Who Should HR Side With?


This question has been bothering me for a while – I even started this article back in 2013, but couldn’t publish it as I haven’t found an answer that satisfies me – , I have seen companies where the HR is more on the Management/CEO side, where anything that comes from higher management is done with such acquiescence it can be turned into an art form. This will raise a culture of favoritism and un-trust with the HR function, where HR is dissected and turned into an administrative operational tool that is there only to execute without protest. Additionally, within the HR function itself we wont be seeing any creativity, passion, or true HR professionals, all you will find are data-entry and clerical individuals disguised as “HR Professionals”.

I also observed HR siding with the Stockholders, and focusing purely on cutting costs to reserve it to the stockholders, I know that this unfortunately takes the majority of the market, where HR forgets the human side and focus on the bottom line. If that continued, you will notice that employees will be disengaged, and the turn-over rate will remain on the raise. 

And finally, I saw some instances where HR actually grew a heart and sided with the employee against the above, but maintaining such practice will alienate the management, and no HR initiatives are going to be accepted by the stockholders as siding with employees means that you are against them…

In all honesty, non of the above methods satisfied me while working in such environment… It seemed to me that I wasn’t going to find a solution to this question.

But, in a eureka moment, it hit me. HR shouldn’t side with any of the above, HR should focus on one thing, and one thing only, the brand! Yes, the brand. We in HR have always talked about being an employer of choice in a sector or region, but, have we really invested in the brand? In most cases, no. It is time to be brand centered, it is time to be fair to everyone, and have one thing as the most important aspect in taking a decision… “What is the best course of action for the healthy continuity of the brand?” 

Hamad S. Al-Jibreen, Assoc. CIPD, is currently working in an international organization as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. Also, he have been employed in different sectors including Petrochemical, Oil/Gas and manufacturing. He has about 4 years of experience in various Human Resources disciplines. He is currently holding 2 Associate Degree Diplomas in Human Resources Practice from CIPD and Computer Science (Programming) from King Saud University. He have been assigned as a Facilitator for different courses. In addition, he has delivered Training courses on Competency and Front Line Supervisory Training in various countries in the GCC Region.

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