Personnel Today ought to know better than to call people names

As a strategic director with a project sponsor role in carrying out job evaluation at my council, I read with interest your news analysis entitled ‘Single-status straightjacket (Personnel Today, 13 September). That is, until I got to the paragraph referring to ‘public sector bean counters’.

As a Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy accountant, I find it exasperating to be dismissed as a ‘bean counter’ by a magazine that bangs on about diversity and inappropriate language in almost every issue.

When composing this missive I was desperately trying to come up with a witty rejoinder to ‘bean counter’ that would relate to HR, but was surprised by the lack of a standard. Is this perhaps a result of the HR (or personnel, or management services, or business partner) industry not being quite sure what to call itself at any one point in time over the past 20 years?

(My girlfriend will kill me for this – she is an HR manager, and it was her magazine that I was reading in the first place.)

Barry Scarr
Director of resources and property and deputy chief executive, Castle Morpeth Borough Council

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