It isn’t easy to define human resources. When people ask about my job, I answer “human resources”. They then respond with the following: “You hire people.” True, many human resources are responsible for recruitment. It’s not the entirety of the job. It’s not the whole story.
However, I find it difficult to explain the role of HR. It becomes a list of benefits, compensation, safety and employee relations. Etc. People’s eyes glaze over…
When I need to explain what HR does, I love to say that HR is the architect for work.
It’s a simple question. What is an architect responsible for? They design safe, functional, attractive, and economic structures. They communicate their designs to builders and clients.
The creation of work is the responsibility of human resources professionals.
- People will be eager to apply for these positions
- Companies can afford to pay a wage and offer benefits packages.
- Offers fulfilment to employees
- It fulfils an organizational need
Just as buildings can change over time, so too does work. HR is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s goals are met by taking a holistic approach. This reminds me of a funny story I shared years ago about a colleague.
Every night, he and his wife would go to dinner. One night, they sketched their dream home on a bar napkin. They gave the bar napkin to an architect, saying, “This our dream home. Draw us a blueprint.” You can put a kitchen there.
They built their dream home years later and included a kitchen at the architect’s suggestion. A sign was also placed at the entry to their kitchen that read.“