Personnel Department to Human Resources Department - Changes over Time


Fully vaccinated are you?
I'm not a regular "Raw Story" reader, but thought this was interesting.
Raw Story said:
or most of the 20th century, corporations got along just fine without human resources departments. Instead, they had personnel managers who found new employees and handled the welfare of those on payroll. Personnel managers were pretty low on the corporate totem pole, quietly administering a multitude of banal tasks.

But something began to change in the 1980s. With the arrival of globalization and the Information Age, corporate stability gave way to rapid, unpredictable change. Corporations no longer saw workers as loyal partners and creative beings in a productive enterprise. Instead, they became commoditized assets on a balance sheet to be acquired and discarded to suit changing fortunes.

Meanwhile, corporations began to see the term “personnel” as synonymous with the support of employees and new workplace efficiency techniques such as Six Sigma created a need for corporate compliance overseers. So, those who were once responsible for advocating for employees were now embedded with management, becoming cold wardens of the workplace.
Read more at the link.

Here’s why your human resources department hates you -


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Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Re: Here?s why your human resources department hates you

I wrote about this three years ago. My response - don't take it lying down; do something for yourself!
Two and a half years ago (in the second year of our current "recession"), I began a thread Some ugly truths about job hunting

Today's thread is targeted at folks 50+ years old.

I, of course, have children starting to crowd that magic "50" so I am acutely clued in on the trials and travails of that age bracket as I hear from them about their own challenges and the challenges facing their peers.

Ageism is nothing new. I saw it from the early 1960s to today and my dad often mentioned it from right after WWII through the 1970s. What I have seen change is the increased callousness of the bosses and HR people as they deal with 50+ workers and candidates. Almost up until 2008, currently employed workers were not fired, merely shunted off the promotion and salary raise track in favor of younger workers. Candidates in the 50+ bracket were given polite dismissals, with the ubiquitous phrase, "we'll keep your resume on file."

Today, I am hearing that HR departments in every industry sector are adopting a very rude policy of summarily firing older workers under the euphemism "right sizing," often just days or weeks before vested benefits would take effect, cheating those workers of benefits they had labored in good faith to earn.

Candidates who don't fall into the magic "youth bracket" have their resumes and applications simply ignored and never even acknowledged. Candidates who get as far as a personal, face-to-face interview find the interview cut short if they don't look like a vibrant 30-something dynamo.

Faced with such obvious bias, many 50+ candidates (and existing employees) are struggling to reinvent themselves as younger models, going into debt for cosmetic surgery, dyeing their hair, and struggling to turn aging bodies into hard bodies with gym memberships and personal trainers. The remaining ones with flabby bodies and graying and thinning hair are distressed that knowledge and experience don't seem to count compared to youth and attractiveness.

You can join the trend and become a contestant in the "beauty pageant." (It works [or seems to] for Morgan Fairchild, who, at age 61 [62 in Feb. 2012], would still pass for a woman 20 or more years younger than her real age and gets TV and film roles playing that younger age.)

Alternately (my choice), you can spend the time and money folks spend on looking younger [not necessarily "healthier" as they risk skin cancer in tanning booths] on researching for the industries and organizations where the skills, knowledge, and experience of the 50+ worker are acknowledged and rewarded.

Tools we've talked about in other job threads here in the Cove (personal assessment grids, avoiding gatekeepers, etc.) are doubly important for the candidate who has a story backed by facts about the value he can bring to an employer. The 50+ worker MUST get past the shallow software programs and clerk gatekeepers to put his story before a decision maker able to see the candidate offers a good answer to the question every decision maker always has: WIIFM? (What's In It For Me?)

One of the job search tools we have discussed recently is a Skills Assessment Matrix (SAM) - essentially a spread sheet where a candidate lists his skills and experience and assigns values to each item, thus focusing on his strong points to offer to an employer and determining weak points which may need more study or a good explanation of how the candidate can upgrade through education or opportunity.

Matching the items in a SAM with requirements and attributes of prospective employment targets helps a candidate narrow his search.
One of the advantages of a Skills Assessment Matrix (SAM) is that it helps a person make value judgments about which aspects are more important than others.

