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Worthless HR Staff

sameolddoctor

It is my experience that most HR in architecture offices is just for paper-pushing purposes - timesheets etc. Most HR does not do anything for the actual employees they are meant to take care of, even if they see 60-70 hour timesheets/week.

Any positive experiences with HR?

 
Jun 1, 22 3:06 pm
yomthorke

HR is not meant to take care of the employees, they are meant to represent the company. They will always put the company profits before anything/anyone else. Anything positive they might do for any employee has a direct correlation with increasing "value" for the company. They're never on your side. 



Jun 1, 22 3:14 pm  · 
9  · 
citizen

Whenever I hear "human resources" I can't help but think "soylent green is people."

Jun 1, 22 4:50 pm  · 
2  · 
Archi-nerd

HR are the police of the employment work. Noone likes them or trusts them and it is best not to get involved with them for any reason.

Jun 1, 22 5:23 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

We're too small to have a HR at 20ish staff... and I'm very happy about this.  There is too much bureaucracy already and I don't need another layer.  

Jun 1, 22 3:32 pm  · 
2  · 

We are small (around 12 people). Our HR is run by employees and function more as a 'people and culture' group. We plan fun office outings, lunch and learns, binge drinking, er I mean happy hours. All the normal stuff you need to have a healthy office culture. ;)

Jun 21, 22 12:23 pm  · 
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gibbost

We recently reached 50+ staff.  The HR role has morphed into 'People & Culture'.  Yes, this person still handles hiring, benefits, 401k and employee handbook policy stuff, but has become more about outward-facing messaging for the organization.  It obviously overlaps with our marketing department. Our HR department has nothing to do with timesheets and project management.  

Jun 1, 22 5:06 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

This is good, hope they are an advocate for the employees and not just for the employer

Jun 1, 22 5:53 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

sameold, that's not HR's role or responsibility. I'm not sure that leads you to think otherwise.

Jun 2, 22 12:52 am  · 
1  · 
bowling_ball

*what

Jun 2, 22 12:52 am  · 
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sameolddoctor

Their name is HUMAN resources - they need to be on the employees side and keep the employers in check so they dont do ridiculous shit.

Jun 2, 22 11:37 am  · 
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SneakyPete

That's humans AS a resource.

Jun 2, 22 11:46 am  · 
4  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

PMC are not on the side of workers, never have been, never will.

Jun 2, 22 1:46 pm  · 
1  · 
reallynotmyname

Every firm I worked for had shitty HR people.  At most places I worked there was no dedicated HR department but only a combo HR/bookkeeper person. 

And don't get me started about all the shithead firm owners who have all of their staff as 1099 independent contractors.

At my own firm, we outsource all HR tasks to our payroll company.  Best decision we ever made.

Jun 1, 22 5:18 pm  · 
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gibbost

I would agree that a good start is to separate HR duties from the accounting department. (I know small offices like to utilize multi-hat wearers). You want your bean counters and money people to be hardasses that can get you paid. Those skills don't translate well to the person in charge of strengthening culture and happy staff.

Jun 1, 22 7:18 pm  · 
1  · 
Volunteer

Best comment on personnel ever. 

Jun 2, 22 9:32 am  · 
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axonapoplectic

I worked in the HR department of a large firm as one of my first architecture jobs. HR’s job is to keep employees just happy enough so that they don’t quit and to protect the company from getting sued for things like harassment or working conditions. My advice is that you want to avoid interacting with HR unless it’s absolutely necessary (questions about benefits and policies, things you need, health issues, etc).  If HR seems disgruntled, it’s usually because ownership doesn’t treat them well and/or a lot of employees are unhappy.

Jun 2, 22 10:07 pm  · 
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Volunteer

I was in a firm where HR did as told and laid off vast numbers of people. Then the head personnel person laid off most of the HR staff as well. Kind of like rats eating each other on a desert island

"Past is prologue" as Willie said in the Tempest

Jun 3, 22 6:50 am  · 
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arhiarhi design group

Depends on the persons . But yes.... HR moslyt isn't a technician or administrator. And that is why i becames a problem fast. HR is making up unnecessary workloads as to prove his needed

Jun 19, 22 1:38 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

you write horrible fortune cookies

Jun 21, 22 12:45 pm  · 
2  · 

ADG - you're trying really hard to promote your firm. Might I suggest you not try an make every discussion about your one person firm that has no actual built work. Just a suggestion.

Jun 21, 22 1:02 pm  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

Our bosses made the most awkward and intimidating structural engineer in our office the HR partner.  You have an HR problem you have to go see him.

Jun 21, 22 1:01 pm  · 
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That's either brilliant or evil. Maybe a bit of both?

Jun 21, 22 1:47 pm  · 
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Black_Orchid

Y'all DKSAHR.

Jun 21, 22 2:25 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Enlighten us.

Jun 21, 22 3:39 pm  · 
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@work

I went to HR a couple times to report egregious behavior by a principal towards subordinates. Screaming, profanities, belittling, abusive, forced long overtime/full weekends. HR put me in contact with the firm head to help me find a new job :)  

Jun 24, 22 7:53 pm  · 
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archanonymous

Did we work at the same office?

Jun 30, 22 12:26 pm  · 
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That sounds like a horrible place to work. You have my sympathy's.

Jun 30, 22 1:41 pm  · 
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ArchKid

The worst part is the waiting period HR or company policy makes the potential employers go through until they get an offer. 

Jun 30, 22 12:13 pm  · 
1  · 
dominiond

The 120 person firm I work for doesn't have a full time HR director and I wish we did. The firm founders say that you need someone "who knows architecture" to be helpful to people. Having worked outside of architecture and now serving in a leadership position, I disagree. At least 1x a month, there is an HR issue that needs formal guidance. An employee had a stalker and would come into work distraught and afraid because the stalker followed them to work, the hard-working parent that also has to take care of a child with special needs and an ailing parent and is close to exhausting FMLA, the intensely creative employee that has medically- confirmed ADHD and has a hard time finishing deadlines and makes it hard for their less creative team mates who have to finish the work, the passive aggressive manager who bullies members of their team verbally, but puts in glowing reviews into the formal performance appraisal software, etc...I am shocked by the things I hear from the founders/senior principals who just say "people have to suck it up" or "it's not our problem."

I've noticed that a lot of architecture firms have little-no-HR framework and think that free beer solves everything. We're in not in the 80's/90s anymore- wake up.

Jun 30, 22 9:41 pm  · 
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ArchKid

the firm i worked at didnt have a HR department until we got to 170 people. The department managers were pretty much doing all the HR work.

Jun 30, 22 11:59 pm  · 
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sameolddoctor

If you have firm founders with 120 employees that say "suck it up", its time to quit

Jul 1, 22 1:37 am  · 
3  · 
gibbost

This is really interesting perspective.  I cannot imagine an organization with more than 15 or 20 people NOT having a dedicated HR manager.  For all the reasons eloquently outlined above, having someone that is not an architect or engineer be available for listening and navigating work-life balance is really critical to the success of the firm.  Shame on offices that don't provide this basic resource to its staff.  

Jul 1, 22 10:43 am  · 
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zonker

I hate to break this to you all, but we're going into another recession - no more WFH or work-life balance

Jul 2, 22 10:45 pm  · 
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