My heart bleeds as one of the staunchest worshippers of human resources management as a discipline. This profession is a subject of ridicule by other professions. The reasons advanced by the critics are too numerous to mention.
For how long shall the HR profession be a safe haven for employee who is crippled in terms of their capacity? The HR profession has been reduced to a dumping site of employees who would have failed elsewhere regardless of their profession. If I may ask why is it that someone cannot just wake up overnight and say now I want to practice as a Chartered Accountant or Lawyer without going through the rigor of that profession. It is the duty of HR people to make sure that their profession is not vulnerable to invasion by unscrupulous individuals who after deemed to right off from their former jobs seek sanctuary in the HR field.
As long as the HR profession in Zimbabwe does not have a credible accreditation process akin to other processes followed for one to be for example a Charted Accountant or Layer it will forever remain a safe haven for employees who are regarded as deadwood. Those people who masquerade as HR people if they assume HR Executive positions tend to be brutal when dealing with other employees and they cause a lot of havoc in the organisation.
Another reason why HR is looked down upon as a profession is that the HR people themselves are afraid of HR Audits which indicate how the HR department unlocks value in the organisation. It means that such HR people are afraid of being exposed if they are not adding any value to their organisations. If your organisation is subjected to a financial audit every now and then, why not an HR Audit. It is not surprising therefore that the HR department is not accorded the value it is supposed to have.
Besides that, the HR department is regarded as a notorious breeding ground of corruption when it comes to recruitment. In most organisations the HR department uses unreliable methods of recruitment like an interview. The psychometric tests are one of the most reliable selection methods as supported by research done by Schmidt(2016) and his colleagues covering over hundred years of supporting evidence. Despite an overwhelming body of evidence supporting psychometric tests, many HR people as the custodian of recruitment are afraid of it. In fact psychometric tests should precede the interview when recruiting because they filter potential candidates on the basis of merit but HR people do it the other way round.This could be one of the reasons why HR profession is regarded as inferior because they go against scientific science.
Worse still, HR Analytics is strongly informed by numbers. It is gaining traction the world over, but only a few organisations especially here in Zimbabwe have embraced HR Analytics.
In light of the above, the HR profession can only exorcise itself of the demon of inferiority if it embraces research. They must move towards evidence-based human resources management. The HR people should take a leaf from natural science professions where everything is informed by evidence. Its high time that the HR people stand up and come up with stringent measures to regulate the profession so that it will not be a refugee camp for those who failed from other professions. If the HR people wake up from their deep slumber there will never be anything small about HR.
Newturn Wikirefu is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants. You can reach him on Phone +263 242 481946-8 or email: [email protected]
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