Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Inhuman Resources

I do believe that the so-called "human resources" industry is strangling the USA almost as well as the "legal" profession. I suppose that any business with more than 10 emplyees needs some experts in dealing with the endless federal regulations, procedures, taxes, fees, reports, and what have you that are related to employment. We have come a long, long way from a plain old agreement between two parties to exchange services for money.

But, modern human resourcists seem to think they actually have useful skills and knowledge, and they are infiltrating big companies like a fungus. Slow, smelly, and disgusting.

Almost every place I've heard of has annual (at best) to quarterly performance appraisals. Every study ever done with any scientific rigor has shown performance appraisals do nothing except wreck employee morale. They never enhance performance. Yet, HR people, being bored with their lack of meaningful work, invent ever more invasive and demeaning, yet inane "performance" appraising that at best, merely waste a huge amount of time. But they typically sap the mental enrgy, enthusiasm, and any productivity out of most employees on a regular schedule.

Since HR "professionals" are evidently educated along with school teachers and journalists to know absolutely nothing of value, they are of course massively unqualified to be evaluating candidates to be hired for jobs. However, they are at the forefront of every large company's hiring process; reviewing, interfering, and trying to ensure that only the best politickers and bullshitters get hired, and anybody with technical knowledge and experience is kept away.

They, of course manage all job advertising, and do it as incompetently as the rest of the things they do. Invariably, to read a job posting, you must get through 300 words of boilerplate about what a wonderful and exciting time and place is this company. Gag me. Then, the hiring manager's undoubtedly formatted list of duties, and qualifications is smashed into running text, and spelling errors are introduced. Also, although this idiocy is hardly confined to HR, the font size is reduced to about 6pt, so as to leave enough room for a fancy picture of some well-dressed serious-looking models.

And lastly, you can count on the fact that all job search and other HR web apps are hideous designs, rampant with stupid errors, all caused by chasing the latest and fanciest javascript techniques, with of course, little concern on whether they're needed. All the worst of the web you can still find while perusing a typical company's job listings. Back button can't be used. Page can't be printed. A frame width keeps getting reset just big enough to hide the frame''s scollbar behind the page's scroll bar (on a page with no need for a frame), and ensuring the page has a horizontal scroll bar. Pages that can't be used on anything but IE. Pages that would work fine, but refuse to let you use them except with IE. I don't know whether idiot HR personnel are trying web development on their own, or if they contract it out at $15/hour, or what. For software, and other high-tech companies, you'd think they would be ashamed.

Outsource HR, and get them out of your real employees' life!


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