Friday, June 04, 2010

What ??? HR Professionals are drivers?

“Why do you keep a driver for your car?”

“To reach at destination safely.”

“Why, you can not drive?”

“I want to be more conformable at office; you know I also do the office work while traveling in car.”

“What is cost for driver?”

“6000 per month.”

“If it would be 20, 000 per month, still would you have a driver? In European countries and America, you can not afford drivers, they have to drive themselves.”

“Oh, it is a crazy question; I would drive myself rather than keeping the costly driver.”

“You keep a driver because it is cheap. Right?”


“A same thing is with HR profession. HR professionals are available in the market with very low cost.”

“What do you mean? Are you comparing HR professionals with driver?”

“Yes, HR has the capacity to drive the organization; but organizations keep them because they are cheap. What has happened during recession? First axe was on HR professionals working in training, recruitment, so called strategy, development area.”

“But you can not compare them with driver.”

“You see, today HR consultants charge huge amount for HR interventions. If they start to charge less amount, most of the organizations will prefer to hire HR consultants. If HR professionals become costly, then Management will drive the HR themselves.”

“How can you say this?”

“What HR does? Recruitment- It can be outsourced, you know if RPOs are cost effective, recruitment manager will loose the job, Training- training consultants are cost effective, training manager will loose the job and your HR administration (Personnel) can be outsourced anytime. They need the HR professional for fire fighting”

“No sir, who will work on vision, mission, strategy, goal and related employee relations?”

“Have you worked on this in your career?”

“No sir, it was done by consultants.”

“You all are just like postmen”

“You should stick on one sir. You were saying HR professionals are like drivers now you are saying like postmen.”

“You are also postmen. You just pass everything which your MD wants or just copy & paste something from elsewhere.

“But sir, in spite of this organization needs HR professionals. Recruitment has taken a pace, once you started to recruit there should be HR professionals to manage their employee life cycle. Who cares after three years about the organization?”

On this he just smiles and walks away.

“I decided to start my own consultancy which will provide more economic services to companies.” He yells.

(No intention to hurt anybody. Just fun.)


Sureshchandra Padhye said...

Good one.- Sureshchandra Padhye

Unknown said...

this is really depressing, being an hr professional v all no d reality and it actually sucks!!!!

Dinesh Divekar said...

Dear Mr Vinod Bidwaik,

Humour of the article apart, it is a plain fact that Managing Directors do not value HR. In my last three and half years of business, I must have met 100+ MDs. I make this statement based on their understanding of HR. These 100+ MDs do not include ET 500 companies. Wipro, Infosys, Mahindra, Birla does not sum up Indian Industry as a whole.

It is just change of name from HR to Personnel but as far as MDs are concerned, for them it is just a clerical function.

As long as HR is not treated at par with other functions or this step-brotherly treatment is not stopped no company will grow. But then possibly it will take at least one generation to change this mindset if not two. By then there is possibility of finance gobbling up HR. You may know CAs have just gobbled up ICWA. If the present trend continues then in India, HR will be become subsidiary of Finance or Marketing. This is a worst case scenario. I prey god that my prognosis goes wrong!

Dinesh V Divekar

Anil said...

Dear Vinod ,
Good piece of plain truth. Dinesh has commented candidly.
Still HR to go a long way to attain respect and space in the organisation. I know many organisations whose cash registers are ringing, turnover are increasing year by year, business is growing and there is no HR at all. For the name sake, two three persons are in the section,who take care of contract labour attendance, make their bills, see that adequate manpower is there in the factory, sometimes see also scrap sales, horticulture, personal take care of top management and their family members when they visit to factories.Absolutely HR has linkage with the profitability of the company, it is evident.
"HR Manager"reports to commercial Head without whom approval he cant even write a letter.
There are no HR practices at all, Good or bad.....
On the top of it, Such organisations have bagged "BEST HR PRACTICE AWARDS"
And the numbers of such organisations are maximum. Few names mentioned by Dinesh are not the whole world of HR.
Let us see at ourselves and what Top managements think about us....
B-138, Ambedkar Nagar, Alwar-301001

Unknown said...

Dear Vinod,
Good that you have stated the facts. Though they are harming but the facts don,t change.

The HR in india is still at back end and not getting the front seat. They are still drivers and need to become the driving force than drivers to change the situation.

The third era after industrialisation & automation is the era of creativity and innovation.It is the era of humens and so is the importance of using the human resources. Those companies who understand it giving the importance to Human resource and others are still neglecting it.

HR people need to take it positively and improve to make their status to the level wherein the organisation will have the strategic human resource business partners. HR people should link the HR to business results to make it more effective.This will help them to get status.


Mangesh Bhanage
Trainer and HR Consultant

Anonymous said...

