What are the powers of HR in a company?

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BogleMelon
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What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby BogleMelon » Wed May 17, 2017 9:34 am

My wife had an 2 interviews in a company within the last couple of days. According to the recruiter, and my wife's impression, they were impressed with her experience. This morning she had an overseas third interview with the HR manager (through Skype). I think it was a normal interview, with salary expectations, employment history...etc, an expected end I guess with "we are seeking couple of other candidates by now and would let you know by this week or next week".
Nothing out of whack here, but my question is:
In general, how powerful are HR usually? Let's assume that the overseas HR manager didn't like her for whatever reason, while the managers inside the office are convinced that she is the right fit, can he disagree and take the final decision?
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

abner kravitz
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby abner kravitz » Wed May 17, 2017 9:49 am

In my experience (megacorp), HR usually defers to the operating departments on hiring (unless some policy is in question).

Big Dog
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby Big Dog » Wed May 17, 2017 10:21 am

In general, abner is correct, but it really doesn't matter. It just may be that the hiring manager has a long relationship and highly values the opinion of overseas [HR] manager, not necessarily from an HR perspective, but just business Ops/culture/fit/other. In such case, your wife could be dinged.

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LiveSimple
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby LiveSimple » Wed May 17, 2017 10:28 am

Depends on the company too.

Is it a US domiciled company or overseas domiciled company.

If overseas domiciled company, then overseas HR manager can have a say based on costs.

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BogleMelon
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby BogleMelon » Wed May 17, 2017 10:37 am

LiveSimple wrote:
If overseas domiciled company, then overseas HR manager can have a say based on costs.

Speaking about the cost, the recruiter posted the salary range already in the Ad. However, he made her feel like this range is way off and just too high! I guess he was playing games but let's see. And yes, it is an overseas domiciled company with a small office in NJ. Thanks!
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

killjoy2012
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby killjoy2012 » Wed May 17, 2017 10:44 am

Ranges are always broad and extend fairly high since positions often need to accommodate someone only a couple years out of school, as well as a 20 year veteran, both of whom may be on different career paths.

RoadHouseFan
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby RoadHouseFan » Wed May 17, 2017 10:45 am

Always remember that HR are not on your side. Never interact with them unless it is required. They are not your friend.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby Ged » Wed May 17, 2017 10:47 am

abner kravitz wrote:In my experience (megacorp), HR usually defers to the operating departments on hiring (unless some policy is in question).


Yes, this.

Generally HR is their to administer company policy and supply personnel services to operating departments. If there is no policy issue, say such as the salary is outside the band that the company has established for this position then it would be solely the hiring manager's decision.

If the salary is too high then there needs to be review and justification for the policy exception which HR would have strong input on.

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LiveSimple
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby LiveSimple » Wed May 17, 2017 11:11 am

Since it is overseas domiciled company, do not expect the same office / professional ethics in this company.
Unless if you (your wife) is not strong, as well as the US hiring manager is not strong, life in these companies will be less optimal.

Unless other opportunities do not exists, or this offer is better than others, do not see a happy medium.

Overseas, HQ will always look at US operations as expenses, or at least the net income to be positive or increase the margin.

For some time, worked in this type of company and hated the politics / ethics.

Good luck.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby fishboat » Wed May 17, 2017 11:21 am

RoadHouseFan wrote:Always remember that HR are not on your side. Never interact with them unless it is required. They are not your friend.


+1

HR's primary purpose is to make sure the company doesn't get sued. Their secondary purpose is to fulfill their primary purpose. Then comes book & legwork of managing issues around potential employees and acting as the company conscience/communicating same toward soon to be ex-employees & remaining staff. Oh..and serving as the monthly/quarterly speakers to remind the staff that "we are a family.......", right up until they need to re-don their hat as the company conscience during periods where said family eats their young.

At least that was my 30 year experience..I'm sure it's improved in the last year or two.

