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HR is not an add-on function

August 28, 2011

An acquaintance called a few days back to inform that they had recently started their own business and wanted to know if we could help them with recruiting & HRO.

We had a preliminary meeting where the couple ( the acquaintance & her spouse) insisted that they were in a tearing hurry and wanted everything related to HR done up in 30 days, so that they could focus on business thereafter. They wanted everything to be automated so that right from the day a new employee joined, there was no need for any “human intervention”.  They had ambitious business plan but HR had no place or time in that. HR practices were ” necessary but not important”.  I made attempts to inform  them that HR practices necessarily involve Human interaction &  facilitation and that it was an ongoing process and that they can’t think of growth without taking care of the people.

The promoter said that he had seen the best systems in some big organisations & they worked seamlessly without much human involvement. He failed to recognize that these organisations were in business for decades and had fine-tuned their systems. The human interaction part was getting  addressed at the branch/unit levels and so was not visible.

Anyhow, to get more information about their business, values etc, we proposed to send across a questionnaire to help them write down their answers (we insist on the writing part as most often it helps in arriving at clarity). They committed 2 days to revert with anything that we needed so that we could go back to them with a plan & timelines.

The answers never came. Initially they said that more time was needed as they were finding it difficult to get answers. After following up for 2-3 times, we were told that they were busy and did not have time to answer the questions. I suggested that we meet so that i could help them answer the questions by facilitating the process. A time was fixed but the hosts failed to confirm the meeting. Our repeated efforts to contact through phone, mail & messages met up with no success. It was evident that they were avoiding us. ( Had this been a candidate, we would have dropped them after the initial few attempts). I wish, instead of avoiding our calls,  they could have just told us that they did not need our services.

This whole episode and my interactions with many SMB promoters over last 2 years has left me with few thoughts.

  1. Why do many organisations still treat the people functions & HR practices as an add-on function only ?
  2. What kind of metrics can be used to demonstrate linkages between good HR practices & organisational success and vice-versa ?
  3. Can promoters behavior towards vendors & service providers be used to benchmark their possible attitude towards their employees ?

Please share your thoughts & experiences.

    July 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Respected Sir,

    We would like to bring to your kind notice that some of the contract workers working since 1991 were regularized in zuari cement ltd, yerraguntla in 2001. Their old PF number continued even after regularization. Now some of them are going to be retired on attaining of superannuation. Kindly clarify how the gratuity is to be calculated for the above employees from the date of joining i.e. 1991 demand before Management.

    Best Regards

    Employees Union

    K. Viswanatha Reddy
    General Secretary

    • August 19, 2013 at 9:36 am

      @K. Viswanatha Reddy – It all depends up on the terms of regularization. It is difficult to reply on the basis of brief details. However, the normal practice is to calculate qualifying service from the date of regularization.

      the views & replies given in this forum are clarifications meant for reference and guidance of the readers to explore further and take appropriate decisions on their own or through professional help. These should not be construed as legal opinion or advice

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