HR is Not Scientific

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I’m asking my fellow HR colleagues out there to quit pretending that our profession is rooted in science. It isn’t. I will concede the following:

  • HR does follow a process.
  • HR does involve math.
  • There are elements of psychology in Human Resources.

None of it matters, though, because the field of Human Resources is not scientific. I think it benefits our industry to stop applying pseudo-science to the interview, hiring, and coaching process. We review resumes, meet candidates, demand a demonstration of competency, check references, and make an offer. We communicate clear performance objectives and hold employees accountable. Then we reward as appropriate, and we coach when deficiencies are demonstrated.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Just because something is measurable doesn’t mean it is scientific.

  • Physics is a science.
  • Chemistry is a science.
  • Botany is a science.

Hiring an accountant? Creating a human capital dashboard? Coaching high-performing, high potential employees?

  • Not science.

Human Resources is a career with valid and reliable functions; however, until we cure cancer, let’s refrain from tooting our own horn and positioning ourselves as ‘human capital’ scientists.

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