I was on a prospect call this week with a colleague who has been running her own human resources firm for 25 years. We commiserated about the fact far too often HR professionals are caught in the middle of an organization. Employees think they're in the know while senior management doesn't always consult them for strategic ideas.
As someone who is self-employed, I look for work almost every day. Whether it's corporate opportunities, consulting contracts, or new relationships, it's part of the gig. It's not always easy. It can be a grind and it takes a lot of time and effort. But how different is it for anyone in the world of full-time employment working at a company where they do a job for a paycheck every two weeks? We are all earning our compensation daily. And it seems job security isn't as secure in many places any more.
Letters and Keywords
The HR role can be a tricky one. You have an opening. The job description is created. The websites and channels are populated. And the flood of applicants come in. I've been on both sides of this cycle and it's not fun. One trend that is almost universal is twofold; the long list of experience required and a minimum educational level. It seems more and more openings require a BA or MBA and the ability to work in a face-paced environment handing tight deadlines without sweating whilst smiling brightly. It appears the world is in search of a lot of jugglers.
I've written about this in the past, an MBA should be commended. You worked hard, you earned the degree, well done! I don't have an MBA but I have consulted clients who require one to work full-time at their company. I'm not suggesting you lower any bar but keep in mind if you're a hiring agent that most of us aren't great at writing resumes and matching your keywords. Software helps sift through the hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications. I get it.
But is it time for a new idea?
I have had HR executives tell me my experience would help them but they can't hire my services because I don't have an MBA. What a bunch of crap. Their hands are tied. Three decades of corporate and consulting experience in numerous industries yet because I didn't get my masters, I'm off the list. Maybe you've experienced this in consulting or your job search.
Perhaps if you're in HR, you've seen a candidate that would be perfect - if their resume even gets to you - yet they have to be eliminated. It's a shame. Perhaps you're looking for work, have plenty of experience, hired a resume writing expert, and are still having trouble knocking down the keyword software interface. My two cents, we are all missing out on some remarkable opportunities.
Let's find a way to do this better.
As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business advisor and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. email@example.com