7 Human Resource Myths That Must Be Ousted

Dec 13, 2019

Human Resource Myths

Human resource management used to be referred to as ‘personnel administration.’ It is believed that the first human resources department was established by ‘The National Cash Register Company’ in 1901 following a strike. In the 1920s, personnel administration focused mostly on the aspects of hiring, evaluating, training, and compensating employees. A human resources department is a critical component of employee well-being in any business. Human resources teams acquire, develop and deploy a company's most profitable asset that is the talent pool. 

It is largely responsible for personnel sourcing and hiring, applicant tracking, skills development, and tracking, benefits administration and compliance with associated government regulations. Though many years have been passed, still many myths about Human Resource prevail in the market.

Let’s try to clarify the myths and misconceptions related to some of the major HR trends followed by the industry.


1. Human Resource is just a ‘personnel department’

Though HR used to be referred to as ‘personnel administration’ in earlier days the outlook has definitely changed these days. HR no longer exists as a personnel department. It is a highly strategic function within an organization and when effectively managed and utilized, it can help an organization thrive. Human resource marketing serves to be the backbone of any company’s administration.

“Our greatest assets are our people, so who better to help you develop and execute on the best strategy to maintain and engage your greatest asset than HR? - Lotus Buckner, NCH

2. HR is all about enforcing processes

Employees often believe that HR always create new processes and enforce them in a company or that they need to be politically correct in front of HR. While this doesn’t sound true, employees should not forget that HR people are also a part of the company workforce and talent pool. They equally contribute to the company’s growth. They are still people and often, very commercially aware ones who enforce processes to get business results or to maintain a workplace decorum. 

“We don't create work for the sake of it. We also realize there are sometimes gray areas where processes can be bent.” - Karla Reffold, BeecherMadden

3. Human Resource makes the decisions

While many people believe that HR only makes harsh decisions, it is seldom true. They make recommendations, not decisions. Ideally, HR should be the key strategic department in any company, but that is rarely followed. In general, operations in the company are completely determined by ownership and if not those are at least influenced by it. The problem lies in the fact that there is a thin line between the recommendation and decision-making which is often misunderstood by staff. And it is quite obvious that if a company is not profitable, it must downsize or shut down.

4. HR only cares about compliance

There exists a general thought that HR people are just for legal compliance in a company.  Compliance means conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard or law. Regulatory compliance describes the goal that organizations aspire to achieve in their efforts to ensure that they are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations. True HR professionals have mastered this art of pushing organizational performance by leading or influencing people, projects and processes. They act as consultants, confidants, and coaches who integrate talent into the full scope of business operations.

5. If HR is in the room, someone is getting fired

There is a notion that if HR is in the room, it's not going to be a pleasant conversation and someone may get fired out of the company right then. This could turn to be a baseless truth because, in many companies, especially smaller businesses, human resource is also involved in business operations and is not always in the room for potential terminations.

“HR is there to be part of the team, foster a positive environment and advocate for the company and the employee.” - Tiffany Jensen, Pure Grips

6. HR always takes the company's side

There is also a myth in the corporate world that HR always acts as a pure agent of the company. Employees often believe that HR never advocates for the employee and always take the company’s side. This, however, is not true as HR in its highest form nurtures the core values of the company on which the company is established. They also endeavor to uphold the compliance, budgetary needs and strategic goals of the company.

7. Human Resource is always a roadblock

Employees and leaders in many business organizations assume HR as a roadblock which they think need to be avoided at all costs. This adds to the myths that are prevailing in the market. Human Resource exists to enable, amplify and ensure organizations leverage and nurture talent in all the ways it can. They prove to be the greatest partner when building teams, scaling the organization and shaping culture. They also further aid in problem-solving through critical decision-making techniques.

Human Resource along with the employees is the company’s first assets. Together, they form a team and prove to be an essential driving workforce for the growth of the company. 

Let’s work in harmony to build a greater tomorrow.


Get in touch with Machintel for some interesting HR trends. 

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