Edit: Regarding "power"..they have none. They do what they are told. Other than appraising appearance and personality of a potential employee(and background check, if any), they have nothing to offer regarding functional duties and skills the potential employee will have to master or bring to the table (unless the hire is into HR)...hence no power.
Last edited by fishboat on Wed May 17, 2017 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 17, 2017 11:21 am

LiveSimple wrote:Since it is overseas domiciled company, do not expect the same office / professional ethics in this company.
Unless if you (your wife) is not strong, as well as the US hiring manager is not strong, life in these companies will be less optimal.

Unless other opportunities do not exists, or this offer is better than others, do not see a happy medium.

Overseas, HQ will always look at US operations as expenses, or at least the net income to be positive or increase the margin.

For some time, worked in this type of company and hated the politics / ethics.

Good luck.


Newsflash: It's no different with domestic based companies, HQ always views operations as overhead that can be managed to increase the margin.
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby RoadHouseFan » Wed May 17, 2017 1:55 pm

fishboat wrote:
RoadHouseFan wrote:Always remember that HR are not on your side. Never interact with them unless it is required. They are not your friend.


+1

HR's primary purpose is to make sure the company doesn't get sued. Their secondary purpose is to fulfill their primary purpose. Then comes book & legwork of managing issues around potential employees and acting as the company conscience/communicating same toward soon to be ex-employees & remaining staff. Oh..and serving as the monthly/quarterly speakers to remind the staff that "we are a family.......", right up until they need to re-don their hat as the company conscience during periods where said family eats their young.

At least that was my 30 year experience..I'm sure it's improved in the last year or two.

Edit: Regarding "power"..they have none. They do what they are told. Other than appraising appearance and personality of a potential employee(and background check, if any), they have nothing to offer regarding functional duties and skills the potential employee will have to master or bring to the table (unless the hire is into HR)...hence no power.


Agree! Never trust HR.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby newbie001 » Wed May 17, 2017 2:02 pm

fishboat wrote:
RoadHouseFan wrote:Always remember that HR are not on your side. Never interact with them unless it is required. They are not your friend.


+1

HR's primary purpose is to make sure the company doesn't get sued. Their secondary purpose is to fulfill their primary purpose. Then comes book & legwork of managing issues around potential employees and acting as the company conscience/communicating same toward soon to be ex-employees & remaining staff. Oh..and serving as the monthly/quarterly speakers to remind the staff that "we are a family.......", right up until they need to re-don their hat as the company conscience during periods where said family eats their young.

At least that was my 30 year experience..I'm sure it's improved in the last year or two.

Edit: Regarding "power"..they have none. They do what they are told. Other than appraising appearance and personality of a potential employee(and background check, if any), they have nothing to offer regarding functional duties and skills the potential employee will have to master or bring to the table (unless the hire is into HR)...hence no power.


This made me laugh out loud- so true :)

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby btenny » Wed May 17, 2017 3:18 pm

It is really funny how the views on this board are so US centric. Overseas European companies routinely discriminate against women all over England and Europe. The salaries are depressed for women vs men and so are the working conditions. Thus the HR department person that conducted the recent interview with the OPs wife and was overseas was trying to tell his wife that she will not be paid or treated like she is in the USA. He was telling her that women will not get the published $$ versus a man for the same job. I know that is bad but it is just the way it is all over in Europe. So be prepared for some big issues if your wife gets more involved with this company. See below.

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equa ... dex_en.htm
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/ ... -pay-gaps/

Good Luck.

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BogleMelon
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby BogleMelon » Wed May 17, 2017 3:24 pm

btenny wrote:It is really funny how the views on this board are so US centric. Overseas European companies routinely discriminate against women all over England and Europe. The salaries are depressed for women vs men and so are the working conditions. Thus the HR department person that conducted the recent interview with the OPs wife and was overseas was trying to tell his wife that she will not be paid or treated like she is in the USA. He was telling her that women will not get the published $$ versus a man for the same job. I know that is bad but it is just the way it is all over in Europe. So be prepared for some big issues if your wife gets more involved with this company. See below.

