the CIPD! Perhaps the Institute should issue one of those wartime posters “Keep Calm and Carry On” instead of being so melodramatic and fearing the worst.

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

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The above recently appeared on one of the Linkedin discussion boards after the Referendum Vote on Britain leaving the EU. At first I thought it was a “send up” but then realised it was deadly serious.

What a pathetic response from the CEO of the CIPD* to the referendum result. What did he think was going to happen, people going into work verbally assaulting each other, punch ups between long standing work colleagues, mass demonstrations outside companies?

Has the CIPD ever issued such a diatribe, post any other election, local or national…..I think not.

What we have here is the namby pamby, mealy mouthed, PC nonsense that gives organisations like the CIPD a bad name. No wonder the HR function in many organisations is treated with derision and contempt when they promote this kind of rubbish.

I notice that Mr Cheese whitters on about “safe, secure and valued at work”…

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After performance appraisal what’s the next idea to ditch?

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business_professionals_standout_1600_wht_5372Following reports of the demise of performance appraisal Philip Delves Broughton, writing in the Times,  asked what else could be dropped?

It was quite a lengthy list, enough to give HR people sleepless nights I would think.

If you want to read the full story check out the newspaper but here is a list of its targets.  (The comments are mine by the way not the article’s author’s)

  • Big Data – assumes numbers can’t lie. Never heard of GIGO?
  • Empowerment – don’t believe it the bosses still want to be in charge.
  • Disruption – Harvard academics love these terms. What happened to innovation and creativity?
  • Being more like Apple – Apple may make wonderful products (I’m writing this on one) but there are questions about how Steve Jobs made it work.
  • Downsizing/rationalising/optimising/change management – Scientific Management, BPR, you name it the experts keep recycling this stuff.  I know I was one!
  • Chief Culture Officer – one person can’t be responsible for organisational culture although CEOs have a lot to answer for in setting the tone as role models.
  • Passion – beloved of life coaches and similar who love to put it in their CVs and on their websites..
  • The off-site – used to be called outdoor development or any training activity away from the office where you could all drink too much and maybe speak some home truths – to be regretted once you get back to the office.
  • Core competence – you mean one-trick ponies?
  • Mindfulness –  the latest fad (possibly replacing NLP). If you want to be a buddhist monk that’s fine but dabbling in these psychotherapeutic areas can create more problems than they solve. Same goes for neuroscience-based training. But that’s another story .

I’m sure you’ve all got your own bête noirs so feel free to share them.

But remember, consultants make their money from selling you ideas and systems so there will always be something else coming along (probably recycled but nobody stays in top jobs long enough to notice).

Off the top of my head what about workforce planning, or job evaluation, Management by objectives, job enrichment? And what happened to the balanced scorecard? You get the gist.

Are attractive women discriminated against?

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_DSC0291I’m re-posting this as it came up in the popular press recently (it can take journalists a few years to catch up on academic research).

Some researchers in Canada (a very PC country in my opinion) have replicated the research done in Israel a few years ago.

Men might think that women have the advantage when job-seeking if they are attractive but research from Israel, published by the Royal Economic Society, showed just the opposite in fact. 

Researchers sent out over 5,300 CVs for over 2,500 jobs. Two applications were sent for each vacancy – one with a photograph of either an attractive or plain person and an identical one without a photo.

Attractive women who sent in a photograph with their CVs were less likely to get an interview than plainer women who sent a photo and women who sent no photo at all.

For men it was the other way round. Attractive men who sent photos did better than the attractive women but plain men and those who didn’t send photos fared worse than their female counterparts.

Statistically it means that an attractive male only needs to send out 5 CVs to get an interview compared with the 11 a plain-looking male needs to send. Attractive women would be better off not sending a photo as it reduces their chances of getting an interview by 20 – 30%.

The researchers at Ben-Gurion university said it was a case of “beauty discrimination” which reflected the double standards in company HR departments. They checked and found that 96% of the people who screened the CVs were female, typically 23 and 24 years old , and 70% of them were single.

They theorised that these recruiters were jealous of any potential rivals in their workplace and rejected them instantly. There was less discrimination if the recruitment was being handled by an employment agency. Attractive women were no worse off than plain candidates and only slightly worse off than candidate who didn’t send a picture.

Professor Cary Cooper from Lancaster University Management School was more generous about the recruiters suggesting that unconsciously they might think that the less attractive women is the underdog and want to give her a chance. Nice thought Cary but what about the no-photo applications?

Sending photos with CVs is not common in the UK (unless applying for a job relating specifically to your appearance) but is in other parts of Europe. In Israel where the experiment was carried out it’s up to the individual.

In Lithuania our colleagues who are recruiters tell us that young people often send inappropriate pictures with their CVs eg shots on a beach or other holiday locations.

Of course once you’ve got the job good looks seem to effect both men and women equally with unattractive people earning up to 15% less than their more attractive counterparts.

First posted on SGANDA