It's official: Lucy Adams has killed off the HR profession once and for all

It's official: Lucy Adams has killed off the HR profession once and for all

Well, this has been a walking advert for the HR profession, hasn't it? Allegations of lying. A lack of transparency. Mistrust. Back-stabbing. Call the HR director! Oh, wait ...

It's official: Lucy Adams has managed to kill off the HR profession once and for all. For years now the Human Resources profession has been navel-gazing about its own status: whether it should or shouldn't deserve a seat on the board of a company; whether it should or shouldn't be called HR (should it, perhaps, be called Human Capital Management, Personnel, or my personal favourite, Human Remains) – you know, all those really pressing questions that determine the success of a business.

Finally, Adams has managed to confirm our suspicions about HR all along: it is a pointless department that does little for the bottom line of a business. In the case of unnecessarily huge pay offs at the BBC, HR has actually helped to take away from the bottom line. As well as, let's not forget, failing miserably to uphold the kind of integrity, respect and transparency we could be forgiven to expect from the self-declared "people people". Nice one.

Unfortunately, in showing us quite just how pointless HR is, Adams has just dented the dreams of thousands of career-happy girls who go into HR to "prove their worth" and secure their path to the top. (Or hang on, let's mull over this again: is that, near the top, in a committee that sits just underneath the board, or at the top, actually on the board. Debate #pointlessHR).

Seven in 10 members of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the HR trade body, are female. HR has always been and is still an unashamedly female-dominated profession. So girls, it's time to pick another profession if you want to make something of your life. After the BBC human resources director was accused of presiding over "corporate fraud and cronyism" over huge pay-offs to former executives - with HR coming out badly - why would anyone, especially women, want to work in HR anymore?

This article was originally featured on

Monday, 16 September 2013

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Steve Szita Date: Sep 16, 2013

Come off it, Ri5! This story has nothing to do with HR. It's yet another thinly veiled attack on the BBC by the right wing media. Murdoch's gang have been banging on about this story for weeks, giving it undue prominence. Now The Telegraph, owned by the dear Barclay brothers, is having a crack at it. Of course, all these multi-millionaire press barons don't have any agenda do they? To reproduce this piece without analysis or comment is quite simply lazy journalism. So, while you're at it why not reproduce a piece from The Daily Mail about the 'dangers' of the 'hoards' of Bulgarians and Romanians who will soon be 'flooding' into the country?

John Langford Date: Sep 16, 2013

The problem (OK, one of many problems) with HR is that it sometimes purports to manage or at least strongly influence the make up and deployment of an asset it doesn't control. The people in the organisation. Sadly, it remains a fundamentally disempowered profession and it is the simple truth that if you have corporate or board level ambitions, HR wouldn't be your first choice. Lucy Adams is simply a typical example of the boardroom perception of the HRD who is mainly there to implement the intentions of departments with more power and rarely there to direct.

Kevin Turner Date: Sep 17, 2013

Louisa Peacock's content is excellent and we are delighted that she wants her Telegraph work to run on Ri5. The piece is of interest and value. The more the merrier

Anonymous Date: Sep 20, 2013

This article is such a load of utter, sensationalist nonsense. One HRD has killed off the profession? Just like the phone-hacking scandal has killed off journalism? LIBOR-fixing has killed off banking, right? Perhaps Miley Cyrus has stopped girls wanting to be pop stars? Louisa's dicto simpliciter argument is a lazy generalisation about the HR industry, and HR Directors. HR is now unworthy as a profession? How about we deal in facts, instead of one person's opinion?

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