A precious attitude to HR keeps talent from the door

Jane Coope appears to have completely missed the point of the rant that so offended her (Personnel Today, 20 March), namely that some HR practitioners are very precious about who they admit to HR roles.

As somebody with operational management, HR, training and organisational development experience in the Army and NHS behind me, I share the ranter’s frustration at the apparently blinkered views of some senior HR professionals as to what the profession (and their organisations) needs. HR regularly criticises organisations for selecting managers on the basis of their technical expertise, and then attempts to justify why it needs to do just that.

I would be interested to know whether or not Coope places an emphasis on technical knowledge over management skills when selecting senior staff. This, I feel, would have presented a more reasoned rebuttal of the criticisms aired in that particular rant. It would also address the horror story I was told by a recruitment agency that, when some companies are looking for an HR manager, they insist that “she must be good at tea and sympathy”.

Rob Key

Organisational development practitioner,


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