03 April 2008

Challenge: A World Without HR

Here's a new challenge: What would happen in a world without HR?

Imagine it's the HR rapture
Within an instant all HR professionals disappear while everybody else stays.

It's easy to imagine with cab drivers. The immediate consequence would be lots of accidents. In the long-term there would be transportation problems at the local level.

Without any HR professionals around the economy wouldn't fall apart, but in the first weeks I assume there would be problems with salary payments and nobody would know where to find the templates to issue employment contracts to new hires. Of course, it wouldn't take long for finance to step in with payroll and legal would take care of contracts.

And here's the challenge
The worldwide fraternity of senior executives meets 6 months after the HR rapture to discuss why they miss HR. What would they say?


6 comments:

Liz Williams said...

The meeting opens with the senior executives congratulating each other about how well they're doing - and how much money they're saving - without their HR departments. After the initial hubbub dies down, one exec speaks up: "We've got 3 lawsuits pending against us: 2 for wrongful termination and 1 for harassment. After the HR rapture (They were raptured? Taken up to heaven leaving the rest of us behind? I think I see which way the wind is blowing here. :), managers started firing people - some were poor performers, but some were people they just disliked - it was a free-for-all. Of course there was no documentation to refer to. If that wasn't bad enough, several managers re-orged their departments and created the most byzantine job descriptions and reporting relationships imaginable. Soon no one knew who their boss was. It was chaos."

Other execs started chiming in: "Do you know how to find good candidates?" Does anyone have advice about inappropriate dress? I confronted an employee, but she just laughed at me." "Our budget tripled because everyone started promoting themselves and their staff." "We have 300 job descriptions and only 20 employees!" "No one is screening our applicants or checking references."

Suddenly, an HR angel appeared to the gathering, hovering in the air. She lazily flicked her wand and said "No, you can't do that." A calm fell over the group. Then a lone voice rang out: "God bless HR!"

Fran said...

Seriously without HR the company will not be able to get the talented people to benefit the company. SO HR be the must for any company to grow. Also there are some more HR are looking for you. Just go to your job descriptions .

The Happy Employee said...

@Liz
Thanks for your input! The scary thing is that it sounds all quite realistic.

The Happy Employee said...

@Fran
Please help me since I can't make up my mind: are you a very advanced spam robot?

Liz Williams said...

Fran has my vote for v. advanced spam bot. Or corporate memo writer extraordinaire. It can be so difficult to tell the difference.

Scott said...

This is really cool. Made me think about HR's "real" value. I suspected that legal and recruitment issues would surface quite quickly and this appears to be the case. This says a lot about HR. We talk about being strategic, adding value and being internal consultants but unfortunately there is still a long way to go for many of us. What I would like to hear is that customers are complaining that service levels have dropped and the investment banks asking serious questions about their future confidence in the "deHRed" business.