Who is HR? Take My Research Survey

HR and Recruiters: Be a part of history & take our behavioral survey to help us understand "Who is HR?" clicking here.

I think many of us having worked in HR and recruiting have struggled with not only understanding our role because it’s different for every different boss as well as the organization but also in communicating what exactly we do for businesses working in HR. It seems like to most outside of HR and recruitment it is some kind of mystery when it absolutely shouldn’t be.

Human Resources is Misunderstood

Part of my frustration with the lack of understanding of the impact or reach of HR, lies in my mind the miscommunication of who HR is and what our leaders want most from us in these roles within the company. Over the last eight years of writing this blog, I continue to see a lack of interest or understanding in the HR professional. Leaders just want their talent, found, retained, developed and engaged. Most bosses don’t really fully comprehend just what this entails. Transformational change for an organization, specifically in the role of HR means that there must be change. You can’t keep doing things the same way.

I’m tired of the blame being placed solely on the shoulders of HR from academics, pundits and executive leadership. They write scathing articles in publications how Everyone Hates HR and most recently that we should Blow Up HR. Some (Lou Adler) are calling for recruiting to no longer be a part of HR altogether. I see little perspective and point of view from actual HR and recruiting practitioners who are the ones currently in these organizational and HR leadership roles, and I wondered why it was that way.

Who is Human Resources (HR)?

I believe in order to better understand HR as well as recruiting, we need to start at the beginning. Instead of creating scandalous articles and making broad sweeping statements designed to drive consulting business or website clicks, I wanted to get down to basics and really understand HR. I want to see if patterns or certain types of individuals fill these roles in our organization in HR. I wondered if the problem isn’t necessarily just HR but in the expectations our leaders have of who we are supposed to be.

In cooperation with personality assessment company, JobFig, (Disclosure: I’m an advisor for JobFig.) I am working to better understand who HR in fact really is. I have a thesis and a series of assumptions. I wanted to go further than that and look at ourselves. Is there a certain HR type? Does this differ from recruiters and how are HR personality profiles different? Is it geographical, company size or something more? Who is HR really?

I’m conducting my own research starting with a survey  (click here) which I humbly ask for you to participate. The survey itself is two parts:

  • A short survey on Survey Monkey asking questions about you, your role, your experience and company size.
  • The assessment which is mobile and desktop friendly.

Together, these should take no more than 7 minutes of your time, but provide me with a wealth of information as I begin working to understand who is HR.

The survey and assessment is completely confidential. I will not be sharing your personal information. The survey is the beginning of a long series of research into human resources and its impact on the larger organization. I hope to use these research as part of my thesis for my PhD. Yes, you read correctly, I’m tired of a number of academics, researchers and analysts speaking on our behalf, representing and often mis-representing HR. I’d like that to change.




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  1. Human resources is misunderstood in organizations where the department is “hidden away.” When they aren’t fully integrated with the rest of the company, it’s easy for employees to question what they do and what their purpose is. This is the problem, HR needs to have a “seat at the table” and be involved in decisions.


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