Life in Human Resources is Not Easy, Ever.

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..., most of the time.

Comfort. Some things in life are more comfortable than others. It can be a bit disconcerting to receive a phone call from a client who expected more from your relationship or be summoned to your superior’s office to hear the dreaded words, “I don’t like anything you have suggested.” Or how about that time when you submitted your resignation and your supervisor looked at you as if to say, “How can you leave me on this sinking ship?”  Been there, regrettably, done that.  We all have to face uncomfortable situations in our work lives.

Human Resource Professionals and Recruiters tend to meet those moments more often than other professionals. The Sign-Off: telling a candidate they aren’t getting invited to the show. The Collection: having to call a client, former or otherwise, to ask for the final installment for a placement you made two, three, or four months ago. The Lost Friend: when a hiring manager comes to you with a confidential recruitment that will replace a friend of yours within the company, and you have to keep it confidential. The HR Function: having to address hirings, firings, lay-offs, complaints, sexual harassment issues, evaluation time, changes in policy, promotions, non-promotions, and demotions.

Understand that Life in HR is not always easy. As a matter of fact, it often is not. And finding your comfort level, as an HR Professional, Corporate Recruiter or Third-Party Recruiter can be a challenge. Some of us are cut out to make cold calls, some of us are not. Some are cut out to stand in an Exhibitor’s Booth all day, some are not. Some of us are cut out to attend conferences and sit in session upon session for two days straight, some are not. Some of us are cut out to tweet about anything and everything, some are not. Some of us are cut out to bring the right placement to the table, in a timely manner – some are not.

The zone to be in is the one that feels right, the one that runs smoothly and efficiently. However, should that zone become too stagnant or too easy, we risk the opportunity for development and growth, for learning new skills, or challenging our own understandings of the job, any job. Finding the right combination of further excelling at what we are already good and getting better at what is necessary but uncomfortable is a formidable task. Formidable, but not impossible.

Cats are good at running away from discomfort. They dart through halls or along fences and under cars, in an effort to dodge everything and anything that isn’t for their own benefit. Dogs will endure an incredible amount of discomfort to simply to please their owners, to get a pat on the head or a treat. Somewhere in between lies another animal, the HR Professional or Recruiter. Knowing that sometimes discomfort comes with the gig, but also a great deal of satisfaction is part of their makeup.

 Gloria Steinem said, “The only thing I can’t stand is discomfort.”

Somehow, I think avoidance and complacency trump discomfort.


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Rayanne Thorn, @ray_anne is the Marketing Director for the online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology.  She is also a proud mother of four, happily engaged to Tom, residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a daily contributor for Blogging4Jobs.  Connect with her on LinkedIn.  




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  1. Excellent words Rayanne. I agree people tend to have misconceptions about HR role and how easy it is to be an HR… Never.
    And your comparison about the “different type of animal” .. hilarious .. love it !
    keep up the great work

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    • Thank you! I know there are individuals who think that paper pushing and talking on the phone are what those in HR and Recruiting get to do all day. If it were only that easy. The strategy that lies behind recruitment, as well as the incessant and tedious organization that HR professionals must exhibit are draining. Completely exhausting. The average recruiter is a recruiter for only two years. Two years – that a significant amount of turnover – I guarantee that is isn’t because the job is easy.


      Ray_anne |
  2. HR is everything but comfort. After a few years of dealing with everybody else’s problems and nobody caring about your own you start asking yourself – is it really worth it? This is the point where I am after 8 years of hiring, firing, disciplinary actions and all personal problems that come to you and overwhelm you. All in all, most of the times you are too busy to show to the outside world all about your work and everybody is wondering why are HR people paid for…you must really love this job to survive.

    • Georgiana-

      Agree with you. Even when I wasn’t in HR, if there was an office with a door to close behind them employees found their way into my office to share a story and a sob. it is tiring, but also rewarding when you see a turnaround or a smile. And loving your job is imperative.


      Ray_anne |
  3. Great post!

    I love the lost friend part. You do sometimes lose a friend and there isn’t ANYTHING you can say to them in advance. It’s the worst. And the function part where you ruin people’s lives… you know by laying them off or firing them… that part is even worse than that.

    • Thanks Meredith…

      There is so much more than the “warm fuzzies” that everyone thinks is HR, right?

      I had to do a confidential search when my VP came to me to say one of my friends was being let go and I was to find his replacement… I carried that burden for a month while I did the search – it was horrible…


      Ray_anne |
  4. HR is d most easiest job in d world compared to other professional job.

    Swatej |

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