This reader has asked a terrific question:
I’m thinking about moving into human resources. I was wondering if you can provide more information, for example what’s a day in the life of a person who works in HR? Thanks for all your help.
Before I answer this question, I have to tell you a funny story. For the years I worked in corporate human resources, the only part of my job that Mr. Bartender saw was the part I did at night or on the weekends. Which was usually the fun stuff – like buying decorations for an employee party or researching where I could get purple star cookies for benefits open enrollment. Then, Mr. B got a job with an HR marketing company and they put him through weeks of training about HR topics. Stuff like – ADA, FMLA, EEO, etc. One night he comes home and says, “OMG, I had no idea this is what you did all day!”
That’s why this question is so important. I really wonder how many people know how HR spends their time.
Now, I hate answering a question with “it depends” but it really depends. Let’s make a few assumptions:
We’re talking about generalists. Because if we were referring to a training specialist…well, they do training all day. Generalists deal with a little bit of everything.
The industry is not a 365/24/7 operation. If you work in a 24-hour operation then it’s anybody’s guess what you could be doing from day to day. There have been plenty of times I left the office planning to complete a project the next day. Then, someone does something stupid on the overnight shift. The next morning, that’s my new agenda item (surprise!)
It’s not a specific HR time of year. Let’s face it – there’s an open enrollment time of year, a holiday party or summer picnic time of year, maybe even a performance appraisal or seasonal recruiting time. Those are the moments when everything else goes on hold and we accomplish the major project.
If I were to ask twenty HR pros how they spend their time, I’d get twenty different answers. But let’s try to help this reader out. Here’s a poll question: On what function do you spend the majority of your time?
I haven’t seen a survey like this in a long while. The results could be very interesting. Please share with your HR friends. It will be great to see the results. Thanks!0