HR's not an easy gig, as we are fond of telling ourselves. Nice to hear it from someone else...
From Dan McCarthy's Great Leadership blog, on the 10 things he learned from a rotation in HR:
1. The importance of Excel - and Access, and pivot tables. For my entire career, I had somehow managed to achieve success without having to learn Excel. Most of my work could be achieved with dazzling PowerPoint models and Word documents. I quickly learned that HR generalists need to crunch a LOT of numbers. Performance appraisal correlations, adverse impact analysis, restructuring costs, incentive plan payouts, and a staggering amount of other calculations. And – the numbers actually had to be correct.2. HR clients expect the right answers – and quickly. There’s little tolerance for “maybe”, “it depends”, or “I’ll get back to you on that”, responses that served me so well in previous roles.
5. HR Generalists have to know a lot about everything. Duh. And no, the technical part of the job can’t be learned in a few months or through a SRHM self-study certification program (hey, it was better than nothing!). I gained a whole new appreciation for the HR vet that maybe wasn’t deep in succession planning or team development, but knew enough to get by, along with thirty other things I knew absolutely zip about.8. HR can be a lonely, isolated role. It’s kind of like police work – it makes for difficult family or neighborhood barbecue chit-chat. It’s important to network, internally and externally, in order to share best practices and hang onto a thread of sanity. Or have a good shrink.