I've discussed SAMs only tangentially in the past, but it may be a good idea to explore this tool in depth, especially as to how a well-executed SAM can help focus one's efforts in any contemplated activity:

  1. jobs,
  2. relocation
  3. education
  4. interpersonal relationships (friendship, dating, marriage, divorce, etc.)
  5. any other activity

The key to a useful SAM is almost brutal honesty in assigning a value to each of the characteristics and attributes which comprise the SAM. The SAMs which seem to fail in helping are those where the person constructing the SAM was overly generous or stingy in assigning a value to a specific item.

In the end, it is not MY judgment which should direct your life: it should be yours, once you have weighed all the variables.

Once you have a grid for yourself, you need to create another grid of the features, perquisites, pay, working conditions, etc. of the ideal organization you'd like to work for. Here (in the grid), it's OK to shoot for the sky because it's your "want" list, not your "settle for" list.

Next, you need to create a list of prospect organizations and research them to see which have close fits to your want list. Fill in a grid with the prospects in rows of column one, with the various points of your want list in columns 2 through "n" and fill in the cells with the point factor your research discloses.

Select the best prospects (according to your matches against your want list) and then compare your skill list against what those organizations need or want. I envision a grid with the organizations in rows in column 1 with each of your best through medium level skills in columns 2 through n. Your research should be able to give you a value level to put in each cell according to how valuable or necessary that skill may be to the organization.

Combining the data from the skills should give you a short list of targets to approach, using the pointers in Tips to get past the "gatekeeper" when job hunting.

It's immaterial whether each target is seeking employees (but your research would have disclosed that fact) because your approach should be to avoid getting caught in the same net with hundreds of other candidates. You want to stand out as a unique individual who can and will deliver value to the organization. Accordingly, each approach you make will be unique and tailored specifically for that organization.

Make no mistake. This is not an easy, casual task anyone can complete in a couple of hours. Consider, though, that a good process will result in a good job which will give you satisfaction and reward you according to your merit. With that in mind, it seems worth it to spend days and even weeks compiling the grid(s) before making the first approach to a target.

A sample grid would have 5 columns
Column 1 would be a list of characteristics or attributes ANY person looking for a management job might possess
Columns 2 through 5 would be values from 1 to 4 with 1 being a low value and 4 being a high value
The analysis consists of going down the list and checking the appropriate box for the value you have for each characteristic.
The following is a list of attributes/characteristics for a marketing manager in a mid- to large-organization (someone I currently counsel) - add other items regarding relocation, travel, commission versus salary, commute distance/time, benefits, etc. which are important to you (how important based on which box you check!)

  1. makes observations
  2. identifies data
  3. analyzes data
  4. makes/interprets data tables
  5. makes/interprets graphs
  6. identifies/controls a variable
  7. makes a prediction/hypothesis
  8. designs an investigation
  9. creates/uses models
  10. makes evidence based decisions
  11. revises predictions or explanations based on evidence
  12. reads for information
  13. communicates orally
  14. communicates in writing
  15. describes observations
  16. writes explanations
  17. makes presentations
  18. uses diagrams or sketches
  19. formulates operational definitions
  20. listens to others
  21. works collaboratively
  22. keeps a science journal
  23. categorizes/sorts information
  24. sequences information
  25. summarizes information
  26. differentiates observations/inferences
  27. differentiates evidence/opinion
  28. draws/analyzes concept maps
  29. creates/uses other graphic organizers
  30. uses tools correctly
  31. uses appropriate tools to measure
  32. calculates mean, median, mode
  33. determine a scale
  34. uses graphs appropriately
  35. follows procedures
After making a personal grid, you can research some organizations (regardless if they have openings for a position you want) to see which of those characteristics are/may be important to them, make a reverse grid for those corporations (a new matrix, same column 1, but place corporations in the other columns, enter a number value (if possible) instead of a check mark and refine your personal list.) Armed with your own self assessment AND what organizations consider important characteristics you can target a pitch directly to the organization

Added in edit:
I am not in the business of wailing and gnashing my teeth over the bumps and vicissitudes in the path of life. I try to avoid them myself and I put out little "signs" (like this thread) to help others avoid them, too, but I certainly don't carry around a shovel to fill them in or smooth them out - there are lots of Crusaders in this world who do that - not I, though!
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