week’s letters

of the week
It takes time to build our careers

am responding to a front page news article (22 May) in which Andrew Kakabadse,
deputy director of Cranfield School of Management, is quoted as saying,
"HR knowledge, skills and experience are nice to have but anyone can get
these after three or four months of exposure in these roles".

am therefore just sitting here wondering why on earth I have devoted all my
adult working life to a career in HR, including constantly updating and
improving my knowledge and experience when I could have done it all in three or
four months!

in no way doubting that other business experience can only further enhance an
individual’s effectiveness, I cannot help but feel his remarks totally denigrate
my profession.

I could equally be let loose as an accountant or lawyer after only three or
four months’ experience of accounting or the law.

manager and CIPD member
Name and address supplied

does not threaten HR

felt I must question Andrew Kakabadse’s claim that the HR function is under
threat from outsourcing and being undervalued by the board.

does not involve the removal of the strategic HR core, nor does it devalue
administrative, query-based HR services. It involves the introduction of
services to reduce the day-to-day demands on the department, providing a
detailed and available information resource to employees, and allowing HR
professionals more time to develop strategies that add real value, and better
enable the organisation to exploit its core competencies.

from threatening the HR function, outsourcing provides HR professionals with
the time to develop their business interpretation of the HR contribution, and
increase its role as a core strategic function. By adding value and developing
strategic advantage, HR will finally earn its place in the boardroom.

Marketing Manager, e-peopleserve

make-up reflects UK trend

was interesting to see that the proportion of specialists who are responsible
for HR at board level is higher in the UK than the rest of Europe (News, 15

believe this reflects the trend in this country for many HR professionals to
engineer ways to develop management skills as a core part of their career

or postgraduate degrees are increasingly popular for gaining the skills
necessary to add strategic value at the highest level, and we have seen a
marked trend for this among many of the HR professionals with whom we deal on a
daily basis.

are also recruiting more HR professionals from other backgrounds, such as
banking and operations who do not have a traditional HR background but have
gained management experience that will prove invaluable at the boardroom table

Associate director, Courtenay City

and HR could care more

have been unemployed for more than 10 months, and thought you would be
interested in some observations on matters concerning recruitment and HR.

believe there is room for considerable improvement in terms of efficiency and
customer-friendly working procedures.

have passed my details to numerous recruitment agencies and advised fairly wide
job requirements and reasonable salary expectations. But I now realise I have
some major problems – including being well qualified, being a manager prior to
being made redundant, and being at the wrong end of my 40s.

publicity requesting companies to hire the best person for the job, most make
it obvious they prefer younger people. I have faced questions related to my
age, particularly how I would cope with younger managers.

applications result in lengthy waits for an interview or a turn-down. Two
recent applications have been in the system for more than a month.

have yet to find a single agency that has treated me as a "person" or
seemed to take a genuine interest in me. I would like agencies to review the
way they do business. I would like to see more mature employees – I do not feel
secure putting my future in the hands of very young staff.

would like to see HR adopting a more understanding attitude. It is not
acceptable to expect candidates to put considerable effort into an application,
and then make them wait weeks for an interview or a rejection.

and address supplied

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