HR is Dead: Some Mourn, Some Celebrate and Others Say “WHAT??”

by Michael Haberman on September 23, 2009 · 0 comments

There has been a very lively discussion about the death of HR being argued on several blogs, most notably at Laurie Ruettiman’s Punk Rock HR where she posted HR is Dying: Yes or No? and at Mike VanDervort’s the Human Race Horse where he posted HR-Not Dead Yet. These two posts brought a lot of reaction that was wide and varied. Some celebrated that HR was dying. Some said a vehement NO. Many said the field needs to be revamped. Many identified what is wrong with HR and others offered some solutions.

These two posts are very thought provoking and MUST be read by anyone in HR. Read the comments and add your own. But most importantly learn from these posts. Reflect on your situation. If you are in the “dying” camp what do you suggest will take HR’s place?

If you are in the “needs improvement” category how would you restructure things to get the improvement?

If you are in the “HR is just fine” category, well I suggest you reread these two posts and the long comment strings.

I personally don’t think HR is dead or dying. I do think it needs to morph, just not quite sure how, but I am working on a plan.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael September 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm

@MikeHaberman – Excellent post. I would be very interested in hearing your further thoughts on this topic. I'd like to invite you to attend HRevolution in Louisville, KY on November 6 and 7. We are going to spend a portion of this unconference focusing the attention on the attendees on this topic to seek ideas for action. You would be a valuble voice to have there!



Trish McFarlane September 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I ditto Mike V's invitation to HRevolution. I haven't even had a chance to respond to all the comments on my post yesterday but the sheer number tell me it is a hot topic for HR right now. Nice post


Wally Bock September 27, 2009 at 11:39 am

The question of whether HR is dead should be a non-starter. You may be able to vaporize the department with that name, but you've still got to hire and train. And there are laws and regulations the company must comply with. In some cases, you can add collective bargaining issues. Which means that you change the name, you can re-distribute the work, you can even organize a funeral, but somebody's still got to do the work. The questions are "Who?" and "How?"


Michael D. Haberman, SPHR September 28, 2009 at 11:07 am

Wally I agree with you. The laws are not going to go away. In fact we are going to have more and more of them. So who is going to deal with them? It will come down to the people doing employee relations.


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