If you’re considering a career in human resources, whether you’re starting out in your working life or changing pathways, you’re likely researching different job types and trying to meet current HR employees to find out more.
Remember, though, that there can be plenty of myths that make the rounds about all careers, but human resources jobs in particular. Here are some of the most pervasive myths about careers in HR that need busting.
Myth: HR Workers Focus Purely on Hiring and Firing People
One of the biggest myths about those who work in human resources is that all they really do is hire and fire people. While this is undoubtedly a big part of many HR reps’ positions, and some specialize in such areas, most people in this field actually handle numerous employee-related tasks.
Workers often have to deal with different paperwork related to team members, create award programs, set up team-building exercises, complete performance reviews, and sort out payroll each pay period. They may onboard and train new and current employees, develop working guidelines and processes, administer employee benefits, and ensure people have a safe working environment. They might also support managers and help employees to advance within their company.
HR staff members are there as a part of the team, fostering a positive workplace and advocating for both the firm and the employee, or they work in an external firm, such as Workhuman, where they complete HR tasks that get outsourced by other businesses.
Myth: Human Resources is a Dying Field
Some people are hesitant to enter the HR field or hire human resource specialists because they see these roles as outdated. There’s a pervasive myth that HR is a dying area due mainly to the development of technological programs that can handle some payroll, reporting, and other tasks.
However, while tech tools can certainly make the lives of HR people easier and enable them to be more productive, this doesn’t mean they’re replacing or phasing out human resources staff. Programs need humans to input the data they run on and interpret the reports, after all.
Plus, there are many in-person tasks that people need to handle that a computer cannot. Hiring employees involves taking in non-verbal cues and listening to intuition just as much as reading CVs or listening to respondent answers. Disciplining workers, conducting performance reviews, and conveying feedback require tact, listening, and other communication skills. At the same time, many HR functions are highly strategic and require a long-term and comprehensive viewpoint.
With people changing jobs more frequently than ever and new fields opening up all the time, too, there will continue to be a need for human resources staff.
Myth: HR People Work Alone
You may have been considering getting a job in human resources but then decided the role wasn’t for you since you want to work in a more social area. However, don’t listen to the myth that HR people always work alone, as this is a misconception. In fact, many companies have human resource teams where multiple people work together.
Also, employees and contractors who work in HR spend a lot of time communicating with organizational leaders and numerous employees, as well as the tax office, accountants, lawyers, and other third parties. They often get called upon by managers to advise on strategic business initiatives and plans.
Human resources staff can spend hours or days per month training people on numerous topics or mentoring others, too. Plus, HR workers consult on situations in the workplace that involve harassment or discrimination, which requires plenty of interviewing and passing on details to management.
As you can see, there are many opportunities to converse and work with others when you’re in a role in this field. The aforementioned occasions provide only an example of the interactions that may arise.
Myth: HR Work is Dull, Repetitive, Inflexible, and Limited
Another reason some people choose not to go down the HR path is that they mistakenly believe they’ll get bored in this line of work. This doesn’t have to be the case at all, though. HR work can be repetitive in some ways, just like any job, but much of the time, you could be doing all sorts of different tasks within any one week, giving you significant variety.
You’ll need to be creative to come up with solutions to some HR problems, too, and be flexible to change tack if rules and regulations or societal expectations change, among other things. Unless you specialize in one very niche area of human resources, you shouldn’t find HR roles limited, either. There are various jobs you can apply for and responsibilities to take on, so you should find you have to keep learning, growing, and developing yourself.
Some other myths about HR include that people don’t get paid well, no hard data ever gets used, and HR employees are only there to look after a company’s interest and never the staff members’.
Before you determine whether or not to enter the human resources field in some capacity, consider all these myths and ensure you’re basing your decisions on facts and not fallacies or half-truths.