Who gets to "HR" HR?


Maybe I'm misguided or biased... but given my observation and experiences, it seems like HR is essentially Gossip Girls x55

It seems like they get a kick out of feeling special or important for being the middleman between interviews/recruitment, or the feeling of playing God on which communication gets through, which question to answer, how late to give you the AMEX code for flights, which interview slot to assign... Of course, there's the whole high school-esque job description of being "in" on all the internal corporate drama, people's personal lives, demanding that you tell her which other firms you are recruiting with, and of course - giving incredibly vague email responses / ghosting on simple logistical questions (like "hey could you please send me that assessment link you forgot to attach?") like they are playing some texting game with dudes for attention.

My question is - who is the HR of HR? Who governs them? Who monitors or evaluates them? It seems like there is little to absolutely 0 balance of power / checks and balances.

Interested to hear thoughts.

Comments (24)

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Sep 30, 2019 - 3:42am

Short answer is these high-school mental equivalent HR birds aren't being monitored or held accountable enough, hence the flurry of screw-ups.

On a serious note though, HR seems to be the back / mid office function with the most severe insecurity / ego issues - best diagnosis would be 'BBCD' as South Park puts it.

Sep 30, 2019 - 4:24pm

Agree 100% with OP. HR, for the most part, is a bunch of lazy idiots who never became fully-formed adults and thus, to avoid starving, had to find a job where they could carry their middle-school level skills (gossip, socializing, drama etc) into the adult world for a paycheck.

And to answer OP's question, nobody polices HR. Head of HR is one of the most overpaid, inexpelicably powerful people in every organization I've worked at. Usually reports to COO or even CEO of the organization, and those guys are way too busy doing real shit to put any checks on the abuse of power by HR.

Compliance is just as bad by the way.

Oct 1, 2019 - 1:39am

There is a sorority at my school where all the girls are NYC banker/corporate execs' daughters and they pipeline into BB HRs like you wouldn't believe.

But anyhow, I agree with what you said and it frightens me how much "power" they have. Makes me wonder what the point of banking is if one will always be at the mercy of a communication major.... scary stuff

Sep 30, 2019 - 9:48pm

HR has always been late or unresponsive. One HR office made a whole fuss out of one middle initial on a form.

No one in HR had the IQ to really do anything valuable so they just leech off of organizations, pretending to be important.

An incoming medical student interested in health tech, consulting, and entrepreneurship.
Most Helpful
Oct 1, 2019 - 10:31am

The CEO is the one who needs to police HR. Many HR departments are jokes because the CEO is a joke. In fact, having a poor HR organization tells you a lot about what you need to know about the CEO.

Having an HR department that is competent, that actually knows what to screen for when hiring, knows the appropriate comp levels and benefits in the market, who can help the company reduce attrition, etc. is very valuable. Most companies, though, have incompetent CEOs who do not focus on properly hiring, training, and motivating employees, or instilling the right culture, and it's reflected in the HR org. These things should actually be the CEO's most important job (if you do these things right, you're in a great position to succeed as a company), but most do not focus on it, and so big time CEOs often fly around to speak at conferences and go on CNBC, or even buy companies that they don't understand, all to glorify their ego.

Oct 1, 2019 - 1:45pm

I'm still baffled - if no one can give HR the "HR experience" besides Solomon/Moynihan/Dimon, who obviously don't have the time or care to do so, then..isn't HR essentially the single most powerful and unchecked group at a bank or any organization?

I know my post may seem like a silly rant about experiences most of us have shared, but this really appears to be a corporate structure problem that needs to be addressed sooner than later.

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 1, 2019 - 3:09pm

To make matters worse, these dumb birds often are engaged in an overly high amount of office politics / menial fights for visibility (read: oh i organized some random shitty event that no one cared about, oh i went beyond my duty to call the plumber) to justify their worthless corporate existence.

Worked across a few companies and ALL of THEM fight for face time with management the fiercest among all back office folk - at company events its like watching strippers fighting for a fat Sheikh in a strip club.

Oct 1, 2019 - 10:39pm

You joke and rightfully so, but our Summer Analysts in HR at my BB always see come from IvyLeague(HYP down to Cornell)-Duke-UNC-Umich-Vandy-etc. Always seems to be 1 non target for every 10 targets.

If you look at the profiles, they look more IBD than they do Compliance or Ops.

I am sure multiple people from BBs can confirm this to be true.

Oct 2, 2019 - 3:28am

I find that surprising because I've worked at a BB and most of our HR comes from the tier of Rutgers/UConn/UMD/VT or one of those random New England / Mid-Atlantic area private liberal art schools.

Not saying I don't believe you - I just don't see why your bank feels the need to hire an Ivy League lib art grad over the same candidate from a top 50-100 school for the role of HR. The fact that you used the word "target" in the context of HR positions also gave me a good chuckle, no offense. But in all seriousness, what's the marginal benefit and what's the incentive? Is your HR team planning to out-communicate the non-target comm majors and really show the street who's boss?

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 2, 2019 - 7:26am

Hahaha exactly mate! What next, HR candidates will need to know how to do financial models so they can relate to Bankers better? Come on

On a separate note, the "target" kids in HR, if they exist, will likely be the worst due to insecurities - imagine at their HYP gathering, what kind of bullshit they'd cook up to justify their lives (I use this word charitably here) in HR

Oct 2, 2019 - 7:49am

I work in HR and HR functions differ from company to company. If you don’t interact with HR directly, that’s a good thing or you are not senior enough to make decisions. HR is valued as being the behind the scenes checks and balances and the influencers of senior management which not everyone is privy to. We help support senior management with their decisions without causing major disruptions to the firm.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Oct 2, 2019 - 2:45pm

Yeah please answer all the questions and points everyone has made on this thread.

You claim that you represent checks and balances....nonsense. Who is your checks and balances? The answer is objectively - nobody. Also, I can assure you that no matter how "senior" or junior you are, everyone feels the wrath of HR.

You help "influence" Senior Mgmt? Give me a break. On what merit, what qualification?

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