Recognizing the value that HR gives to the organization through stereotypes

by Manto Antoniotti Solares in , — May 2023
Last May 20th we celebrated the International Human Resources Day, a celebration well known in the people and business world that we wanted to echo in Talentor International for the second consecutive year with the support of our partners!

But why celebrate this HR professional’s day?

According to Indeed (2022) a human resources professional is someone who works to oversee activities that support an organization’s employees. A Human Resources team communicates and interacts with staff of all levels, ensuring their welfare and satisfaction as employees. Celebrating this International HR Day is all about recognizing and embracing the high value and positive impact that these HR leaders bring to the organization and its people.

While our marketing practice group (composed of about 20 active marketing oriented members from our network) was thinking how to join and celebrate this HR day, one of the group proposals was related to the image that is commonly held of professionals in this field, the so famous stereotypes. And thus an idea was born!

Recognizing it’s value through stereotypes

In many ways, the value that HR brings to an organization is what keeps the organization moving, growing and changing by having the right talent, capacity and performance. We just wanted to see it through the eyes of others.

But why people tend to fall into stereotypes? Because it's in our human nature! People tend to make generalized associations from their own surroundings and cultural influences. This perceptions of reality had to do with their observations, experiences, or from what they see in the media/ entertainment, or from what they hear from others.

So a group of partners came to the 10 most common HR stereotypes that we often hear about and it’s contrast with the reality:

1. The hiring/ firing person

Our partners from Talentor Norway (Capus AS) beg to differ! As they say, there is so much more to an HR professional than just being the hiring/ firing person. HR in such an invaluable role in a company that it becomes a very versatile one and it is well known among their colleagues as being a safety manager, therapist, event manager and why not? A personal trainer.

For the Norwegian team, the role of a human resources professional is so closely related to the daily work of the company, its team and the overall strategy, that it becomes a key leadership piece in the personal and professional development of the entire company.

2. Every HR professional comes from the same background

To illustrate this stereotype, Talentor Latvia gives the perfect example and the most commonly heard presumption regarding the HR professionals background: that all the professionals in this field have psychology related studies.

But the Latvian team do this with a twist! They created an interactive quiz for users to prove that their team members come from all different and “crazy” backgrounds being the passion for people what unites them. The result may surprise you!

3. There’s no creativity involved in HR

Talentor Bosnia & Herzegovina (Popcorn Recruiters) clarifies that this is not true, affirming that HR professionals need to be creative problem solvers to tackle the challenges of today's business world such as flexible work options, changing economies and more.

As they say, being a creative HR leader you are able to create an inviting work environment for you and the rest. Unique experiences and meaningful connections are some of the key results. We are all creative in what we do even if we don't believe it, and what better way than to be creative with people!

4. HR professionals are all just people persons

According to Talentor Ukraine (MIRA Top Recruiting) HR has a low barrier to entry, and many have a false impression of what the goals, objectives, priorities, and required competencies are for these professionals or department.

It is important not to underestimate HR professionals and trust them, because their role is to organize people within processes to achieve greater results… not just host a party or buy cookies. Believe us you can trust the Ukrainian team for HR matters!

5. HR and Recruiting often assume things about candidates based on their race, gender, age, educational background, or other personal information.

This is a bad HR practice/ stereotype that our partners from Talentor Netherlands (Independent Recruiters) are undoubtedly seeking to eradicate, by committing to challenge their own team biases, fostering inclusivity, and celebrating the unique strengths each individual brings to the table!

If HR Leaders follow these 9 essential steps that the Dutch team propose, such as developing a hiring diversity strategy, they will elevate their own recruitments potentials and create a workplace that values diversity, nurtures talent, and sparks innovation.

Others who have joined the effort to eradicate this issue are our partners from Talentor Switzerland (Coopers Group AG)!

In recruiting, one of the biggest risks is losing suitable (and great) candidates simply because HR leaders decisions are biased – like preferring a male over a female candidate.

