Have a rant: HR’s lack of ambition

So, only 22% of respondents to the Personnel Today barometer poll would take up the challenge of workforce director at the Department of Health (2 May). No wonder businesses regard HR as light, fluffy and non-strategic.

Judging by this lacklustre response, you could justifiably add unambitious, lily-livered, yellow, head down, navel gazing, silo dwellers. Talk about ploughing your own furrow.

Sadly, this kind of response is not a shock to the system, and HR has just proved all the nay-sayers right by hiding its light under a bushel, in a basement, in an underground house, with no door.

How can any self-respecting HR professional with an ounce of commitment not want to take on one of the biggest jobs in our profession?

Why wouldn’t the lowest-level HR practitioner have the courage to answer the poll in the affirmative, even if it was wildly over-ambitious?

Chief executives will never take HR seriously as long as the profession does not take itself seriously, and one obvious sign of that would be for all the so-called HR high-fliers (you know who you are) to be keen to take on ‘HR’s top job’.

True, not everyone needs to be ambitious, and there is a need for ‘workers’ to do all the good work that HR departments undoubtedly do. But unless the top players in our profession are willing to stand up and be counted and put their hats into the ring for top posts such as this, what kind of message does that send out to the bosses of UK plc.

People are their top asset, after all. Pity their people people aren’t equally passionate about their own potential.


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