Ever wonder what really goes on inside the hallowed halls of human resources? According to a piece by Alison Green on U.S. News & World Report, there are a few things employees and job seekers alike should keep in mind.
1. HR isn’t there to be your advocate. Their goal? Serve the business needs. The former chief of staff at a nonprofit writes, “Now, in some cases, that means advocate for employees against bad managers, because it’s in the best interests of employers to retain great employees, identify and address bad management and stop legal problems before they explode. But plenty of other times, what’s best for the employer will not be what’s best for the employee, and the best interests of the employer will always win out. That’s not cynicism; that’s simply what HR’s mission is.”
2. HR isn’t obligated to keep what you tell them confidential, even if you request their discretion. If you think what you’re disclosing is confidential such as mentioning your boss is harassing your team, that confidential information needs to be shared in order to address an issue. Actually, if human resources representatives had relevant information and ignored it, they would be negligent. Can you still talk to HR in confidence? Yes but keep in mind they may need to report certain findings and escalate it depending on the nature of the conversation. Read more