By now, readers of the Capitalist know that I am a HR Generalist, meaning I do it all - recruit, employee relations, benefits, performance management, etc. I'm also a firm believer that Generalist roles span the globe of HR titles - Generalists can be found at the Rep/individual contributor, manager, director and VP levels.
One of the things that is cool about being a HR Generalist is the variety - if you're sick of doing one thing, you just need to wait about 20 minutes, because you'll get a call shifting your priorities to another area as a routine course of business.
Some people call it chaos, I call it variety...
So, for me, a HR job from hell is one that includes no variety, and resides in an area of the HR practice where little joy is found. Here's my first HR Job from Hell - the corporate Leave of Absence Administrator.
First up, let me say that me tagging the LOA Administrator as a job from hell has nothing to do with the people in the job, but instead has everything to do with what these folks have to put up with on a daily basis. As luck would have it, HR Wench is currently in the job market, and recently phone screened for an LOA Administrator role:
"I had a phone screen yesterday that went ok. It was for the Leave of Absence Specialist. Get this: the organization has 15,000 employees. Guess how many NEW leave of absence cases were processed last year? 4,400. That is almost a 1/3 of their workforce, yo! Geez. Anyhow the in person interviews aren't until a few weeks from now due to vacations. So, we'll see".
UGH. That pretty much sums up why I would consider the LOA Administer role as a HR role from Dante's 9th circle. Here's what you have to deal with in that role:
-Primary focus is interacting with folks going through very rough times. For the right person, this would be a plus, as they could use their empathy to make a difference. But a steady diet of this over years surely leads to burnout.
-Being the tough gal/guy regarding compliance. Folks are going through rough times, and you're the one that has to hassle them about the FMLA certification forms even though that's the last thing on their mind.
-Deciding when to play hardball on fraud. You have 4,000 applications for LOA, you're going to have some folks gaming the system. You have to decide when to play hardball and go after it. You see the 5-10% that game the system - how can you not become jaded after a year or two of that?
Let me be clear - if you are in the LOA Administrator role in your company - thank you. You are taking multiple hits daily for the HR function as a whole, and you're likely doing it very well. If you get burned out, I hope your company has a rotational program in place, because you have skills that are a valuable resource.
That being said - HR Wench - Don't do it!!