As the Swiss team says, is very common to hold assumptions about the world and the people in it – and we look for information confirming those assumptions, simply because it is easier. The problem is that our assumptions are not necessarily true.

6. Senior profiles are too expensive to recruit.

The experience of our partners from Talentor Belgium (Generations Recruitment) shows otherwise! Contrary to popular belief, senior candidates are not solely motivated by monetary gains. According to a recent study, an astonishing 74% of senior candidates express their willingness to adjust their salary expectations downward. Their focus is on meaningful work, personal development, and making a positive impact rather than solely seeking financial rewards.

So, as the Belgian team does let's challenge the notion of seniorbashing that prevails in our industry! How? Embracing the value of senior professionals like they often promote.

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try. (John F. Kennedy)

7. HR is too expensive, you don’t need HR

Actually, HR generally ends up paying for itself as Talentor Lithuania says! By investing in HR, businesses can mitigate the risk of costly legal disputes, reduce employee turnover rates, improve workforce productivity and engagement, and ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations. In addition, an HR leader can help to develop effective recruitment and retention strategies, optimize employee performance, and provide training and development opportunities that can lead to long-term growth and success.

For the Lithuanian team HR is an investment and prevention of losses and costs because the cost of neglecting HR can far outweigh any perceived savings and achieve sustainable growth and success. If you invest you will not regret it!

8. HR is a world apart from the company

The Talentor US team (TurningPoint Executive Search) defends the statement that it is vital for HR leaders to have a seat on the table! Which is the complete opposite of this HR stereotype.
Being part of the company organization since day 1 is fundamental and should be an assumed fact from all companies to achieve their business and people related goals.

The American team gave an amazing shout out to some of their HR partners and collaborators like us at Talentor International, so we can all continue joining our efforts and establishing relationships with the other company divisions and leaders.

9. HR is going to be replaced by ChatGTP

The Talentor Spain (Servitalent) team says it won’t! ChatGTP is a very useful tool that certainly needs time to develop and can help enlighten the workload of the HR team, but it cannot replace the functions that those professionals perform within the company. Much remains to be seen on this topic, which continues to develop in international markets.

As the Spanish team affirms people will always be needed in Human Resources.

10. HR Leaders lack business and data knowledge

The Talentor Germany Frankfurt (Kaiser Stähler Rekrutierungsberatung GmbH) team disagrees! As they say, for today's leaders in HR it is vital to position their HR department as a real business and sparring partner vis-à-vis the executive management and the departments. Being crucial to have a strong business acumen and a sufficient technical interest.

For the German team, the accelerating pace of technological progress and the constantly changing framework conditions place very high demands on HR to make a significant contribution to the organization and business units, like changing forms of work, efficient work processes and a new leadership culture also had to be developed and implemented. New technologies (such as AI recruiting) lead to the need to develop the work force more!

Finally, as our Talentor Czech Republic partners determined, it is important to debunk the common misbeliefs of our profession and what an interesting way of doing that by showcasing the extraordinary superpowers of HR leaders, such as the dedication, passion, and tireless efforts in shaping the organizations and fostering a thriving workforce!

As a well-known Superhero movie said... "With great power comes great responsibility", and that is precisely what concerns us as human resources leaders, our responsibility lying with the company's most valuable asset, the people.

So that was the celebration of this international HR day for the Talentor family! The next time you interact with an HR leader, remember that you can always debunk myths and break stereotypes like the ones we presented to you 😉. And what better way to do it through experiences, daily stories and relating with people of great professional and HUMAN quality.

Thank you to our partners for joining this initiative and specially for making these stereotypes not true! And thank you to all the professionals that continuously work and bet for people! 🙌

Reference: Indeed (2020) What is a human resource (HR) professional?

Talentor International Team Manto Antoniotti

Manto Antoniotti Solares

Marketing Consultant