Our need to apply a systems-based approach to people has completely dehumanized the process. Companies that claim to care about people, “our people are our best assets”, quickly turn those very individuals into liabilities when it comes to economic downturns or the loss of a particularly huge project.
We cut out the creative or “helping professions”, essentially implying that they are less than those classified as technical. As hiring managers, we have someone else screen candidates, set up interviews and then we spend a limited amount of time asking questions, sometimes including ones so ridiculous that they hinder on the edge of treating individuals like children. (I think the use of “what type of fruit would you be?” has become a bit outdated, redundant and not nearly as witty as some people think).
Where has the “human” gone in human resources?? We have been told as HR professionals that we need to understand the business and in our fight to prove we deserve a say, we are given the crappiest of tasks and expected to carry them out. How many recent layoffs of HR individuals included those that had just completed the process of having to lay off their peers and colleagues? How’s that for human?
And now we have a community of individuals that feel disheartened, lied to, let down, worried and scared because we have let them go, forced to figure things out on their own. They have families, they have responsibilities and they are left to wade in the weeds looking for their future.
I have heard so many upsetting stories of terminations in the last couple of months. It would be really nice to hear one that said that the C-Suite staff came out of the shadows and faced people. Are these “leaders” sitting in meetings with teams, discussing the tough decisions being made and offering some sort of hope or direction? Do they come off their perch and talk to people? Do they even know their staff?
We cannot continue to try to relate to subjective, complex and beautiful people by applying objective “systems” to them. They are more than numbers and products.
Since my recruitment days, I have come to realize that I wasn’t doing enough for you. But that’s going to change. I am going to be part of a greater community where we all tackle this together. I will lead it if need be. We will share stories, we will share connections, we will reach out to those we know that could use a little assistance and we will help rebuild this broken system, despite of the naysayers. And when we come back, perhaps WE will be in charge.
Any great stories out there about helping out? I would love to hear them. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher Landing, Career Transformer
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