I’ve been reviewing my posts the past few weeks, and I realized they’ve revolved around my blogtalkradio show, Compassionate HR. It made me think what matters most? The seething debate continues in the human resources and recruiting industry. There are the hard bitten cynics who cry “I am not in the field of human resources to help people.” In fact, they get angry, and dismissive when an interviewee suggests that’s why they are interested in the job. Ok, I understand that argument. But then the question begs to be asked, why did you choose to go into human resources? If there wasn’t some altruistic motive somewhere in the back of your mind, what was it? If you don’t want to help people, does that mean you want to hurt people? I think not. I can tell you this, people don’t go into to HR to get rich quick. There are far easier ways to make a living. There are easier ways to make the big bucks.

Unless you are a top level recruiter, or at the Vice President level, it is rare to exceed a high six figure income. So, why…why do we go into HR? Is it because we are passionate what we do? Let’s break it down, shall we?

  • Recruiting
  • HR Management
  • HRIS
  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Training and Development
  • Organization Development
  • Employee Relations
  • Legal Compliance
  • Health, Safety, and Security
  • HR Communication Strategy
  • Human Resource Consultant and Vendor Relations

Not to mention the incredible services, the job boards, the human resource statisticians, the human resource reporters and publications, the professional associations, I could go on, and on the list is longer than I can account for here. I understand that caring too much about the candidate can get in the way of the job a recruiter does for a client. The recruiters job is to find a specific skill set that will meet the needs of the client’s position. That is what they are paid to do. I understand that employee relations experts spend the better part of their day resolving conflicts, and dealing with peoples head aches. I understand the role of people in benefits and compensation can be cut and dried, and yet it is a very difficult position, particularly if they are developing competency models that match the positions to the appropriate payscale. Benefits, that is an animal all its own, and to be really good at that job, you have to be well informed, and educated about healthcare industry. Not to mention the health and safety experts-they should get medal of honor for keeping employees safe, and their employers out of court. Legal compliance, Lawyers make a lot more money than their HR counter parts inside the organizations they represent. Yet, the HR Pro who has that job as to be so well schooled that they must be able to articulate the legal compliance issues to both employees and the brass at the helm of the organization. HR is not one job. It is many. In large corporations there are large staffs where each role I mentioned above is handled by a different person. In mid to small companies, there’s often just a few people handling all the roles, we call them “generalists.” Each role has its perks, its satisfaction, its joy, and its sadness, because we deal with employees, candidates, colleagues, senior level executives and plant floor employees. We deal with human beings. I assert that if you have no desire to be useful to others, to be of service to your fellows, get a computer certification, and hide behind your desk. But even then, you will invariably be put in a position where you will be pushed into service.

After tonight’s show with Bill Boorman, co-founder of TruLondon http://thetruconferences.com I realized something important. Giving is its own reward. Bill is a man who sleeps 3 hours a night, and spends the other 21 hours networking, communicating, teaching, coaching, and giving back. As I was listening to him wax eloquently about TruLondon, it made me realize how important it is to believe deeply in something. To believe in it so much, that it’s not just what you do, it’s what you are. What you do represents your values, and what you hold dear.

Sure we all get caught up in the day to day drudgery of what we do for a living. But, before you answer the question “Why am I in HR?” think carefully about what motivates you, what drives your passion, what makes it worth your while to get out of the bed in the morning, and hit the showers. What do you think about on the drive to work in the morning? And ask yourself this one question, “What does it matter?”

Your twitter pal,


Views: 94

Comment by Brian Meeks on February 16, 2010 at 12:11pm
I think that today's post will get a lot of people thinking. Very well written.
Comment by Saleem Qureshi on February 17, 2010 at 12:12am
@HRMargo...Well said!! Excellent!! I think you forgot to mention about talent management and new technology in HR field, that's the integral part of HR..
Comment by Hassan Rizwan on February 17, 2010 at 7:19am
Great one Margo. Looking at Recruitment alone, the field has so much of an impact on the remaining HR functions. Being a talent management expert, the screened talent when put in the recruitment funnel becomes the key to the entire selection and later reflects the performance of the company.
Comment by Margo Rose on February 17, 2010 at 8:37pm
I deeply appreciate your feedback and positive reinforcement Brian, Saleem, and Hassan. Thank you so much for reading my post and replying. If you ever have a question, please feel free to call upon me.




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