I hope one day we do not start comparing mothers in the same way. As everthing done by her can be outsourced.

In 90% of the houses there is a female - replacing the maid, childhood teacher, washer, cleaner, a prostitue / or may be a doll. India has possibility of Sarogate mother also, why do we need a mother?

No offense, Just fun... please think.....

But I do have a mother, and I dont think, I need to make fun out of it.

Anonymous said...

Sixth anonymous must be working free of cost for his organization. Good boss.

sanjayrakecha said...

Dear Vinodji
My veiw about HR people like a Sarathi ( Shreekrishna) although they are not directly linked with result but there contributin is important ( Like a Shreekrishna in Mahabharata)in the org.

Sanjay Rakecha.
Sr Manager,
Sakaal Media Group,

Anonymous said...


I was talking in the same stylethe way you talked, however I agree that no one works for charity. I was through this crisis, and I am for sure aware that how and what all it affected.

The Citi Bank withdrew its offer from it's CEO, remarkebly it was done when he was in his flight and was heading to join duties. I remeber marketing guys crying for their jobs that time. It happened to every damn prfile.

Then why to make joke of one profession? Tell me a single job which can not be outsourced.

There is a virtual Company concept, and India has a histroy of supporting such brands since long.

I am not sure that what you wanted to give by that article, but i am sure it was "OFFENSIVE" even when you said "NO OFFENSE".

Give me one profession - as a challenge - which can not be spoiled with such an article. I am telling, it can happen with any profession.

Please respect the dignity of Profession - you belong to it or is immaterial. That is what we call professional maturity. I know how and what level these mashroom conultancy people go to have businesses. Let it be that way, there are other people as well who are good. That does not mean I will play stritase with all of them.

Hope you understand.


Nimali said...

Dear Vinod,

No thanks for your post. Cos it is more valuable for me to say than just thank you. I love it. It shows the pure truth, the real dilemma in our profession and in the business world. In any country that truth may be same. I read an article about Malaysia and its’ development strategies. As per the article, Malaysia has linked government development policy with HR development. It is amazing but I think it is worked for them, but don’t know for what extend.
No country has taken a deep understanding about the true value of HRM, what is HRD and what is Administration. There are great companies. true. They have practiced either employee aimed HRD or customer oriented HRD. But end of the day they focus the sustainability and the growth of the business through high profits. (no matter it is HRD, business development or customer care development)

As I very clearly know, 99.9% small scale organizations doesn’t have a proper Human Resources Management path way. There are lots of labour cases in these companies. Because they don’t have the appropriate knowledge in labour law, employment conditions and employee relations. No need to say about employee motivation and development. (they don’t have even heard the words)

Most of the middle scale companies practice HR. They recruit HR Managers. But the sad reality is 75 % of these managers are not real HR Managers. They have the shining Designation only. They don’t practice HRM. They practice only administration. A vehicle maintaining and pay roll administration manager is called as Head of HR in these companies. Middle scale companies only want recruitments, pay roll, attendance monitoring, handling employee relations ( specially discipline and terminations) Other than that no space for employee competency improvement or business connected HRM.

As indicated in the post, consultants can only move with the surface of the HRM. How can they connect to the human lives who are in the business and who are in the out of the business. (Internal & external customers) Can they create a link between worst top management decisions and employees same between unfair employee motives and business sustainability?

This is a true dilemma, but there should be a way out from the cage HR has been captured. We know the reality, the truth and the upcoming future of our professions. What have we done to change it? It is not the understanding a problem is best, but resolving it is great. How many HR professionals in this site? We all daily see / suffer from this tragedy. What can we do to overcome from it individually and as a professional team?

Can we create HR models which are not other consultancies?

Is it enough completing MBA to become the all-rounder which most organizations today seek?

Have we ever evaluated, what HR consultants have but we don’t have and what we have HR consultants don’t have?

What makes us valuable?

Have we gone out from the ordinary frame of HR ever? Have we created a human resource bridge to every key manager’s HR need?

Have we approach the top management with the best solution / direction they really need to know when they are in a critical situation? No matter they value our contribution, but the most important thing is the approach.

Have we ever linked HRD with the organizational core business avenues, core values and core needs?

Unfortunately we are not in an easy job. We have to fight for the organizational survival and same time for our selves’ survival. So why don’t we look at ourselves in the mirror? When a woman goes to a beautician, her face is scanned to find all the black and white heads. Why don’t we go to the mirror and look at our inner capabilities and organizational needs?
And finally, why don’t we get together and raise a voice that, the core human related and business success related science we have in our hands.
Nothing is impossible in this world. We can turn HRD to its real path way.

Who stand up first to support or to resist?


