Archive for July 22nd, 2009

Looking for a job in Human Resources has special challenges.  Simply put, it stinks.

Problem – HR is cautious and may not share.  When you try to network people as a part of your search, HR people generally don’t respond well.  If you are looking for work and approaching other HR professionals, the people you are approaching are often threatened by your request.  “…hey, I want to keep my job, and if I know of openings I probably want to apply myself and don’t want to share that knowledge…

Problem – HR is overwhelmed right now and not in touch.  When people are slammed by administrative work because of a reduced workforce and high work levels, everyone hunkers down.  Therefore, if you ask them for a 20 minute meeting to review trends and current market conditions, they feel that they are out of touch and have no useful knowledge.  Truth is, they are probably right – they don’t.  They don’t have the reserves and they have let their own networks slip.  They won’t take your meeting because they feel they don’t have much to share.

Problem – Everyone knows that conventional “networking” meetings don’t work, yet nobody wants to admit it.  When we are approached for job search advice because we are in HR, we step back to the classics.  “Get a copy of “What Color is Your Parachute” and start networking.”  Yet, we seldom make the time for a classic networking meeting.

Problem – Searching for HR jobs on most job boards is a significant hassle because the boards do a poor indexing job.  If you search for “Human Resources”, you get EVERTHING that has HR as a response point in the ad.  Polymer Chemistry postings, Call Center postings, Insurance Sales postings, and so on.  You have to grind through all of the results.  Aargh.

These are real, and a real problem. Care to add any?  Comments welcome.

At the recent New York State SHRM conference, we had a very lively discussion of these issues, and came up with some clever (or so we thought) ideas around this.  I’ll post some of our answers in the next blog post.

Clearly, someone with a recent bad hire...

Clearly, someone with a recent bad hire...


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The NY State SHRM conference produced several good tidbits – will get my bag unpacked and get them posted later today.  I did have a fabulous thing happen – I was resigned to my fate of a seat in the absolutely last row of a crowded small regional jet.  They were about to close the door and start lecturing us about seat belts when a flight attendant came back, surveyed the crowd, and asked me if I would like to move forward in the plane.  Sure.  Happy to.  She led me to first class, put my bag up, and offered me a drink.

Happy with my good fortune, I wondered what led her to select me?  I assumed it was that I either looked the most tired of anyone back there, or I was still in a sport coat and necktie.  I asked her when she brought my gin and tonic.  “Oh, it was a weight balance decision.  The pilot asked that I move the heaviest person from the back to the front.


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