Success in HR requires more than ‘a passion for people’

How dare the ranter make such sweeping judgements (Have a Rant, Personnel Today, 20 February).

First of all, HR is all about the business, which is why we may be weary of people who assume that, just because they have a ‘passion for people’, they can walk straight into a senior HR job. I can use a calculator, but I wouldn’t presume I could be the next finance director.

HR, like any function, has its fair share of high and low performers, but please rest assured that there are people in the profession actively supporting MBAs and stints outside the function. Not only that, but I have part-time employees at all levels in the department, and both sexes benefit from our flexible working options.

My HR team are not ‘fluffy people lovers’, but I was as proud of the adviser who cast all bureaucracy aside to ensure a dying man was assured his wife had access to his pension funds as I was of the business partner driving through a major commercial programme. That’s how we add value: by addressing all people-related issues, from individual to corporate.

Jane Coope
Head of HR,
The National Trust

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