Pradeep said...

Hi Nimali!
Your views are like a whiff of fresh air in this world where HR has become passe' but there are still many organizations which do practice progressive HR policies but they are very less due to many reasons. Most of the companies as rightly pointed out by you use HR as just a fancy department which deals with all kind of sundry jobs like housekeeping, security, payroll, discipline and blah blah which can be done by any professional and it doesn't require any expertise in HR.
I have seen many companies where HR is being used as a nominal department where routine or trivial matters get importance. The lack of support of top management who are more hell bent on earning profits at any cost without caring for the human resources use HR for all sundry jobs. Even if they care, that too is aimed at boosting their image or to create the necessary hype on HR in market for taking their business forward which is ultimately aimed at raking in profits. HR is being used as a Public Relation tool for many organizations and the importance of HR is recognized by some very professional organizations like Deloitte and others where true importance is given to HR. It is time that Government also should give enough support to HR and encourage it appropriately.
Thank you so much Nimali for bringing out all those bitter facts which are very correct and I completely agree with your views.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nimali,

I fully agree with you that HR Managers are just fancy designations and are not seen as actual change agent or they can add any value.
In many small & medium level companies HR are considered as significant cost. Earlier HR's jobs was more of adminitrative in nature but it is constantly evovling but irony is the top management is least interested to even understand the worth of HR in any company.
Thought process is still unchanged in many organisation which is really demotivating and makes an HR playing defensive and just carring out the fixed guidlines as job responsibilities.


Anonymous said...

Dear vinod,
I am going to publish your article in BUSINESS MANAGER.
This is my reply to all those who don,t want to accept the reality and believe in keeping the dust under the carpet.
anil kaushik

Anonymous said...

Hi Vinod and a Hi to Kaushik as well,the problem with u ppl is that u are finding fun only about discussing the dust under the carpet and sounding intellectual but no one except Nimali has mentioned about cleaning the dust.The dust remains there as it is the only difference is earlier it was under by u publishing it in the business manager will bring it over the carpet and more difficult to clean as the dust will stick to it .But none of u is really interested in wiping it away and maintaining such preconditions that the dust doesnot appear in future.Its not just a cat dog fight but a serious issue to think over but R U PPL SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN SOLVING IT?? Doesnt seems so....It would have been very easy for u to comment the anonymous that he/she must be working free of cost and u only said so haina because he didnt agree to ur thoughts but isnt this an irony that u talk of change and u dnt give the other person even the freedom to differ with u .
I saw vinod in ur profile that u go for that u go to engg and mgmt colleges to give lectures this is how u motivate the youth of country ....that boss dnt come here this the reality... ??Is this the way to prepare someone for the reality...Good u are not in any of our forces otherwise the civillians wd have found it hard to survive in this nation as such kind of a motivation would not have left any soldier on the border....
please no offence ,....and i know i cant even utilize my freedom of speech like that but the same goes for everybody ...if some one respects the position he is working at and feels motivated about it u have no right to demean it and make a mockery of plz do realize other's emotionbefor writing any thing.....

take care keep writing
god bless u .

Vinod Bidwaik said...

Dear All,

I appreciate the views of different professionals.

I just put the reality which nobody want to discuss. YES. I WANT TO CHANGE IT AND I HAD DONE IT WHENEVER I WORKED. You can speak with the MDs of these companies. You all must have read the stories of Hindi writer Sharad Joshi or other famous writers. In Marathi we have P L Deshpande and Acharya Atre. They put the issues in such a way that people forced to think on the issues. Please observe some Hindi serials broadcasted on SONY SAB TV. It is the way to surface the paradoxes and comment on that. Let’s professional think and come up with the solution. It gets notice and chances are more to resolve. Acharya Atre did it for Maharashtra 50 years back.

Freedom of speech is not violated here as I could have moderated comment; however I did not. It shows my intention.

I hope that we are enough matured to understand the issue and solution on that well.


Vinod Bidwaik

Subodh Malpani said...

Dear All

All is not that bad !
Transition and change DO HAPPEN, but it also takes time. If you compare the situation 10 Years back and now, you would realise.

How fast it can happen - difficult for anybody to answer ! But collective consistent effort and sharing the HR Success stories about its important role in Business growth / Profitability / Transformation etc would definitely change the perception !

I am not an hardcore HR professional but working closely with you people.

In medium and large organisation lot of developments are already visible and I think they do respect HR Professionals

In SME also awareness is definitely there. This also evident with Closely held Family business houses. But they want everything very economical and want immidiate results, which are not possible ! So they are waiting. Concrete Success stories would definitely make them think about HR importance....... if not today..... definitely tomorrow !
Patience and honest and Good efforts is definitely in your hands !


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