HR is “the professional discipline and business function that oversees an organization’s human resources” (Definition: Wikipedia) and this entails endeavors of epic proportions – No, I’m not exaggerating but that’s not the subject here. There are issues several things that can be tackled under HR like career development, succession planning, loyalty etc.. but this quick overview is meant to expose some HR issues concentrating on recruitment mainly and the relationship with organization size.
When I graduated, HR was given in one course during the whole program. A couple of years later, USJ proposed it as a “Master Professionnel” and the others universities followed the lead offering it as a Master of Science degree.
In regards to HR, Lebanon is in the infancy stage.
A company made of less than 100 people usually gives the HR function – understand the payroll – to the Accounting department while the recruitment and training is divided between managers and senior employees.
The problem here: While it’s totally justified not to have an HR department in this case the problem is that managers and senior employees usually do not really understand the importance of their HR function and think “how hard can it be” to interview and administer training? That’s a question that can be easily answered by any person looking for a job in these companies and employees. Employment seekers usually report the “unprofessional” process while employees show how inefficient the training was; simply because they are not trained to administer them.
Companies of 100-500 employees are labeled as medium. In this case, an HR department normally exist. There could be 2 to 3 people: Payroll is either left to the Accounting department or it could be something done by a payroll officer who coordinated with Accounting. Recruitment and training may be separate or given to one person, made in-house or given to external companies. The rest of the headaches are left to an HR Manager. Managers and senior employees may still be going about HR the small business way or may decide to delegate 100% of the HR tasks to the HR department
The problem here: On paper, it doesn’t look like there are any; but as soon as you scratch the surface you will fall in a troubled ocean! When the responsibilities are not well defined, problems automatically impose themselves; miscommunication being the source of 90% of them. This is widely representative of a big number of companies in Lebanon. People seeking employment get interviewed by 2 to 3 people asking mainly the same questions. Process is considered “unprofessional” for a number of reasons: work load, lack of automation etc… employees view HR as being the police of the company or try to befriend them to the extent of trying to pull favors. I am not even going to tackle how disastrous pistons can be. HR = horror referee even said to me a friend on Twitter; I understand the reaction: HR people find themselves torn apart between what management wants and what employees want: It’s no tango. HR people are what they are: people. Some are better than the others.
Corporations of over 500 are considered to be big. Usually, there is a team of people dividing HR tasks within each function. The problems that medium companies have can be found here but they take a different scale. With big corporations comes bureaucracy and a certain “cold” attitude.
The problem here: The size of the corporation affects its “speed”. Time to implement decisions across, time to react to certain problems etc… Employment seekers may give up in the middle of the recruitment process when the process is too slow or the company makes the position hard to get by pulling unfamiliar methods of selection like assessment centers and all kind of tests. Again here, recruitment and training can made in-house or given to external companies. Employees feel left alone and dealt with the most formal ways.
Job boards and recruitment agencies
Job boards and recruitment agencies are one of the solutions many organizations rely on regardless of their size. The choice depends on the amount of time and money the concerned companies are willing to invest in the process.
Those who have some time may do it themselves by posting their job vacancies on several job boards across the internet and look for CVs. Those who have no time or are looking to fill higher executive positions may require the help of recruitment agencies. Some have higher fees than others. The only problem is that the country is so small that usually when people apply, they spray their CV everywhere and an ethical issue arises: The person may apply directly to the company and the recruitment agency may be supplying the company with the same CV. Do you go for the free one or the one you have to pay for when you hire? So in order to avoid this problem, many agencies have taken the habit to send potential CV without names and contact details.
Does using job boards and recruitment agencies for recruitment excuse organizations from having a career tab on their website?