The Godfather of HR, John Sumser, put up a post over at HRExaminer – HR is Female – from a report by HRxAnalysts that shows 75 percent of those in HR are female, white, etc. (I know you’re shocked – good thing someone funded that survey!)
My question is – who cares? (besides John – who it thinks everyone in the HR community is more influential than me.)
Now the guys at HRxAnalysts (John and another guy with a very impressive resume that includes StarrTincup) will say that those who sell to HR care. By having this data you can better prepare your sales presentation and tact to potentially close more buyers, etc. But that isn’t really my question.
Who cares, in terms of is it really that important? I mean really.
Surveys can perpetuate a notion
HR is the one part of every organization that it isn’t suppose to matter if your female or male, white or black, straight or gay, cat or dog.
One problem with surveys like the one above is they perpetuate a notion – a notion that “HR is Female.” I know they are just stating facts, but in the end, they are also making a conclusion: “HR is Female.” What if HR wanted to be “Flamboyantly Gay Male?” Nope; can’t do it – “HR is Female.”
What if a Female wanted to be “Operations is Female?” Nope; can’t do it – “Operations is…”
Oh wait, you don’t know what Operations is, do you? No you don’t, because no one did some stupid survey about it and made it official, did they?
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Operations might be Female, or Male, or Single-Black-Female-with-1-kid, but you don’t know that. So now when you look at Operations, you don’t see Female, you see “Possibilities.”
HR is Female — and a lot of other things, too
I love data, but sometimes we measure just to measure, with no real purpose in why we are measuring. Then when the measurement is done, we have to publish something – even if it really has no real bearing on anything.
Yep, HR is Female, and she’s smart, and she’s mostly white, and she mostly likes dogs – but HR is also Male, and she is also black, and she also likes cats.
My advice to HR vendors trying to sell to HR is this: get to know HR for who she/he is, build the relationship, find out if your product/service helps solve a need they have, and go from there (tip: it takes more than one phone call and a visit – and not all HR Pros like donuts, some like bagels).
This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.