4 Tips From An HR Insider

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By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Ben Eubanks

Human resources seems like a secret, shadowy figure in many organizations. Before I started my career in the HR field, much of what I knew about the profession was based on hearsay. But I have learned a lot in my experiences, and I’d like to let you in on a few tips that I’ve learned from this side of the table. We want the best for our employees, but we also want the best for the business, and that’s not always easy to balance out. Whether applying for a new job or cruising through your current one, these tips can help you in your run-ins with just about any HR department.

4 Tips From An HR Insider

Save Your Stuff

Performance appraisals are weird things. Many people dread them, but I see mine as a way to showcase the great projects that I’ve been contributing to over the previous months. The hard part of that is keeping up with what you’ve done over time. Things sometimes blend together. My advice is to keep a file stocked with business proposals, pertinent emails, and even a notebook for reminders of your accomplishments. They are great examples that you can use to make yourself look sharp at a performance evaluation, and they can also form the basis of a killer resume if need be. Keep in mind the Rule of Three.

We Don’t Hire

We all know that HR is the one who hires people, right? Well, that’s actually not true! HR doesn’t hire people, hiring managers do. HR might collect resumes and pass them along or have control over some of the hiring process, but the human resources department isn’t going to be the one selecting the person for the job in most cases. The truth is that we don’t always know what the best candidates look like for each type of position, so the actual choice often falls to the hiring manager (hence the term “hiring manager”). And we certainly don’t hire people who do this stuff.

We’re Not the Police

We really hate playing the bad guy. We want the best for our employees, and sometimes that isn’t obvious. People accuse HR of wanting to “catch” them doing something wrong, but we really would prefer not to have to come after someone for doing something they shouldn’t. HR’s goal is (or should be) to recruit great people and remove everything that stands in the way of them doing an excellent job. Having to reprimand people and investigate issues is the least fun part of HR. Help us help you!

We Strive for Invisibility

Recently I read an article making the case that great HR is invisible. It really is. If you’re not seeing much of us, then we are doing our jobs well.

Did you learn something new about HR? Excellent. Hopefully you can take that with you and use it next time an opportunity presents itself. Until next time when we learn where HR keeps the secret files on every employee, keep up the good work!

Ben Eubanks is an HR professional by day and an HR blogger at UpstartHR by night. You can reach him in the usual ways, including email, Twitter (@BenEubanks), and LinkedIn.

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3 comments

  1. Don't disagree that great HR is invisible — but there's a catch: when you're too invisible, no one knows it's HR that's doing the “good stuff”. Then you may be considered dispensable. Not the right outcome! In Seth Godin's words, you gotta be a “linchpin” — and that means somebody sees!

  2. Don't disagree that great HR is invisible — but there's a catch: when you're too invisible, no one knows it's HR that's doing the “good stuff”. Then you may be considered dispensable. Not the right outcome! In Seth Godin's words, you gotta be a “linchpin” — and that means somebody sees!

  3. Don't disagree that great HR is invisible — but there's a catch: when you're too invisible, no one knows it's HR that's doing the “good stuff”. Then you may be considered dispensable. Not the right outcome! In Seth Godin's words, you gotta be a “linchpin” — and that means somebody sees!

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