Fewer Blues In HR?

OK, that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve heard. It’s one (of many) fields where people skills, intuituion, a second chance, coaching, looking for the good, helping people, and vast numbers of other soft skills matter so much. Apparently…not so much in the “new” world of HR.

This started when I was listening to a People VP from a Fortune 500 company being interviewed  for a new book he had just published. Yup, apparently, the new HR is, or needs to be, or will be, much more about data and analytics. When he was asked a question about the need for people skills, his exact response was “that WAS great…”

HR is a great career for every Color. The Golds and Greens often gravitate to the tech part and payroll. The Oranges are often found in the training area, while the Blues are the front-line recruiters, people who do the interviewing, coaching, etc. But, in my humble opinion, and working with HR departments for over 17 years, it’d be a big mistake to diminish the massive (but often unmeasurable) contribution of Blues as a immesurable and integral part of the department.

As a general rule of thumb, the larger the company, the less senior management listens to Blues. I can list you a fair number of Boards of Directors, and senior leadership teams, where there may be one (or two at most) Blues. They add the people perspective that (us) Golds and Greens don’t immediately take into consideration in making decisions. But at some point, that Blue director, senior leader, or board member just gets too worn out fighting ‘City Hall’ in always being the dissenting opinion and leaves or tunes out….Sad but true…  Plus, it’s not hard to find a ton of studies that show the (so far) use of AI in human resources comes with huge problems, biases and other challenges. Maybe that’ll improve. But I’m going to keep betting that the really successful HR departments (measured in any metrics you want) are staffed by large numbers of Blues.