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equa ... dex_en.htm
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/ ... -pay-gaps/

Good Luck.

Thanks, but the HR country was India not Europe!
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby spectec » Wed May 17, 2017 3:36 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
btenny wrote:It is really funny how the views on this board are so US centric. Overseas European companies routinely discriminate against women all over England and Europe. The salaries are depressed for women vs men and so are the working conditions. Thus the HR department person that conducted the recent interview with the OPs wife and was overseas was trying to tell his wife that she will not be paid or treated like she is in the USA. He was telling her that women will not get the published $$ versus a man for the same job. I know that is bad but it is just the way it is all over in Europe. So be prepared for some big issues if your wife gets more involved with this company. See below.

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equa ... dex_en.htm
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/ ... -pay-gaps/

Good Luck.

Thanks, but the HR country was India not Europe!


In that case, for women, probably worse than Europe.
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BogleMelon
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby BogleMelon » Wed May 17, 2017 3:40 pm

spectec wrote:
BogleMelon wrote:
btenny wrote:It is really funny how the views on this board are so US centric. Overseas European companies routinely discriminate against women all over England and Europe. The salaries are depressed for women vs men and so are the working conditions. Thus the HR department person that conducted the recent interview with the OPs wife and was overseas was trying to tell his wife that she will not be paid or treated like she is in the USA. He was telling her that women will not get the published $$ versus a man for the same job. I know that is bad but it is just the way it is all over in Europe. So be prepared for some big issues if your wife gets more involved with this company. See below.

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equa ... dex_en.htm
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/ ... -pay-gaps/

Good Luck.

Thanks, but the HR country was India not Europe!


In that case, for women, probably worse than Europe.

Who cares? we are in USA, we won't allow that kind of discrimination to happen against her. Let them get what they are willing to pay for, if they went that route.
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

btenny
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby btenny » Wed May 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Oh and I forgot to mention that labor law in Europe and England is much different than the US. Workers are sort of contract workers in Europe with all sorts of work condition regulations and rules so the HR department has lots more power than in the US. And women in general are not treated as equals or professionals. They are treated like line factory worker bees like 1950s. This is what I have learned in the last two years so it may not be exact but the issue is things are just different.

Newly hired workers have a 6 month probation period in England. At the end of that period they must sign a contract if they want to continue work. So if they stay past the 6 month period they are formal contract employees and obligated to give 6-12 months notice before quitting and likewise it is hard to fire or lay them off after the probation. And they must give 30 days notice during this probation period. So during this period the companies do a sort of hazing of new people to make sure they like them and vice versa. Think about professionals being told to not keep a personal phone on their desk or use them during work hours. I was told it is sort of a "thing" in Europe that US people goof off on their phones all day so this is verboten. Or asking professional salaried people to "clock in via time card" to start the day and for lunch breaks and so froth. Again the US workers goof off too much comment. And asking ladies to always wear skirts and other "formal business attire" even if they are always inside a office and never see customers. Things are just different. So I am not sure how a European company with a small US office would work. But I suggest proceeding cautiously.

Good Luck.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby jebmke » Wed May 17, 2017 4:03 pm

btenny wrote:Oh and I forgot to mention that labor law in Europe and England is much different than the US. Workers are sort of contract workers in Europe with all sorts of work condition regulations and rules so the HR department has lots more power than in the US. And women in general are not treated as equals or professionals. They are treated like line factory worker bees like 1950s. This is what I have learned in the last two years so it may not be exact but the issue is things are just different.

