Why Not Fire the Human Resource Manager and Leave the Staff

Human resource manager

The recruiter of staff is surprisingly often immune to staff retributions such as demotion, dismissal and performance improvement programs. The practice is to see other staff, often those with measurable profit or sales targets and those in customer service units, lose their jobs or stay on one grade for too long a period.

Some argue that this is justifiable. Of course, no employer will continue to promote its workers on account of poor performance or misconducts. Unsatisfactory performance and misconducts are simply unacceptable, let alone deserving of any reward. What continues to surprise me is human resource personnel who take no responsibility at all for the poor performance of the same staff they recommend or approve for hiring. One of the basic, yet vital duties of the human resource department is to identify and recruit the best personnel for the business. Why are they insulated from the poor performance and misconducts of the same staff?

When football coaches are axed for poor performance of their teams, one of the reasons is their inability to identify and sign good players that will help them achieve the expected results. Another reason is their inability to properly train the players they have and use them in a manner (tactics & strategy) that will effectively and efficiently deliver results. Whether these coaches personally accept the responsibility for poor performance of their teams or not, they often take the fall for the poor performance of the teams they manage.

It is that responsibility that I find lacking in our corporate environments. Human resource personnel recommend the reshuffling, demotion, resignation and dismissal of the staff they assessed and recruited, and recommend a suitable role for based on their assessment of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Yet, they (the same HR personnel who recruited the staff) do not bear any responsibility when the staff does not perform satisfactorily in the roles assigned them. In fact, there are countless instances where a prospective staff asks to be placed in a particular role, but HR personnel, based on their experience and wisdom, recommends a different role for the prospect. In their haste and excitement to take a new job, they ‘make do’ with this role,……only to perform poorly in the months to come.

Human resource personnel, the very people directly involved in the recruitment and training of staff should also be bold enough and quick to share in the responsibility for poor staff performance and misconducts. Why should other members of staff face demotions and dismissals whilst HR personnel are not affected in any way?

The assessment of the HR staff should be linked in greater part to the overall performance of all staff. I know some businesses are organised in this manner, but that’s only few. Recruitment should be taken as a very serious part of the HR duties, not one that is viewed as “we can always sack and hire another”.


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