Smile and the world smiles with you. Or something. Image: Shutterstock

Friday 8th January 2016

Cheer the heck up

Ten reasons why HR can look on the bright side this January

Yes, we know. It’s January, and you’re about as happy as Corbyn at a Trump rally. The weather’s dire, you’re counting calories and there are six long months to go until Bake Off or Strictly brighten up our telly boxes again.

Work is like wading through mud wearing clown shoes, and everything in the office is coated in a post-festive shade of gunboat grey. So, what are you going to do? Weep? No, you’re going to count your blessings, that’s what.

Ten reasons why HR should be more cheerful follow. If they don’t get your endorphins going, nothing will.

  1. Your talent is in demand

For starters, there’s currently an advantageous relationship between the supply and demand of HR roles. According to the Telegraph, HR vacancies on Adzuna have almost doubled in the last two years.

So if work is a drag right now, don’t sweat it – walk and get another role somewhere else. Yep, it’s that easy. Your talent and experience are in demand.

  1. HR is being taken more seriously than ever

According to a Cranfield study (admittedly, in the US) HR is indeed becoming more strategic. The study says: ‘The HR function is increasing its strategic role. Relying predominantly on recruiting the head of HR internally from the organization’s HR department, HR leaders are more often part of the Board or equivalent top executive team.’

An HRD’s bag yesterday

And whilst there’s still a pitiful number of FTSE board members from an HR background, evidence suggests that HRDs are being paid more money.

According to Reed, HRD salaries are up an average of 10% with the average HRD salary currently£90,432. You don’t get paid that amount of wad without contributing to the business.

  1. You don’t work in Marketing

Think your colleagues over in Marketing are having a laugh, enjoying each working day as if it were a gift to unwrap and cherish forever?

Not so. Truth be told, they’re a sad bunch. As marketeer Carolyn Tate told this blog, ‘Ultimately marketing is a lot of manipulation. It is false. It creates materialism and wanton greed. You could even get really specific and say it is about the sexualising of women, and manipulating children to go against what their parents want.’

Now you realise that Marketing is obstructing sexual equality and creating blistering blood feuds, having to do the odd 360 review doesn’t suck quite as much, eh? (If this strikes a chord, go direct to point 10.)

  1. HR pay generally is on the rise

According to Robert Walters, HR pay is generally up by about ten per cent year-on-year.

Jonathan Stringer, an HR recruiter from the Robert Walters Midlands office says, ‘Looking ahead, with companies likely to take a creative approach to pay structures and offer employees more choice about benefits, we expect to see renewed demand for talented professionals across many roles.’

It’s maybe not quite time to place that down payment on a Lamborghini. But play your cards right and you might be able to upgrade last year’s camping holiday on the Lincolnshire coast.

  1. HR is not going to be automated

Every HR website you visit demonstrates the same cycle. First, they publish an article telling HR to get worried because it’s going to get automated. Then the week after it prints another article refuting the previous article. And so on.

Well, we have definitive news. HR in general is not going to be automated. Machines don’t have anywhere near enough insight, intelligence and (why not?) intuition to take your job or any job even remotely resembling it.

You are not going to turn up one day and find C-3PO sitting in your seat. No. Nope. Not happening, period.

  1. Global HR careers are on the rise

At the time of writing, Indeed is listing 1113 international HR jobs.

Your next commute?

Want to work in a foreign clime, knocking out some HR stuff between a siesta and heading to the beach after work? Well, the world is HR’s lobster, as Del Boy almost used to say.

  1. Generally, you work with nice people

We’re not a bad lot, all told. When was the last time the selfishness of an HR department caused an international catastrophe that still made the world quiver ten years later?

Although that regional recruiter who hot desks across from you could probably bring a less smelly ready meal to the office, she’s still a darn sight nicer than the people in sales who get fined millions for failing customers, the people in finance who invest profits in the arms industry or the people in operations who dump loads of hazardous waste where they think it might not be noticed.

In comparison, we’re great. Go us! GO US!

  1. You don’t work in Finance

Two months ago, Financial News asked readers what they’d say to a friend expressing an interest in working in Finance.

Responses include: ‘It’s more boring than most people make it out to be,’ ‘Avoid at all costs’ and perhaps most depressingly, ‘If you can put up with all the shit, take the money.’

Remember: it could be worse. You could be counting beans.

  1. Part-time working is a possibility (probably)

Unlike in many functions, there’s a reasonable chance that in HR you might get the opportunity to work part-time.

Recruitment consultancy Oakleaf recently launched a dedicated part-time HR desk. Oakleaf’s Jane Middleton says: ‘We have seen a huge increase in demand from clients for imaginative flexible resourcing solutions and creative ideas for meeting their recruitment needs.’

Want to build a portfolio career, maybe taking in some charity or community work alongside your professional responsibilities? You’re in the right place.

  1. You’re helping people

Finally – and this is a biggie – there’s the issue of ‘worthwhile work’. Whilst the debate about whether HR works for the business or the people within it will rumble on as long as the function exists, there’s no denying that we spend a lot of our time doing stuff that makes the world a better place.

You and your team

Helping people find jobs that increase their happiness and help them live more satisfying lives? Check. Guiding the just treatment of employees in the face of often unrealistic organisational demands? Check. Helping organisations become more profitable, better resourced and more sustainable? Check, check, check again.

So HR is definitely a force for good. And in one way or another, you’re a part of it, like Luke Skywalker is part of the Rebel Alliance or Captain Mainwaring is part of the war effort. (Hmm, maybe there was a better analogy there.)

Anyway, go back to work with a smile on your face – you’ve earned it, my friend.

About the author

Andrew Baird

Andrew is the CEO of HRville. He is also Employer Brand Director of Blackbridge Communications, Editorial Director of Professionals in Law and an associate of The Smarty Train. Previously, he was the MD of TCS Advertising.