Newly hired workers have a 6 month probation period in England. At the end of that period they must sign a contract if they want to continue work. So if they stay past the 6 month period they are formal contract employees and obligated to give 6-12 months notice before quitting and likewise it is hard to fire or lay them off after the probation. And they must give 30 days notice during this probation period. So during this period the companies do a sort of hazing of new people to make sure they like them and vice versa. Think about professionals being told to not keep a personal phone on their desk or use them during work hours. I was told it is sort of a "thing" in Europe that US people goof off on their phones all day so this is verboten. Or asking professional salaried people to "clock in via time card" to start the day and for lunch breaks and so froth. Again the US workers goof off too much comment. And asking ladies to always wear skirts and other "formal business attire" even if they are always inside a office and never see customers. Things are just different. So I am not sure how a European company with a small US office would work. But I suggest proceeding cautiously.

Good Luck.

Is this something you learned while working in Europe or something you heard?
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby btenny » Wed May 17, 2017 5:32 pm

English and Scottish friends and some relatives who are living and working there and have been for two years. The relative has experienced all of these things.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby Tycoon » Wed May 17, 2017 5:41 pm

fishboat wrote:
RoadHouseFan wrote:Always remember that HR are not on your side. Never interact with them unless it is required. They are not your friend.


+1

HR's primary purpose is to make sure the company doesn't get sued. Their secondary purpose is to fulfill their primary purpose. Then comes book & legwork of managing issues around potential employees and acting as the company conscience/communicating same toward soon to be ex-employees & remaining staff. Oh..and serving as the monthly/quarterly speakers to remind the staff that "we are a family.......", right up until they need to re-don their hat as the company conscience during periods where said family eats their young.

At least that was my 30 year experience..I'm sure it's improved in the last year or two.

Edit: Regarding "power"..they have none. They do what they are told. Other than appraising appearance and personality of a potential employee(and background check, if any), they have nothing to offer regarding functional duties and skills the potential employee will have to master or bring to the table (unless the hire is into HR)...hence no power.


These are accurate observations.
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby btenny » Wed May 17, 2017 5:51 pm

OP/bogle. I guess you are in NJ so I will let go your view that this is the US and we will not let discrimination happen here. Well guess what!!! Vagrant discrimination by Indian companies and India H2B workers is rampant in Silicon Valley. They hire very few women or US citizens. It is a major trouble point with tons of people. Read the internet about the culture at some of the hi-tech outfits. In many cases it is very hard for more than one US based person to get paid well because the Indian people will only hire other Indians. They do this my posting a job with a wage range then say no one qualifies at what they are willing to pay. Then they tell the gov't about the people they talked to and how they did not fit or were too expensive. Then they hire a H2B worker from India for way less than a US worker.

Good Luck.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby wfrobinette » Thu May 18, 2017 2:04 pm

LiveSimple wrote:Since it is overseas domiciled company, do not expect the same office / professional ethics in this company.
Unless if you (your wife) is not strong, as well as the US hiring manager is not strong, life in these companies will be less optimal.

Unless other opportunities do not exists, or this offer is better than others, do not see a happy medium.

Overseas, HQ will always look at US operations as expenses, or at least the net income to be positive or increase the margin.

For some time, worked in this type of company and hated the politics / ethics.

Good luck.


I've had the complete opposite experience. Very positive experience working for a US office of an international company. BIL has been doing the same for 15 years and loves it.

Do you not think that US based business look at US based offices the same way?

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby wfrobinette » Thu May 18, 2017 2:09 pm

btenny wrote:OP/bogle. I guess you are in NJ so I will let go your view that this is the US and we will not let discrimination happen here. Well guess what!!! Vagrant discrimination by Indian companies and India H2B workers is rampant in Silicon Valley. They hire very few women or US citizens. It is a major trouble point with tons of people. Read the internet about the culture at some of the hi-tech outfits. In many cases it is very hard for more than one US based person to get paid well because the Indian people will only hire other Indians. They do this my posting a job with a wage range then say no one qualifies at what they are willing to pay. Then they tell the gov't about the people they talked to and how they did not fit or were too expensive. Then they hire a H2B worker from India for way less than a US worker.

