Human Resource Departments: More bureaucrats we could do without. By Kyle Smith.
In an experiment that involved sending out more than 2,500 resumes either with or without photos of the applicant, economics researchers Bradley Ruffle at Ben-Gurion University and Ze’ev Shtudiner at Ariel University Centre sought to answer the question of whether being good looking could help you find a job. The answer surprised them: Not if you’re a woman. Pretty women faced an uphill struggle to get a chance at a job.
The economists hadn’t reckoned on the fact that 93 percent of the HR staffers deciding whether to call in someone for an interview were female. It turns out that HR women (who also tend to be young and single and hence still in the dating market for men) are eager to meet with handsome men. But they’re jealous of beautiful women. So your business is losing out on talented people (and wasting time with untalented ones) based on their looks. ..
Likewise, a certain government department in Canberra I know about is gradually dumbing down because the people there are reluctant to hire smarter and more competent people — because they would be too much competition for top jobs.
HR places a disturbingly high premium on what it calls “communication skills” and what you and I call “talking.” A survey found that 83 percent of HR professionals cited training in communication skills (they spent their college years in Watercooler 101?) as important to getting a job in the field, while only two percent cited the importance of classes in finance. Actually knowing how the business runs doesn’t much register with HR. Using HR as talent spotters makes about as much sense as asking the florist for help filling out the roster on your basketball team.
HR is a bureaucracy with different aims from the rest of the company, leaving it more energy to pursue the usual bureaucratic goals of more well-paying jobs for bureaucrats.