Michelle Crouch wrote a piece for Readers Digest entitled“Get Hired, Not Fired” wherein she asked 18 HR professionals to provide insider tips on how to get/keep a job. My previous post, ‘HR Secrets,’ covered Hiring and the Resume. Next up:imagesCAMY7W0M

Laid Off, Fired, Kicked Upstairs

  • If there was someone we no longer wanted at the company, we’d give him all the worst assignments on impossible deadlines, set him up to fail, and document that. After a few months, we could safely terminate him.” Cynthia Shapiro, former HR executive and author of Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You To Know.
  • “If you’re put on a performance-improvement plan, you’re cooked. I might look you in the eye and say we’re going to do everything possible to make this work, but that’s just total BS.” – HR director at financial services firm
  • “If you’re a high-level employee and they put you on a special assignment and take away other responsibilities so you can focus on that ‘special assignment.’ Start fixing up your resume because you’re on the way out the door. – Suzanne Lucas, former HR executive and the Evil HR Lady on bnet.com.imagesCAO5M6D3

All 3: BRUTALLY TRUE. Welcome to one of the most difficult aspects of the HR job. These scenerios are not unusual in business. What IS unusual is for HR to instigate such moves. A supervisor, manager, department head is more often the Mastermind. HR is called in later to clean up the carnage. The ultimate goal is to trim out high wage earners and underperformers. A similarly brutal tactic is to shun the employee. Gut wrenching.

“The worst feeling in the world? Going into the ladies’ room and seeing nine people you know who won’t have a job in a week and having to act normal.” HR professional/midsize firm in NC

laidoffAnother sad, gut wrenching aspect of HR. The best HR professionals never lose the ‘human’ in human resources. Downsizing is never easy on ANY level. That’s why CARE is 2/3’rds of the word CAREER! C3 Career Care provides counsel and advise especially for times such as these.

Maybe you did get carpal tunnel syndrome or your back injury at work. But we’re very suspicious of those kinds of injuries because we know that there are angry employees who will try to get back at a company by filing a workers’ comp claim. We will investigate. – HR consultant and speaker/Raleigh, NC

HR ABSOLUTELY WILL investigate. This is an infuriating side to HR I have encountered too many times. Employer pockets and resources outweigh those of employees. Employers talk. Pulling such a stunt will follow you into your future. hqdefault

One of our most important jobs is to protect the company from lawsuits. So even though things like sexual harassment training have actually been shown not to be beneficial, we do it anyway because it lowers our liability. – Suzanne Lucas

Our job is to protect the company AND its human resources, a dual role that has its challenges. I’ve found that harassment claims actually rise just after harassment training. And if an empl0yee has a personal vendetta, all kinds of claims begin to fly. Insurance companies require this training. It isn’t HR’s idea of a good time.

Bottom line: business can be brutal for employers and employees. Human resource professionals experience it all. For as C.S. Lewis once said, “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”

Next post? Interview Secrets!

~From the desk of Becky Morlok~

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