HR’s Number One Priority-Depends on Who You Ask

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    If you ask a number of people what is HR’s number one priority or responsibility, you’ll most likely get a number of different responses based on who is answering the question even if two of those asked are in the same position. People are egocentric by nature. They tend to view things from their own experiences and needs. Below are a few examples of what one might hear, although there are many more.

    CEO- “The primary responsibility of HR is risk management. They are here to keep us in compliance.”

    CFO- “HR is here to keep our human capital operating at a maximum level of efficiency so that we can manage our labor costs.”

    Managers-“I need HR to find me better talent.”

    Supervisors-“HR’s primary responsibility is to handle my performance problems.”

    Employees-“HR is here to make sure I am treated fair. Or at least they are supposed to be.”

    HR- “It depends.”

    With these varying viewpoints and opinions of what HR should be doing, it can be hard to define and measure success. Defining a terrible HR person may be in the eye of the beholder, but Suzanne Lucas, a.k.a. The Evil HR Lady offers you nine signs to figure it out. Follow the link and check out her list. It is top-notch and covers the gamut of HR responsibilities from compliance to recruiting. Let me know what you add.

    For more resources, See the Human Resources library.

    Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is available to help you with your Human Resources and Training needs on a contract basis. For more information send an email to or visit Follow me on Twitter @Sherimaz.