Good Luck.


you sure they aren't L1's? H2B is seasonal/temporary.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby 2015 » Thu May 18, 2017 2:55 pm

fishboat wrote:
RoadHouseFan wrote:Always remember that HR are not on your side. Never interact with them unless it is required. They are not your friend.


+1

HR's primary purpose is to make sure the company doesn't get sued. Their secondary purpose is to fulfill their primary purpose. Then comes book & legwork of managing issues around potential employees and acting as the company conscience/communicating same toward soon to be ex-employees & remaining staff. Oh..and serving as the monthly/quarterly speakers to remind the staff that "we are a family.......", right up until they need to re-don their hat as the company conscience during periods where said family eats their young.

At least that was my 30 year experience..I'm sure it's improved in the last year or two.

Edit: Regarding "power"..they have none. They do what they are told. Other than appraising appearance and personality of a potential employee(and background check, if any), they have nothing to offer regarding functional duties and skills the potential employee will have to master or bring to the table (unless the hire is into HR)...hence no power.


Entirely my decades of experience. Once you get into organizational "leadership", if you are honest with yourself, you realize the entire leadership game is high school on steroids. All fighting over power, money, influence, territory.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby corwin » Thu May 18, 2017 3:24 pm

Hiring managers spend very little time on the hiring process, in my experience. HR or internal recruiter is the gate-keeper reducing the number of applicants from hundreds to a handful. So HR does have the power to keep you out of the handful. Once you have interviewed HR will likely only advise the hiring manager on whom to hire. My DW has done this for 30 years. She has told hiring managers flat out, "Don't hire this person. He/she is crazy." The company goes ahead with the applicant and then 18 months later after the person has been fired she gets to say, "I told you so."

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby takeshi » Fri May 19, 2017 8:20 am

BogleMelon wrote:In general, how powerful are HR usually? Let's assume that the overseas HR manager didn't like her for whatever reason, while the managers inside the office are convinced that she is the right fit, can he disagree and take the final decision?

Be careful relying on "in general". Companies can and do differ as well as individuals within HR departments. What's "general" is only relevant if this particular company happens to fall in line with whatever is "general". That's the problem with relying on any trend on any topic. It's not just the trend that matters but whether or not the data point you're considering falls along that trend and how much it deviates from the trend. FWIW with our company it's really up to the hiring manager but HR can certainly be a roadblock if they're motivated to do so for whatever reason(s).

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby 10YearPlan » Fri May 19, 2017 8:43 am

I have spent my entire career in HR/Recruiting and my answer to you is: it depends. Some companies leverage HR as true partners in the hiring process and in those cases, yes, HR can make/break an offer. In other companies, HR is not as well respected and is involved as a formality, more or less. In many others, HR is only involved at the very end, simply to administer the official offer and begin onboarding processes. And many shades of grey in between. Not knowing what is the case here, I would advise to treat all HR interactions as seriously as interactions with the actual hiring manager. And send a thank you note just like you would anyone else who interviewed you. Additionally, HR practitioners can be great sources of knowledge about the company overall culture, benefits programs, etc. in a way that many hiring managers are not, so I would definitely use the opportunity to ask questions if possible.

Whatever you do, despite the sentiment on this board and in real life, don't treat HR disdainfully or as an impediment. Even if you believe they are.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby Steve723 » Fri May 19, 2017 9:08 am

10YearPlan wrote:I have spent my entire career in HR/Recruiting and my answer to you is: it depends. Some companies leverage HR as true partners in the hiring process and in those cases, yes, HR can make/break an offer. In other companies, HR is not as well respected and is involved as a formality, more or less. In many others, HR is only involved at the very end, simply to administer the official offer and begin onboarding processes. And many shades of grey in between. Not knowing what is the case here, I would advise to treat all HR interactions as seriously as interactions with the actual hiring manager. And send a thank you note just like you would anyone else who interviewed you. Additionally, HR practitioners can be great sources of knowledge about the company overall culture, benefits programs, etc. in a way that many hiring managers are not, so I would definitely use the opportunity to ask questions if possible.

