Being a former HR manager gives me a lot of insight into the employment world and upper management dilemmas. When you are working in an office, or any type of business for that matter, it’s the Human Resources department that is the bridge between the employee and the managers. More often than not, the HR department is your contact for expressing grievances and complaints, managing your benefits, and conducts your reviews. It’s a very important institution within your employer, but there are a lot of things you may not know about your HR department or the goings on wherein.
We do have our secrets…
Here are 8 things your HR department doesn’t want you to know:
1. We do have our favorites
In the world of HR, we are supposed to be impartial and practical. Decisions made affect the business as well as the employee, so making them based on facts and not opinions are what we specialize in. But, truth be told, we do have our favorite employees—team members that we may like more than others. This, of course, is not supposed to affect work, but sometimes does due to poor judgement. Having favorites and showing favoritism are two different things, but when the later occurs , it’s usually because judgment became impaired.
2. You are not indispensable
The powers that be at your job may make you feel that you are interchangeable and can be replaced, but many times, that isn’t the case. When we find an employee that is good at what they do, they are very hard to replace. And add on the fact that it costs more to hire and train up an employee than it is to keep one (turn-over costs are staggering these days), if you are a good worker, you probably hold the upper hand and just don’t know it.
3. We have “rats”
Call them tattle tales, rats, snitches, et al, all HR managers have a person that they can go to that spills everything. When we want to get to a root of an issue and have a hard time doing so, it’s the office rat that usually sets the record straight. Now keep in mind, the rat isn’t held to a higher standard of truthfulness, as they may not always be honest, but having a rat or office snitch does help us.
4. We count on you to NOT save/keep your paperwork
Paperwork is an HR manager’s best friend, and while we keep meticulous records, we count on the fact that you don’t. Many times we hope that you lose that last write-up you have received so that we have complete control over the paper trail. And while this does sound like a mean thing for us to desire, it’s much easier when we have everything we may need to perhaps, terminate you. But if you are a good employee AND you keep all paperwork from your HR department, then you have nothing to worry about.
5. We will fight your unemployment claim
If you are let go (for any reason whether terminated or laid off), 85% of the time, we will fight the unemployment claim. Have all of your paperwork in order, dates, facts, etc. to make sure your claim goes through.
6. We are easily impressed
If you do your job and do it well, with minimal supervision, we love you. We are easily impressed. We don’t expect you to jump through hoops, we just expect you to do your job well. Be consistent and you will go far.
7. Your salary is negotiable
This rings true especially if you are applying or interviewing for a new job and end up snagging the position. The offer letter you may receive will include your salary and perks and may feel like it’s a done deal, but that figure can be reassessed and changed to your benefit. Always negotiate your salary and don’t always accept the monetary figure that is first thrown out. Most of the time, it’s a low-ball figure and is intended for you to accept without question(s).
8. Sometimes we are wrong
Human Resources is not a science, and there are times that we may be wrong about an issue. I was always the type of HR manager that would rather say that I didn’t know, but I would find out rather than make up an answer, especially regarding the sensitive topics which involve privacy and confidentiality. There are instances when we may be wrong—we can admit it!
There’s nothing pretty in the life of an HR manager, but it’s a necessary position. I hope these 8 things will help you when dealing with your own Human Resources department.