Who Says That HR Can’t Be Fun?

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May 9, 2014
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.

Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday.

“I’m in HR because it’s fun.”

Wait, what?!?

“I’m in HR because it’s fun.”

Wait, what?!?

“I’m in HR because it’s fun.”

That’s what I thought she said the first time, she being the VP of Human Resources at Bay Federal Credit Union in Santa Cruz, CA. One of her staff members, an HR generalist specializing in recruiting, echoed the sentiment.

HR has never really been viewed as “fun”

In fact, they positioned their brand so eloquently, I was convinced I needed to be a part of their workforce community; my wife and I are already Bay Federal Credit Union members. I say community because the credit union is such an integral part of our community (true of many credit unions in their specific regions).

The two HR pros and myself were on a local career panel together recently speaking to high school students about career futures, whatever those may hold. We shared our backgrounds, wisdom and realities of what the world of work may have in store for them, and how to plan for it all and take ownership of it all, through boom and bust.

This was another career panel I participated in put on by an amazing local organization calledYour Future Is Our Business. YFIOB is a community-based 501(C) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering business/education partnerships that benefit students. Their mission is to support young people in Santa Cruz County with making informed educational and career decisions.

Back to the part about HR being fun.

What I wanted to add in jest to her comment above was the fact that HR has never really been viewed as fun from a mainstream world of work perspective. They’re responsible for the not-so-fun compliance, benefits administration performance reviews and outplacement work, among other slightly more so glamorous employee-related responsibilities.

HR expected to grow 20% this decade

I didn’t make a joke, because the students lit up and started asking all sorts of career questions about working at the credit union, and about what it’s like to be an HR pro and how to become one. Lit up as in excited. Motivated. Dreaming of their future beyond high school where they can make a difference in their community where there families and their friends live. Dreaming of work that could be fun.

I’ve joked that I’ve played HR and recruiting on TV (the online and in-person social realms), and yes, some of my “best friends” are HR professionals. Seriously.

And why not? With human resources as a profession projected to grow by over 20 percent between 2010 and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to a recentU.S. News Money report on the best 100 business jobs in 2013, HR is “expected to be a rapid-growth field as the economy continues to recover from the recession.”

Granted, it doesn’t hold court with the high tech salaries skyrocketing again today, but HR is involved in everything, including tech. It touches every single aspect of a business, every single department and division, and every single applicant, employee, alum, contractor, vendor — you name it. HR pros are the go-to folk in organizations big and small. They humanize the brand and help workforce communities thrive.

HR is business omniscience, the capacity of knowing everything there is to know. Who says that’s not fun?

This was originally published on Kevin Grossman’s Reach West blog.

This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.
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