Whatever you do, despite the sentiment on this board and in real life, don't treat HR disdainfully or as an impediment. Even if you believe they are.


This is the best advice yet. Much more helpful than the simplistic generalizations such as "HR is evil. Avoid them at all costs!"

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby new2bogle » Fri May 19, 2017 9:09 am

RoadHouseFan wrote:Always remember that HR are not on your side. Never interact with them unless it is required. They are not your friend.


This.

Also, to OP's original question, it is entirely company dependent. One of the places I worked at, the hiring manager decided everything, including title, the base salary and bonus amount.

At my current company, hiring manager ONLY decides that they want to hire someone, HR decides, title, pay, bonus, everything. I like my previous company way better (since if you really smoke the interview the hiring manager will give you a good title/base). Current company way though is more equitable from employee to employee (but I don't agree with it - in a meritocracy, things should not be equitable based on solely on years of service, education, prior work history, etc).

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby dm200 » Fri May 19, 2017 9:11 am

It probably depends on the company, as well as the nature of the hire/no hire decision/recommendation.

Probably HR would defer to the management about the job qualifcations, but HR might step in if documents were not in order, required drug test failure or imposing company salary offer.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby sunny_socal » Fri May 19, 2017 11:22 am

My wife worked in HR for many years, here is the inside scoop:
1. They are not your friends
2. They are 100% agents of The Company.

Engage with HR only to the extent you must to get your work done, otherwise shut up. You have nothing to gain by opening up to HR. They are a necessary overhead to company operation and that's it.

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10YearPlan
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby 10YearPlan » Fri May 19, 2017 12:56 pm

sunny_socal wrote:My wife worked in HR for many years, here is the inside scoop:
1. They are not your friends
2. They are 100% agents of The Company.

Engage with HR only to the extent you must to get your work done, otherwise shut up. You have nothing to gain by opening up to HR. They are a necessary overhead to company operation and that's it.

Image

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As I mentioned before, I too, am in HR/Recruiting. And while I agree with your points 1 and 2 above, I think the rest of the advice makes it seem like HR is to be treated like the enemy and I don't think that is a good strategy.
I feel like a middle ground can be found between HR=Friends and HR=Enemy to be avoided at all costs.

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BogleMelon
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby BogleMelon » Fri May 19, 2017 1:05 pm

I think I personally can agree with the HR=avoid unless really necessary. Just a waste of time to expect anything that would work in my favor if asked to HR instead say my manager.
I worked in over 5 companies through my career years so far, I can't remember even a single incident when I appreciated something that HR had done to me! But I owe a lot to my direct managers!
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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rustymutt
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby rustymutt » Fri May 19, 2017 1:08 pm

The last thing I remember the HR lady telling me after she'd hire me. "If you're half the worker your father was, then we've made a great investment".
Thus I became a commodity for the company, or a company man. Just like my dear late father did. But he worked 17 years longer than I had to. It's with great pride that my father taught me the value of hard honest work. Thanks Mr Bogle! You're another great role model for us younger guys.
Knowledge is knowing that the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing better than to put the tomato in a fruit salad.

an_asker
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby an_asker » Fri May 19, 2017 1:42 pm

rustymutt wrote:The last thing I remember the HR lady telling me after she'd hire me. "If you're half the worker your father was, then we've made a great investment".
Thus I became a commodity for the company, or a company man. Just like my dear late father did. But he worked 17 years longer than I had to. It's with great pride that my father taught me the value of hard honest work. Thanks Mr Bogle! You're another great role model for us younger guys.

Assuming your father worked for 34 years, HR lady was right, wasn't she? ;-)

iamlucky13
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby iamlucky13 » Fri May 19, 2017 2:11 pm

RoadHouseFan wrote:As I mentioned before, I too, am in HR/Recruiting. And while I agree with your points 1 and 2 above, I think the rest of the advice makes it seem like HR is to be treated like the enemy and I don't think that is a good strategy.
I feel like a middle ground can be found between HR=Friends and HR=Enemy to be avoided at all costs.


I think my previous employer had a pretty good middle ground. I never had trouble getting answers when I had questions such as about benefits or workplace policies, nor did I ever have the impression they were out looking for people to assign blame for the company's problems.

I did get a warning write up once for a truly inconsequential rule violation, but one where we had a clear no-exceptions policy because it was related to a basic safety habit: they matter-of-factly took my explanation of what led up to it, explained why the company was even bothering to do a write up, accepted that I had no objections to the rule and would not shortcut it in the future and that was that - they protected the company without making presumptions or setting me up for exaggerated blame if something more serious came up. Due to the nature of our work, more serious matters did sometimes come up, and as far as I know, those involved felt they were treated fairly and that the responses were constructive.

I had what seemed like a good exit interview with them when I was laid off in the recession, too.

My current employer is the opposite of how most people seem to view HR: the owner is very adamant that the employees who do the primary value-generating work of the company are where everybody's pay comes from, and everybody else is here to enable us to do our jobs - even the accountants and the lawyers. I don't know what the HR staff think of this arrangement, but they have a good attitude about it, and are quite helpful.

It might not be an arrangement for most companies, and is not without drawbacks, but it works well when the workforce is mature, responsible, and self-motivated.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby rustymutt » Fri May 19, 2017 2:22 pm

an_asker wrote:
rustymutt wrote:The last thing I remember the HR lady telling me after she'd hire me. "If you're half the worker your father was, then we've made a great investment".
Thus I became a commodity for the company, or a company man. Just like my dear late father did. But he worked 17 years longer than I had to. It's with great pride that my father taught me the value of hard honest work. Thanks Mr Bogle! You're another great role model for us younger guys.

Assuming your father worked for 34 years, HR lady was right, wasn't she? ;-)


He had 37 years with the company, and I had only 25 to the same financial freedom. I did the same exact job he had. It was a great job with good pay and benefits. I moved 4 times in my career, he none.
Knowledge is knowing that the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing better than to put the tomato in a fruit salad.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby TropikThunder » Fri May 19, 2017 9:06 pm

10YearPlan wrote:As I mentioned before, I too, am in HR/Recruiting. And while I agree with your points 1 and 2 above, I think the rest of the advice makes it seem like HR is to be treated like the enemy and I don't think that is a good strategy.
I feel like a middle ground can be found between HR=Friends and HR=Enemy to be avoided at all costs.

And Internal Affairs cops can't understand why the other cops don't like them. At best, in the day-to-day operations of a company, HR is a benign non-presence that has little to no effect on employees. I have never worked at a company where I or my co-workers benefited from anything HR did after being hired. On the other hand, I have worked at companies where HR reps would solicit "anonymous" feedback from employees and then forward complaints/issues to the manager being complained about for retribution. No, not everyone in HR is an "evil Catbert", but I would be surprised if you didn't know someone like that in your field.

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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby bogglizer » Fri May 19, 2017 10:42 pm

I feel like a middle ground can be found between HR=Friends and HR=Enemy to be avoided at all costs.

In almost any situation, HR is in a position to commit catastrophic damage to your career. The risk associated with not knowing the true motives of HR make for a bad addition to your portfolio, given the possible gains.

RoadHouseFan
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Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

Postby RoadHouseFan » Sat May 20, 2017 12:12 pm

sunny_socal wrote:My wife worked in HR for many years, here is the inside scoop:
1. They are not your friends
2. They are 100% agents of The Company.

Engage with HR only to the extent you must to get your work done, otherwise shut up. You have nothing to gain by opening up to HR. They are a necessary overhead to company operation and that's it.

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